You might have heard it on the grapevine that MANN+HUMMEL has a wide range of sports groups. However, most people think these groups just go running or play conventional team sports. I, on the other hand, have tried out yoga and as a result have also discovered mountain hiking.

But let’s go back to the beginning: I had already been interested in yoga for quite some time. Hiking was once one of my hobbies, but over the last eight years I simply hadn’t had the opportunity to do it. I had barely even thought about it – until I started doing yoga.

yoga

An enthusiastic colleague had told me about the mountain hikes which are organised by the ‘Wandern alpin’ sports group. ‘Why not?’, I asked myself, and I signed up at short notice for the event scheduled for July 27th – a hike up the Hoher Ifen, a 2,229 m high mountain which can be accessed from the Kleinwalsertal valley. Even though the online description made it clear that the walk was not going to be easy, I was not be deterred. I had hiking experience, albeit from some time ago. As the day of the hike drew nearer, however, I began to lose confidence in myself and concerns started to creep in. ‘Will I be able to keep up with the others?’ I thought. ‘What if I make a complete fool of myself because I don’t have enough endurance and stamina for such a tough hike? How will the group work together? Who cares? I said I’ll do it and I will do it!’

A palpable sense of team spirit

On the day of the hike, my concerns were soon forgotten. As early as 5.30 a.m., when we gathered at the meeting point in Ludwigsburg and our team of seven hikers was split between two cars, we were already speaking as friends, rather than as work colleagues. From that point on, we were buoyed throughout the day by a great spirit of positivity: the sense of team morale, the consideration for one another and the desire to get through it together were almost palpable. I know what I’m talking about here since I was often the one who needed help! I have good quality hiking boots, but they are ten years old, and no longer fit me properly. My feet seem to have changed a lot over the past few years and, not long into the hike, they started to hurt. Much of the path was stony or covered with rough gravel, and that put a lot of strain on my ankles. Not having walking poles made things even worse. I literally started to hate the stones and there were a couple of times when I would have given up if I had the choice. That’s when my companions spurred me on and got me going again. And my efforts were not in vain: having hiked for around seven hours on end, including around 1,200 m to the ascent, we finally returned to our cars, had something to eat and drink, and drove back home feeling tired but satisfied.

Hiking as a team

I had to go easy on myself the following day – I spent most of the time on the sofa or on the sun lounger. My battered feet in particular needed time to recover. However, I soon regained my sense of adventure: I plan to take part in one of the upcoming hikes, this time with new, but already well-worn-in, boots and walking poles, of course!