Simplicity and Health:

Life in a City by the Mountains

February 19, 2015  |  By Ana-Maria Bancila, Romania

Simplicity and Health:

Photo : Andrei finishing a marathon

Pollution, misery, hate, distruction. Well, you can’t find these in Zarnesti, the Romanian city placed at 722 m altitude, at the base of Piatra Craiului Mountain, that almost 22.000 people call home. From here you can easily go hiking the multitude of paths into the mountain.

I was always curious how living in a city so close to the mountain affected the lives of youngsters due to the fact that most of my friends practiced a mountain sport or just love to move and stay in shape. I myself started hiking from a young age and discovered the breathtaking landscapes and the feeling you have when you see the whole world like little points. For this I have to thank my family that they took me with them every weekend to explore new paths on the mountain. And to assure you, we had and still have a ton of places that expect us to discover them.

One day I was having a discussion with one of my good friends, Andrei Lihaciu. He is truly dedicated to doing sport and having a healthy life and he is only 19, an age that you expect to be all about superficial things, but no, he surely isn’t like that. We talked about the advantages we have here and how he came to have such a balanced life. I was curious what made him start this new life and he told me that maybe family or friends, or just the simple fact that we live here and that “once you start, is like a drug, you can never go back”. He knew how to manage his time, to give “the same importance to school, social life and also sport” and that’s how he now has a lot of friends who are athletes which are recognized at a very high level. He loves the most mountain running and skiing, depending on the season we are in. I was proud to go with him at one of the most dear races to him in Moeciu de Sus, EcoMarathon-43 km , and I felt the joy and happiness among the runners that gave me goose bumps.

“Unfortunately many teens nowadays don’t do sport and they don’t feel the joy and freedom you have when you feel your body and mind healthy”, he told me. I  totally agree with him, I see all around me many teens that don’t know how a chamois looks like or how you feel after arriving at the top of the mountain and just inhale the fresh air.

Most of my friends and I are happy to live in such a beautiful city and have the opportunities which the mountain presents us with, and still keep a social life but a life that is healthy and peaceful. 

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