November 12, 2010

You know you're American when the laundry machine tells you to 'loosen up.'

Since I’ve come back to Nyon after my trip home, I’ve fallen right back into my Swiss routine. I know some people have been wondering how I spend my days over here, and I guess now is as good a time as any to ‘give all my secrets away’ (Thanks One Republic for that catchy song).

My Lifting Gym
My teammates often question how I spend my days, I guess last year the Americans on the team slept all day. I can’t do that…I’m not nocturnal; I like to sleep at night and be up during the day. And although I like being up and able to talk to my friends from home (6 hour time difference remember) I have been trying my best to get on Swiss time. My days here are pretty simple, which for those of you who knew me back home know is a BIG relief. Going to school full-time last year and working two jobs while trying to maintain a long distance relationship was, well, maybe a little too chaotic for me. Breathing is nice for a change, even if I do get a little stir crazy sometimes. Anyways, here goes:

Right now I am waking up around ten a.m.. Since I never have practice before noon, I can deal with this (I typically go to sleep around two a.m. – getting a solid eight hours :)). I take my time getting up and preparing for the day. I pack a gym bag and head into town. I do some kind of workout at noon; some days we have shoot-arounds / strength training with the team, but sometimes I just go to the gym by myself, lift, run, stretch, lay in a sauna, look at the Jacuzzi (I haven’t actually ventured in the Jacuzzi yet), shower, and head to lunch. My club set it up so that I eat at different places during the week: The Sunset Restaurant, La Puccia, or get this – Cactus Jack. I take my time eating; after all there is no rush for me to get anywhere after my meal. Sometimes I bring a book to get lost in and other times I just people watch; all of the restaurants I eat at have great views where I can watch people hustling around (La Puccia is across from the castle, and The Sunset and Cactus Jack are across from the train station).
View from La Puccia

My afternoons consist of my ‘free time’ (as if all of my time here isn’t ‘free?’). Depending on my mood I’ll paint, practice French, watch movies, read, take a bubble bath (I’m getting a little addicted to the tub), clean, meditate, or here it is: just sit. It’s fascinating to me how much time I spend ‘just sitting.’ I know it sounds a little ridiculous, but sometimes just sitting is my favorite part of the day, and you know why? I never had time to just sit at home, or rather, I never made time to just sit at home. I’ll admit, that sometimes my over-achiever, need-to-be-doing-something-at-all-times personality comes out and I think, “Wow Hill, three hours just went by…WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” but then I take what I call are “tummy breaths” (deep breaths that make your tummy puff out and force you to relax) and think, “This is okay, I deserve to just sit.” Since a friend helped me pick out the title of my blog and I hadn’t actually read Eat Pray Love before coming to Switzerland, I figured that it would only be right if it was one of the first books I'd conquer over here. Quite honestly, Eat Pray Love was a perfect fit for me, and now I’m about to be super cliché and quote it because it helped me realize that my not doing anything is actually okay. As Elizabeth Gilbert says in her book, “Americans don’t really know how to do nothing. This is the cause of that great sad American stereotype – the over-stressed executive who goes on vacation, but who cannot relax.” I wasn’t quite that bad yet, but I know my employers, teachers, family, and friends last year knew how much (or in this case how little) free time I made for myself. So yes, some days before practice I just sit. It’s actually pretty nice to just hang out with me :).

Laundry Banter
I will mention that Tuesdays are a little different. Tuesday is LAUNDRY DAY! I’ve come to both loathe and love laundry day. A little background: there is a key to the laundry room that gets passed around my building; you have a few hours on one day a week to do your laundry. If you miss your slot, you are out of luck. After battling for weeks with the laundry machines (they would eat my coins, lock my clothes in the washer, refuse to dry my clothes, etc.) I finally won the battle. After the washing machine told me to loosen up (see right), I decided, “Hell, I’m going to make the most of laundry day.” This week I made a pot of coffee, brought down my dirty clothes and book with me, locked myself in the laundry room, and curled up on the dryer drinking my coffee and reading my book. Laundry day can actually be kind of fun.

We have full team practices at night. So after my ‘free time’ I pack another gym bag, put on practice clothes, get my game face on, and head back into town. I should probably add that ‘town’ is maybe ¾ of a mile from my apartment; the gyms are probably a mile. When I am speed walking it takes me 13 minutes to get from my apartment to the gym or from the gym to my apartment. When I leisurely walk, it can take me all of 25 minutes!  So on any given day I spend anywhere from an hour to two hours a day just walking.

I think by now everyone who reads my blog knows what I do after practice: BUBBLE BATH! Okay, if I took a bubble bath during the day I usually don’t take another one. And also I’m not super dirty, I shower after practice at the gym so I get off the sweat and basketball debris before I come home and lounge in some soapy warm water with bath salts (thanks to my other three wheels). Then there’s dinner (I’ve been learning to cook new things), some tv / internet time (although I sporadically do this during the day too), and then bed!

Now, I know what you’re thinking: my routine is unbelievably exciting. And yes, I think so too. But my body has never felt so relaxed, and I have never enjoyed my own company so much. I wonder how much of this I can bring home with me when the time comes…


  1. Anyone who just looks at a jacuzzi is ok in my book.

  2. Wonderful I said before, you write very happy for you that you are enjoying your own is so important to like yourself...I would love to share a day with you...sounds wonderful...where do I sign up ??? keep up the good work & have a ball !!! Love you, Aunt Barbara

  3. hi...just read an article about you in the TCNJ magazine...really cool !!!! we are all so proud of you...talked to your Dad & he was so excited..he feels better every day...have a great week & stay positive you, miss you...Aunt Barbara