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Outdoor Sports Is What You Make of It

  • Silvia Koch
  • June 27, 2019

For many people, outdoor means exhausting theirselves in nature. Extreme sports in connection with nature and all its pitfalls and beauties. But outdoor can be defined in many ways. We talked to people about their personal outdoor experiences and moments.

Six people, six personalities that couldn't be more different. From an engineer for biotechnology to a hobby dancer to a clerk - these six people, of different ages and sexes, still have one thing in common: their passion for the outdoors. These six people represent exactly what outdoor society wants to transport: there is no right or wrong definition of outdoor and outdoor is there for everyone - always.

28-year-old Lena Haushofer is a project consultant at Messe München. For her, outdoor has very different faces. In May 2018, she discovered her passion for running. Only one month later, the first highlight followed: A half marathon. "From that moment on, I was just hooked," she remembers. The following October, she took part in the supreme discipline, a marathon, in Frankfurt. Two months ago she fought her way to the finish at the marathon in Vienna.

Nina, Franz, Jutta, Lena (below), Sylvia(above) and Claudia at the shooting for the OutDoor by ISPO collection.

Lena's motivation: Clearly, her running club. Every Monday at 7 p.m., the Munich resident meets with her like-minded friends. Just clear your mind, that's the motto. What's special to them: "Everyone has a different intention, one person wants to run a marathon, the other one just wants to stay fit. But everybody's in. That's outdoor for me." Her community supports her and pushes her to the edge. Thanks to her team, she exceeds her limits. So does everyone, who lives for outdoors, have to run a half marathon after only one month? No, Lena says clearly. Outdoor can just as well start with a short walk.

From Walks to Creativity to Extreme Sports

The former competitive athlete and blogger Nina Gigele (@niinagigele) has a completely different motivation strategy. Her belief: Just go outside by yourself and consciously move outside. "People often don't notice what's happening outside," she says, "you just have to be satisfied with what you have." The Austrian is a real "Berg-Madl", girl from the mountains. She lives at 1,100 meters above sea level. "She's at home in the mountains," she says. She's also constantly looking for new challenges. Nevertheless, it is important to her that she knows her body and does what is really good for her. Today she knows that she often made mistakes as a young skier. "As a competitive athlete, you're living in this tunnel and this discipline all the time. But I'm not a bad person, if I don't stick to the training schedule sometimes." For her, the development of her self-confidence plays a decisive role. In her opinion, everyone should try things to find out what's best for them. It is important for her to inspire and challenge her peers, but without exerting mental pressure.


"You just have to be satisfied with what you have."

Sylvia Zwerger has already found her passion at the age of 20. She knows exactly what's good for her: dancing. The Project Assistant at the Munich Trade Fair Centre and has been dancing in the dance group "Diversity" for years. "This isn't outdoor," many will say. "Just so," she'll meet it. Hip-hop and video clip dancing can also mean outdoor: "To me, outdoor simply means 'out of everyday life and into adventure.'" When the weather is fine, the group often practices on the sports field in front of the gym. Spontaneous performances in the park or at the Ostbahnhof train station give her a very personal outdoor experience. "I don't think there's a right or wrong definition," says Sylvia. "It's all about great moments and unique experiences." In addition, you can dance whenever and wherever you want. Nina and Lena also know that feeling described by Sylvia: Continue after setbacks, never give up and get out of the comfort zone. Sylvia's motivation is the creative creation of a new choreography: "Everything needs to be perfect. A group is only as strong as its weakest link." The 20-year-old dancer, who also has a passion for singing, is looking forward to a video shoot of her group "Diversity", which will soon be produced in and around Munich.


Jutta combines a trip to Nepal with her best outdoor moment; Nina calls the mountains her home and Sylvia loves to dance outdoors.

48-year-old Franz Sußbauer, on the other hand, almost always has his camera with him. His obsession: landscape photography. The Munich native works as an architect and civil engineer. To shoot the perfect picture of the summit of a mountain, he likes to get up at three in the morning to be "on location" before sunrise. He clearly associates outdoor with activity: "You can only get to the beautiful places through movement." The perfect photo is his goal and his motivation at the same time. If there's no other way, he and his buddy hike to the location, the evening before the shooting, where he sleeps in his sleeping bag on a sleeping mat. He had his coldest overnight stay in the Dolomites, in November. His equipment and food can weigh up to 15 kilograms. But outdoor doesn't always have to be extreme, not even for Franz. The photographer walks his dachshund terrier mix every day. "The dog must go out, no matter what the weather. That's outdoor too," he says and laughs.

Claudia's life has changed after a trip to the South Pole; Lena associates outdoor especially with running and Franz gets up for at 3 a.m. for the perfect outdoor pictures.

The Love of Nature: Through Extraordinary Journeys

39-year-old Claudia Beitsch is an engineer like Franz, but for biotechnology. For years, she developed drug tests for police and customs. But in 2010, a trip to the South Pole changed her life. She took part in the ZDF and ORF production „Wettlauf zum Südpol“ ("Race to the South Pole"). The goal was to cover a 400 kilometre distance to the South Pole with her team. Since this moment, the Berlin-born has been a gifted outdoor athlete. Mountain bike, racing bike or ski tours. The main thing: mountains. The blogger also shows this on her Instagram channel (@cloodi.out.of.rosenheim). In 2006, the athlete moved to Rosenheim for her love. Her passion for outdoor and adventure grew with her closeness to the mountains. More than 100,000 followers follow her sporting activities. When asked if city dwellers miss anything, she answers "Yes!" without hesitation. Outdoor is a feeling of freedom for Claudia. It is especially important to her to encourage women to be more adventurous. "Women just need a little encouragement," she says. "Adventure is still too much of a man's thing."

"Adventure is still too much of a man's thing."

The 52-year-old clerk Jutta Brechter from Munich also discovered her love of nature and adventure on a special journey. 24 years ago, she flew to Nepal with her former partner. Jungle and trekking tours are just as memorable as dinner with a local monk or the friendliness and warmth of the Nepalese people. "A woman smiling pressed her baby in my arms and disappeared, just like that. After a few minutes she came back and took the little child off me with a smile. I'll never forget that," Jutta remembers. They reached the last hut at an altitude of 4,000 metres and the last pre-summit at 4,500 metres. She hardly finds words when she describes the incredible beauty she experienced there: "Somehow everything was so quiet and yet again not. It was overwhelming." Jutta is still out in the mountains in her spare time and enjoys every second. Even though there were no mobile phones with cameras 24 years ago, she will probably never forget her trip to Nepal.

Six people, six individual definitions for outdoor. Safety is important for everyone. The necessary respect for the forces of nature and the right preparation. Different personalities and different ways of life, united under the motto: Outdoor is what you make of it.