Today i will show you what´s „normal day“ in my life is, and what´s the challenges right now. As it´s not a holiday trip there are many things to do every day… Just follow my blog to see all around my culture bride initatives…
Hello i´m Kai Markus and i welcome you to my blog – please notice that i´m not really a good blogger – i write what´s in my mind and maybe sometimes wired – so if you want complain – than directly to me 😉 .
In 2017 i was running more than 11000 km from hamburg to shanghai. I had a bad accident. I sit in a wheelchair for more than 3 month and some doctors said: „not sure if you ever can walk normal or walk at all…“
My answer? „I decide my life and a accident will not make any decision for me“
So i got my surgery in china which was a very good decision. I continued to the finish with my team mate victor who did a great part much beyond expectations and i started to reset my mind and work out a hard tough physiotherapy additional to the basic one of the hospital…
But honestly – thats all easy compare to the moments when people tell me: We don’t believe you can make it – you can’t run to china, you can’t run that long, you can’t run in the desert for so long time, you can’t you can’t you can’t.
My ears are adjusted now – if you say: you can’t i hear: „try harder“
So i started my next initiative – cycle and run = fun – 12 countries – more than. 5500 km in less than 9 weeks. Crossing the fjords in norway, climb the alps and go cross europe in a kind of zick zack route. Breakdown prejudice was and is my biggest driver!!!
Today ist 30th September and yesterday i arrived in Rome / Italy.
„Why you doing this?“
Becaus i can – that´s the simply answer… Traveling educates – but many can´t travel or don´t want travel… With my initiatives i support to have impressions and examples about other people, in other countries, in ther culture circles in other situations,…
The same time i realized many people don´t have confidence ot trust in themselves. Often they think: I´m not good enough, i´m not brave enough, i can´t do this or i will never can do that…
To realize life dreams, accept big challenges, or just reach what you want – that ´s something i want show. It´s mostly more easy than you expect.
Once you do something diffrent you become a kind of role model for some people – i want encourage them to chase their life dreams. Especially our youngest. They can change the world – they have all the power in the futuer – they are the people we need to care the most – than they will care for us when we get old. That´s what i belive…
„How is your days?“ people as often
My anwer mostly is the same: „Easy.“ I just do what i need to do….
Schedule of a normal day
For fast readers it´s like this schedule – but an no day like the same below i will discribe a day like the last ones…
- 06:00 am – wake up
- 06:30 am – out of the fieldbed and on the way to toilett
- 07:00 – prepare breakfast
- 07:30 – remove camp
- 08:00 – packing and bike check
- 08:30 – start the day
- 09:00 – 1. coffee
- 10:30 – try make footage / post social media
- 12:30 – try find some nice place for eat – 2. coffee
- 14:00 – try make footage / post social media
- 15:00 – 3. coffee
- 16:00 – start search night place
- 17:00 – start speed up to night place
- 17:30 – try have dinner
- 18:00 – unpack or prepare camp
- 18:30 – video talk Xushu
- 18:45 – shower and wash clothes
- 19:00 – check next day route
- 20:00 – post social media
- 21:00 – reply messages of supporters
- 22:00 – plan thext 3-5 days
- 23:00 – try to sleep
- 02:00 – wake up and worry
- 02:30 – sleep in
- 04:00 – wake up with many thoughts
- 04:15 – write down the thoughts and try sleep
With an daily amount of 80-150 km cycling (with roughly 50 kg including my bike) it´s not that easy. Even with healthy feet it will be quite tough. But my feet are still full of metal and screws and still on recovery mode. Also i have a thight schedule to reach several hot spots on my tour and the final destination Thessaloniki / Greece i have to reach in time…
Norway – Sweden – Denmark – Germany – Netherlands – Belgium – Luxembourg – France – Switzerland – Liechtenstein – Austria – Italy – Greece
The „f……“ 20-30 morning minutes
Mostly i wake up around 6:00am. For me nothing is like for you. You just open your eyes, maybe you stretch and stir yourself in bed but at the end you put out your legs and get up. You stay on your feet, go to bathroom or toilet and prepare for your day. Generally without make a big thing.
For me? It´s diffrent. Completely. I wake up and rub my eyes, while I still have the muscle hangover of yesterday in my legs. Every day…
I already have a phobia to get up, because what comes now I call the „20 minutes hell“.
My feet and ankles are still very stiff and almost immobile especially in the morning. As long i not move them there is no pain. But once i start move them the pain come. Quik ans sharp. Left more than right. So I use 5 minutes to move my feet during laying. In all directions, on, off, left, right and in the circle and back again.
I can´t balance, i can´s stay straight and basically i need something to hold myself. But I also urgently need to go to the bathroom – usually right after waking up. And I’m one of those people who, if you have to go to the toilet, then especially fast!!!
My Helinox lite cot (field bed) is about 10 cm high. I turn around, sit on it and try to put my feet down. I open the tent and try to get out. Autsch – no way do it in a normal way. I turn around and crawl out on hands and knees. I try to get up. On my legs and feet. „A normal movement“ you´ll think!?
No, i can´t balance and sharp pain in my joints coming now. I stand there like the „drunken monkey“ from the Asian martial arts films. Just not so graceful and aesthetic.
This process takes around 5 minutes before i can stay without hold myself on the tent or bike or an tree. Sometimes i fell down againg and this is the moment the neighbours on the camping place start observing me.
Than they start to wisper: „Oh my God, how much will he have drunk yesterday?“ or sometimes they directly talk to me „Well, was something too much yesterday?“…
I can´t get angry about this – but honestly, i hate this moment. As someone who is expected to always be strong, to have everything under control and always have a smile on his face, I am not used to being „helpless“ – and certainly not called „drunk“.
What surprises me the most is:
Since i started, no one asked something like: „you ok? Do you need any help?“ or something like that. When i travel eastwards in my running initiative 2017 – every little diffrent way of moving or beavior bring people to ask this question. (when i run 60-80 km a day at some evenings or mornings i had the same way of get up – just without pain but with strong muscle aching. Not only ordinary people but also officials like police or military or officers ask if they need to help me… The way how we look to others is so diffrent.
Anyway, I need to go to the toilet. You may say: „What´s the problem?“ – but the toilet is far (not for you , but for me). Too far sometimes – on campingplaces campers with tent often have the most far place from facilites, and it looks quite ugly when i walk there or better say sway there. It´s like walk on crunchy softballs and sometimes i fell down again. Than i hear the same talks behind me… This process need often about 10-20 minutes and i always worry to reach the toilett in time….
Most expensive paper in the world…
On wild camping you prepare your „nature toilet“ on your own and you know you need to bring eberything to there you need. On camping places i expect toilett paper. Especially as the places have an average price about 15-15€/ night. But no – sometimes the toilett paper is finish – but often they simply just don´t have. So i get used to take toilet paper with me after i had the experiance to go there without and have to return to my tent. Remember – my way of „drunken monkey“ walking takes much longer and is more painful like yours.… So in this moments i realize that toilett paper seems to be the most valuable paper in the world!
And i have to go back … but now step by step my feet getting better and more flexible – also less pain.
Sometimes i had a very tough day – climb with the bike or pushing the bike many meters altitude up, cycle long and bumpy roads…. Than i realize the next day my feet will be hurt like hell… Camping for a while is ok – but if i can´t get a place near the toilett i know the next day i can´t make it without support. So i have to take sometimes an guesthouse, hostel or other cheap accomodation. Cheap means that even hostel sometimes cost about 30 and more €. And some hostel don´t have any place to store my bags safe (inside is Computer, camera copter, cameras, and so on) so sometimes i have to take a hotel.
You may say thats not neccessary – yes thats right. I had many days without this. But 1st i have to guarantee my safty as i can´t take the risk for a new injury by and 2nd i invite you to cycle with me 100-150 km with two broken heel bones and metal inside. Also running nearly each day at least 5 km and more. I´m sure you will change your mind.
But i run out of budget very quik as i not expected this when i plan my initiative.
Back to my camp place i normall start to prepare my breakfast – normally in the morning i cook some noodles and eggs. Eat bread, fruits, vegetables and drink warm water, sometimes milk. Also make my Biogena Protein shakes, take my sanPharma (MEF12 and other important supplements). Some i need for my revocery from the injury but some i need to balance the amount of energy and nutrition consumption while performing. Luckily all my choosen products are natural and biological produced and prooved by my friend and doctor Jánso (Prof. Dr. med. János Winkler)
Cleaning up and pack my stuff
While seat and eat i move my feet otherwhise they get fast stiff again. I take on my 361° Shoes – like right now i wear the 361° Meraki and start to pack my stuff. This will take around 10-20 minutes depending on my feet. After packing i check my bike and the rout for the first part of today. Than start cycling.
Why no „Click“ shoes?
I don’t wear click shoes and click pedals and also i don´t wear cycle glowes and cycle pants or shirt. I also not use an E-Bike. Often cyclist ask me „why?“. The reasons are not so easy to point out – but let me try:
- afraid of new injury as i maybe not get out fast enough with my injured feet
- i try to avoid too much „high tech“ as i want show that you can take the challenge even without this
- technics is nice – but it´s not really necessary to make successful. People who can´t afford high tech equipment often tell me they feel frustrated as they belive they don´t have a chance – they do!!!
- also some reason is related to my sponsorships of course.
But when i was young i cycled with clicks – but now, after more than 5000 km i have to say: „For me – no need!“ I know my speed, performace and result – and all fine – even compare to the performace with „high tech“.
The 1. part of the day
I try to get some km/miles at the first part of the day. I´m fresh, energetic and it´s not that hot. So i try to keep an average speed about 20-30km/hour depending to the landscape. While cycling i can´s see the beautiful places the same good while running. So i often stop and look back. When you look back you sometimes see something more interesting than in front of your way..
Pictures and Videos
Before i had Victor with me – he prepared the camera on nice places, check the way before and follow me after we shoot some nice shoots. Now i´m alone. I need to find a place i like. Than i had to prepare the camera – go back and cycle or run the same way aging and pass the camera. Than go pack and pick the camera. That´s very tiering – especially on steep places up the hills and mountains or on places with a lot of traffic.
Also my Camera copter (DJI Mavic Air) is not that easy to use as i thougt. One reason is, i did not read the manual – but other reasons are: low GPS, restricted areas, too much wind or officials they come and say: „please not here.“ And simply somethimes it not works to discuss with them.
Where is my brain? I´m brainless?
During packing my stuff i have to check many many times the place. Before i run to china my brain works fast, efficient and nearly 100% – normally i don´t forget anything. But after the running and accident – especially after the full anastasia i realized my brain power is getting less and weak. I forget things, be not that focussed and concentrated and loose faster the overview what i just do. I often can’t remember what i just checked – like on the map. So i try to check carefully not to loose any equipment and i use check list´s to prevent any bad situations.
One example is: I put the camera on a tree to shoot a video – pass by with the bike and continue. Later – some km away – i comes into my mind: „Oh sh… i forgot to take the camera…“ So i need to cycle back and hope the camera is still there. For now it was always. But it happens even if I try to memorize the navigation. The next 3-4 intersections. Then I often forgot how to proceed after the 2nd – or I think I know it and then it is wrong. That alone costs a lot of time and detours.
I´m addicted – coffee and morning routine
As one of my purpose is to break down prejudice i need to talk and communicate with people. I often try to find my camp or night spot around 5 km near a supermarket, bakery or gas station or café. This allows me to get my first coffee right after leaving. Although I’m not addicted to coffee – I love to stop in the morning, have a little chat and drink my coffee or cappuchino. This is the perfect situation to get into conversation with people and to learn more about the country and its people and, of course, to conduct my planned interviews. It is this kine of little luxury lifestyle i don´t want give up. And you know – i run more than 6000 km across desserts – without any luxury lifestyle and it was also great. So i just like it.
In the places where coffee is there are always people coming and going – a good place to get in contact with many different people. Like the old french guy who serve the “Légion étrangère” (French foreign legion)
5k, 15k 20k, 45k – Impressions
Running is perfect for that – you easy can stop and this for each person you meet on your way. With the bike its nearly impossible – especially with the bags and heavy load – that´s why most of the day I’m frustrated as i see so many chances and people on my way but i already passed them when i realize them.
Last year i said „I’m not a runner – I’m a dreamer“ now when I’m cycling i have to correct myself: „I’m a dreaming runner – but not a cyclist“ I miss running, running and communicate with people. So i plan every day at least 5k or 10k running for my own motivation.
If you want something, try it 1000 times. Do you remember this saying? Exactly 1 year ago i had my accident (29th september) after 11249 km on day 202. People who know me know that rome and me are connected in a special way. Therefore, it is no coincidence that I´m now in rome on 29.09.
I set a goal when i had my accident – 1000km running the first 12 months after my accident. Not walk, not push the bike – run! Jesterday (29th September 2018) I made the missing 8 KM. 1002,55km since my accident.
My pause times while cycling are adapted to my running. I still feel the distances of 5, 10 or 15 km quite precise. So when I’m cycling i make pause exactly after 5, 15, 20 or 45 k – to keep the feeling for this distances. And 45 by the way as i prepare my marathon for 45 km. I learned from my team mate victor – „+one“. My bike frame had the hashtag #runtheblueline . So while cycling i remember always my goal: 2019 i will run my first official marathon. hahaha
supply with food and other work to do…
I try to stop at supermarkets, bakeries, café s or gas stations as i mentioned before. I try to eat, drink and prepare the next stops. Also i have to reply messages, search more support and sponsoring. Also prepare the next culture bridge days.
I´m not an influencer on social media and i don´t name myself like that. So my goal is not to reach an special amount of follwers on instagram or facebook. The people who follow me basically already agree in my thoughts and activities. And the people i want reach are the ones they not agree in „breakdown prejudices“. So i just share whatever i share and hope you like it – if not – sorry – i´m not good at this things.
My target group is the people they not alike with me and my thinking and my other target group is politicians and decision makers. This people i need talk in a separate atmosphere – a situation they not need to defend or be aggressive. This goal cost a lot of time on my way. Why? I need to talk, discuss, convince and discuss again, explain, show examples, agrue and discuss again. To change peoples mind this requires more stamina and endurance than running or cycling.
Encounters on the way – meet the real people
Marieke, Sandra, Dung, the two friends at the camping place and Martin, and many many others…
Encounters with others are necessary for me. Real people, real stories, real exchange of feelings and emotions.
Like in Switzerland and Austria as just take an example.
There is people like Dung and her husband from Zurich. They are my host´s there – but the same time seems they get touched by my storry. She – a foraigner in Switzerland as well can imagine what i talk about. And she have a amazing group on facebook with her class mates from Vietnam about social running. They try to run, swimm or cycle each day as team several KM. The team which have the most at the end of the challenge winns. More than 1000 people in this group. Keep connected by social media with family and friends and doing something positive. Intense talk, nice vietnamese food and an unforgetable stay there…
It´s like i meet Marieke – the french-dutch one who live now in Basel. We meet up at instagram as i check who is in basel running or cycling or interested in culture. I liked some of her picture as i could see the passion she doing things. She sent me a message – courious who is add her… To make it short – we meet for a cup of coffee and had a intense talk about her first time as a foraigner in switzerland, her experiance there and about sport, culture and other things.
Or Sandra, the young lady from Berlin i meet in my home stay appartment in Zurich. She, from berlin stay one month and work at the Universtiy there. She don´t want depend on others and want learn new things. Passion and inspiring situation brought us to up to 3:00am without getting tiered – the next morning i woke up and had a emotional thankful letter on my bike with a birthday gift and i´m sure it was not the last time we meet and discuss culture conflicts, education sport and traveling.
But it´s also like two friends i meet at Walensee near the border to Liechtestein. One is swiss the other one is german. Both worked together and know eachother from their job. We bump into each other on the camping place. We had a very stimulating and touching conversation and I noticed the difference to others in this conversation. As the german lives in canada for several years and the swiss one lives in mongolia for one year we easy find a comon sense in our talk. A discussion like that enlight my day and gives me inspiration for all my video intervies.
But also in Innsbruck when i meet the deputy mayor of Innsbruck and later Martin in Innsbruck. Martin was such a kind person. He offered me a place in his hotel for one night free including food and his time. He traveld all around the world alrady was often in china as well and i get addicted to listen to his stories and experiance. And more and more in our talk he offer more about him. Artist, sponsor for artists, architect, and passioned human beeing lover. He also take refugees in the peak of the refugee wave – agianst the other peole in the village. He rebuild the hotel and the refugees stay together with hotel guest in one hous – and it works very well as he told me. Also he spent the mony for reconstruction and anyghing by himself.
Running and Cycling with others…
On my day and especially on my culture bride days i meet runners, running groups and cyclist. I love go running with them and try to explore what inspires them for running and cycling. Also it´s a good chance to promote our Hamburg Marathon and invite them to us. To set up bridges we need get i touch with others. It´s like a family – we doing the same. Same sport, laughing and complain about the same things – human beeings need similarities to feel well and build trust – thats one of the keys.
Lunch time – rest time
At lunch time i try to rest at least one hour. Even i´m in rush. Resting and recovering is essential for a good performance. Many people try to train and train and train – hard and harder. But if your body not get the right amount of quality rest time you can´t perform beyond your own expectations. And especially: „you can not grow beyond yourself“.
Endless hours on the bike…
From my running initiative i already know the feeling to do something for hours and hours – the same thing – running. Now its cycling. I sit on my saddle many many hours, cycle the hills up and down or just follow an nearly endless street straight ahead. At this time i question myself, darkness, frustration and anger comes up, pressure starts and worries about the future increase… That´s normal and happens nearly every day…
darkness, frustration and anger
Worries are the most bad things in our life. We say: Money is not the most important. Particularily i agree – but only as long you have enough. If you once realice you don´t have enough the daily worries change to existential cares that weigh a lot more and can eat you step by step. In my situation i don´t know what happens after october when i´m finish this initiative. I have to find a job but also don´t have time to apply right now. Pressure comes up as many people have – nothing special but still pressure.
I try to digest my anger, frustration, worries especially at my lunch time. People mostly see me smiling and happy – and i´m such kind of person. But the truth is, i also have dark sad days and moments. My solution for that?
- share it with others – your inner circle of firnds. Once you share it it´s more easy and you get distance (you also can write it on a paper or diary – whatever – share it) i prefere not often to share it on social media.
- exercise it out – sport helps to digest a lot – running, cycling, swimming, walking, yoga, whatever – your body support your mind and the other way around
- other ways – i develop 3-4 other solutions for myselfe but to explain them here will take too long
- stop it – often when i have tough moments or want give up a stage of my tour i make a „hard stop“. i stop my bike or my running, i stop what i´m doing right now and i ask myself: Why i´m here? What i´m going to do and for what purpose? How far i´m already? Such questions are only helpful if you learn to stop your negative thinking before. So body and mind need to stop right at this moment – early enough.
This Stop helps me to adjust to my reason why i started and digest the pain and suffer. The same moment i try to see my grandparents and how they rase me: „Kai, complain change nothing – only action change situations…“ or: „Kai, you know – if you really can imaging and think it you can do it – don’t complain before you tried 1000 times. If it not works after this 1000 times – than let it be… Than its ok.“ I get so much power from remember this sentences …
My thoughts while performing
my son – my grandparents – my speeches
It tourn out that my speeches are very well accepted by the audiance. Passioned, emotional and inspirational – not get it as arrogant but i trained my whole life to give trainings, coaching ans speeches.
But how it comes?
When I’m running or cycling or do any other sport like long distance swimming or skiing i can change the whole world. In my imagination everything is possible – the most bad things and the most positive things. No limit is in my mind.
For example i sit hours on the bike and i talk to Donald Trump like we have a private open conversation. I talk to media or haters, i create a situation like a conference and imaging i give my presentation or speech there. This is very inspirational for me. I do this every day – mostly at afternoon when my body realize to get tiered and i need something keep me running or cycling.
With this way my speeches and presentations get more clear. Also the important points i can keep – the useless ones i alread forgot after the next day.
But the same time while cycling or running i talk with my son. Fiktive talk. I try to answer him important questions he maybe will have. Whether he has asekd or not is irrelevant. Questions like: „Why are other people different? What makes a person? Why is there good and evil? How come that something is like this“ …
Even i not see him so much like other dad´s i know him very well. His character, his mentality, his ideas but also his little dreams.
His happy face which even after a tough day say: „daddy daddy i learned this and that today… wow amazing“ or „Daddy daddy – see what i can do!!!! I can cycle without someone hold me!“ This moments give me the power and energy to tell myself: „Hey grandma – see what i can do!!! I can run again already“ or „hey Grandpa – see what i learned – i cycle already 4000 km and i can imaging i will finish it“
The magic of soliloquy is completely underestimated by us.
Prepare the end of the day
I have to find a place to stay for the next night and i check around 16:00 pm all posibilities.
I had to find out that the hospitality has waned in Europe compared to my earlier trips. I used to ask 10 times and got 10 times a „yes you can set up your tent in the backyard“ Today? Today it is 3-4 times a no. I tried to find out why and asked some directly:
Often it is fear through reporting that we get drummed over and over again. „Today you can not trust anyone – not even the biker or hiker …“ But also sayings like: „Well, you certainly have enough sposnors – they should pay for it.“ are there.
Another reason is certainly: I start at 16:00 to set a place or place – this I often reach around 17:00 clock – Often only one of the family is there or they are already eating and do not want to be disturbed.
It’s not a big drama – but a change to the time before I notice.
The day ends
When i arrived a place i can stay – dosen´t matter camping, hostel, hotel or private stay a kind of routine starts:
- washing clothes
- cooking food
- empty SD cards
- charging batteries
- checking bike
- prepare my feed and injuries
- planning the next day
- write blog or social media updates
- communicate with sponsors, supporters or private donors
- Videotalk with the little one
- strech my muscles
- showering or washing myself
- editing videos
When i cook my noodles or soupe, preparing my nutritions or empty my SD Cards mostly i have an sumary of my day. I try to keep 100% „it was a great day“ – People sometimes say: „you are unrealistic, you are a dreamer…“ No. It was MY day. I made the dicisisons and everything what happens was accepted by me. Often we think we don´t have a chance to make any other decissions – that´s not true!!! We have – every decission is done by us.
But sometimes we are not ready to take the consequences of decisions. A simple example: „I can not give up now!“ Yes, I can. I just have to accept the consequences:
- Do I possibly lose supporters or sponsors?
- How do I stand then? or
- Do i´m losing my face?
- What do I do instead?
Realize this in all things you doing. Every decission have consequenzes – positive/negative.
With the decision for or against something, we always decide for the consequences as well. Unconditional and without „if“ and „but“. It remains our decision.
I made my decision – was it good? I do not know, but it is my decision. With all the consequences such as suffering, sleepless nights, hard times in marriage, missing my child, the accident, having no money, ….
And at the same time: great encounters, help people themselves to change, contribute to something positive, motivate and inspire others.
How do you want to judge it?
Email: email@example.com – Phone: +49-171-5214627
all pictures (c) by Kai Markus Xiong