During the last weeks I was privileged to witness THE local annual event: the Oktoberfest.
Uh sorry, Oktoberfest is only said by those who don’t know their way around – of course I mean the Wiesn (and hopefully I wrote it right).
Two weeks, thousands of people, streams of beer… So this is the picture that others have of Germany and the Germans. Really a pity, after all we have so much more to offer than “Lederhosen” (Bavarian leather trousers) and beer.
Anyway, this year I came to enjoy this spectacle twice in the context of employee events – once of my main employer and then of the studio. And it struck me that this cliché of getting drunk in lederhosen is actually unfair. Or rather, very incomplete. Yes, that’s the way it goes in the beer tents – by the way, the majority of the people affected are visitors from all over the world – but the truth is: There’s a lot more at stake here.
Let’s call it a local autumn pentathlon.
The modern Olympic pentathlon includes swimming (cross-country skiing in winter), épée fencing, show riding (or cross-country riding in the snow), running (or alpin skiing) and pistol shooting.
At the Oktoberfest – arghh, I mean the Wiesn! – everything revolves around the following five disciplines:
The athletes fight for every centimetre of space in overcrowded trams and trains or to conquer a seat in the beer tent on Saturday evening. Sometimes, in defending the latter, wrestling becomes a boxing fight, depending on how ambitious the athletes strive to win. This sport is also often used when going to the toilets.
- Strength test for neck and jaw muscles
The fight against the reappearance of the stomach contents during or after rapid roller coaster rides or after an excessive beer consumption or, in the second step, the creation of an insurmountable barrier for the stomach contents by firmly clenching the teeth demands not only physical but also mental strength. Many athletes fail in this discipline.
- Strength test for shoulders and arms
Small, fresh drinks are not available on the Wiesn. No, here they love it big, bigger, biggest! A full measure of beer weighs about 2.3 kg. And many of these are usually lifted. In addition, the athletes in this round perform various rides with the most frightening and dangerous roller coasters possible, during which one in fear of death clings to seats, chains or other types of securing (and at the same time can practice in discipline No. 2).
- Pelvic floor training
Definitely not to be underestimated: Depending on how experienced the athletes are in the discipline of wrestling (or boxing), the strength of their pelvic floor can be put to a hard test.
- Moving (often on hands and feet) with focus on stability and balance
It seems banal and easy to master at first glance, but always takes place at the very end, AFTER visiting the beer tent or taking a ride on a roller coaster – where everything turns as fast as possible, preferably overhead.
Picture and further information about the event: www.muenchen.de/veranstaltungen/oktoberfest
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