German teacher Rachel Ruddick shares her enjoyment of outdoor activities
After five years abroad in Austria, upper school German teacher Rachel Ruddick has switched gears and joined the SPA community. While the place she calls home has moved across the globe, one thing has remained constant; her love for the outdoors.
In high school, Ruddick played soccer and ran for the cross-country team, but it wasn’t until her adult life when she moved to Austria that she really experimented with different sports and activities. After much trial and error, she discovered an interest in swimming, which has allowed her to reconnect with nature.
“I’m from around Chicago, which is very flat, and then I discovered the Alps in Austria and just a bunch of mountains [around me] which were really beautiful. And so I got into hiking and swimming when I moved there. When you get all sweaty [after a hike], it’s nice to find some lake or river to just jump into. So I kind of like [swimming] for that aspect to just kind of wake yourself up, cool off and rejuvenate a little bit. It’s not so much about doing laps back and forth, but it’s a nice way to stay active [in nature],” Ruddick said.
The change in landscape will be a significant adjustment, as the occasional Minnesotan hills don’t come close to the Austrian alps that Ruddick holds close to her heart. However, while the mountain ranges have helped her maintain an interest in swimming for fun, the Land of 10,000 Lakes has also provided many new opportunities. Ruddick expresses her admiration for the infamous Minnesotan lakes, and her goal is to visit as many as possible.
“I like going biking, and I biked along the Mississippi River when I [first] came here. I [also] swam across the river, and I just think it’s cool that there [are also] so many lakes around. I’m not a great swimmer or biker, actually, but I like to find a bunch of different ways to do these things for fun,” she said.
With the new school year just beginning, Ruddick looks forward to exploring the Twin Cities and different outdoor activities. She is also excited to join the SPA community, get to know her students and colleagues, and potentially join the Outdoors Club.