Sand and Snow

Friday afternoon we had an all-hands meeting at the Poken offices. Stephane regaled us with his vision for the future of the company and the product; I followed up with new initiaves we will be taking to ensure realization of that vision. We then partook in Romanian wine and chocolate courtesy of one of our software engineers, who is from Romania.

As we wound down the day, the sun shone ever more brightly and it warmed up into the 60s. That meant only one thing–the official start of Lausanne’s beach volleyball season! After work I changed into board shorts, hopped a bus down to Vidy, and–sure enough–there were people playing. I only squeezed in a couple of games before it was time to head to dinner, but it felt great. My hitting timing was way off but my hand sets were surprisingly on. After the games I took a dip in the freeeeeeeeeezing lake to rinse off the sand then returned back up the mountain. There I was treated to make-your-own pizza courtesy of one of my coworkers and her flatmates. Thanks, Asena!
Saturday was another story altogether. The entire company traveled to Crans-Montana for the last weekend of the ski season. There was a survival of the fittest competition going on and the athletes were using pokens so we had to be there. Some of us chose skis, some snowboards, and some–especially those with small children–just hiking boots. For a whole day we forgot about the mountains of work piling up and focused instead on a very different kind of mountain!
In that I haven’t skied since high school, I figured that I would probably have to re-learn from scratch. And if I was going to have to re-learn from scratch, I figured I might as well try something different–so I rented a snowboard instead of skis.
The Swiss version of a bunny slope is much, much steeper than what you would find on the east coast of the US (or maybe they just don’t even have bunny slopes?) so my first trip down featured many, many falls. Fortunately, Guillaume, one of our investors and a certified snowboard instructor, swooped in to teach me the basics. After a few more runs I was making it down decently–if not quickly–and steering intentionally.
I must have become giddy in my excitement about not falling, though, because somehow I lost my phone on the slopes. I retraced my path a couple of times but was unsurprisingly unable to relocate it. Oh well, it usually takes me forever and a day to respond to voicemails–now at least I have an excuse!
Saturday night we were treated to real Swiss fondue and raclette courtesy of Le Chalet. After a day in the sun practicing a new sport and an evening of heavy cheese and wine, I was wiped. Most of the company went out to an afterparty, but I called it a night–I really AM old now!
What a great weekend, though. My traps are sore from volleyball, every other muscle is sore from stabilizing on the snowboard (Real snowboarders probably don’t contract every muscle in their bodies simultaneously but I never claimed to be a real snowboarder!), my butt is sore from lots of falling down, and my skin is sore from sunburn. I wouldn’t have it any other way! 🙂
The juxtaposition of sun, sand, and snow this weekend was cool, but I’m honestly most excited about the increasing availability of sun and sand!

Published by Bryan Guido Hassin

These are the musings of a global cleantech entrepreneur. This blog began as a way to document my experience during the IMD MBA in Switzerland and now is the place where I publish eclectic thoughts on business, politics, fitness, entertainment, travel, wine, sports, and . . . whatever else is top of mind.

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