While the rest of the world is still fast asleep, Gerald Demolsky has been up for hours. Under a starry winter sky, he straps on his touring skis at 5 a.m. and in the dim beam of his headlamp sets off for his personal spiritual site, Mount Ötscher. Having arrived at the summit, Gerald takes a deep breath in the glow of the first rays of dawn and soaks in the pure energy up here: "These moments are glimpses of eternity, and if you haven't lived through them, you haven't lived at all." As a child, he tended to be somewhat lukewarm about his father's enthusiasm for exploring every mountain bike in the whole region. But as is so often in life, it's only in retrospect that you come to understand the deeper significance that some experiences may have had for you personally. "Today I’m following in his footsteps, dragging my three children to the places where I used to spend time with my own dad."
“We Austrians are rather quick to moan about things, but the fact is we’ve got a literal paradise right outside our front door. Lower Austria’s really got it all.“
“Sitting is the new smoking. We constantly sit, whether it’s at work, in the car, in front of the computer, or staring at the telly. It’s absolutely toxic for our bodies.”
The many facets of Lower Austria
Gerald is hooked into his local area and knows how to take full advantage of every nook and cranny of the region in terms of sports activities. Whether touring, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, trail running, swimming or weight training, he simply can't do without sports. In fact, he's never been able to. When he was still a student at the local sports-centred high school, he had the opportunity to try out a wide variety of sports activities and later graduated from the Sports Academy in Vienna. At the Olympic Training Centre in Obertauern he then learned a great deal about competitive sports. An exhilarating time, as he says, but ultimately the call of his hometown was stronger. Because of its positive social environment and the fact that he had always wanted to settle down there. “We Austrians are rather quick to moan about things, but the fact is we’ve got a literal paradise right outside our front door. Lower Austria’s really got it all: a temperate climate and a beautiful natural landscape right on our doorstep, with meadows and forests for hiking and trail running, and our amazingly beautiful mountains, it's simply unique. Why travel 2,000 kilometres away when we have everything we need right here?"
Exercise is medicine sans side effects
Gerald's venture into entrepreneurship followed 13 years ago when he founded demolsky sportservice. "We offer a range of health and fitness programmes as well as performance diagnostics for companies as well as private individuals and athletes. But I also have a lot of fun running the Amstetten ‘City Attack’ dirt run, the 'Ötscher Attack' ski touring race, and overseeing a number of sports camps." And for the past two years, he and his wife have been renting out holiday flats at Ferienhaus Weitental holiday accommodation in Lackenhof at the foot of Mt. Ötscher. "I'm not going to get bored anytime soon," smiles the fitness freak, for whom sport is more important than ever in today's society. "There's a saying: sitting is the new smoking. We constantly sit, whether it’s at work, in the car, in front of the computer, or staring at the telly. It’s absolutely toxic for our bodies, as cardiovascular diseases are still the most common cause of death. But this can be prevented with sufficient exercise. And exercise is the only medicine without side effects." Plus, this ‘self-medication’ is available for free every day just by exercising out here in nature and adjusting the dose as you like.
A fridge full of organics
Gerald's healthy lifestyle extends to all aspects of his life. His fridge is stocked with regional organic products. Because sustainability is also important and your body performs best when you eat a wholefood diet. He and his wife try to be role models for their three children and pass these views on. Even on holiday he makes time for sport by exploring his surroundings: "It gives me a whole new perspective and allows me to experience new, unfamiliar places in a completely different way. It's not about running up 1,000 meters of elevation somewhere straight away, but more about slowing down. Doing something for my body, my mind, and my health." If you ask Gerald about his training goal, it quickly becomes clear that "I want to still be active when I retire, with as few aches and pains as possible. Growing old while staying fit is definitely my goal." For even more amazing mountain sunrises. "Because these are the moments when I can still be as happy as a little boy."