I miss you already! I miss the sun on the Med. I miss the 3€ wine. I miss the flowers in the campo; the cork oaks, the olive trees. I miss the pigs on the hill, the owl in the cork tree and Fluff the dog downstairs. I miss the drive down the hill, the “Curvas Peligrosas” (which arent) the cars parked in the middle of roundabouts and the beat up Renault vans. I miss tapas and 1€ ham. I miss the lucky-lucky man from Senegal, Niki at Plaza Bistro, everyone at Cross fit Elviria, the lady who begs outside the supermarket, all the old Spanish guys with hats and walking sticks and I even miss grumpy Lorena the checkout chick at SuperSol. So maybe it’s not Adios at all. Just a luego Andalucia…
Today I hurt. My back hurts, my chest hurts my shoulders hurt; quite likely a few other body parts will let me know they are unhappy with me in the next hour or two also. I’ve come home from a crossfit style high intensity workout.
Part of the reason for coming to Spain was for my partner in life to get well. The past five years have presented many health challenges for him culminating in a major knee operation in June last year and a DVT on our last trip (see here). His deteriorating mobility due to knee pain resulted in major weight gain, with accompanying heart issues. Not good for someone who likes to get into the outdoors, walk, hike and generally be active.
On this trip we’ve been seriously working on improving our health and fitness and reducing our weight. With the guidance of Karl Wall and Janina Hudson at Crossfit Elviria Marbella we’ve shed those kilos and gained heaps of fitness. I can now say I haven’t been this fit since my kids were young. Its a functional kind of fitness – I can move faster, lift heavier weights and recover from exertion quicker. As well as weigh less (did I mention that??)
What I’ve discovered in the process is that for me to feel strong, powerful confident and healthy in my mind, my body needs to be that way FIRST. Well duh I hear some of you say….. Realization comes slowly to some of us. Every time I lift a heavy weight successfully I feel that power grow. I see the muscles flex and know that I am stronger, more confident and healthier with each rep. This is incredibly empowering. In the past I’ve been consistently inconsistent with my exercise program. Despite this I’ve managed to maintain a reasonable level of fitness by running, walking and generally being active and up for any type of outdoor activity. (Well, except for bowls and golf). Until now I’d never made that mind/body connection which, I suspect, is the reason for the inconsistency.
What I’ve learned is to let go of my fears – the fear of being out of breath, the fear of not being able to finish a set of reps, the fear of the pain. I’ve learned to focus on finishing this one tiny little piece of a workout and not worry about the rest. I’ve learned to pick a pace that will take me through to the end and not worry about how fast or slow other people are going. I’ve learned that it is my choice to be here and I REFUSE TO COMPLAIN. No bitching, no whining. Just do it.
I’ve also discovered that I have an inner athlete. And that it’s a bit of a beast! There’s a warrior inside of me. I’d always thought I was rotten at sports – I hated teams sports at school with a passion, I was always slow at running, especially in the cold. Physical education was never my favourite subject for sure. I’ve just discovered, to quote Stephen Covey that “my ladder was up against the wrong wall”. Thanks NZ education system – in the 1960s and 70s it wasn’t cool for girls to lift weights. I’ve discovered that I’m built for strength not speed. And I LOVE it. And I’m waaaay more competitive than I’d ever realised. And best of all I CAN DO THIS!
This is beginning to translate to other areas of my life, I realise that Adventures before Dementia is not just about travel, it’s about living the life of your dreams. It’s about picking up every chance that life puts down in your path – appreciating it, growing it and creating an alchemy that is transformational. It’s about not throwing in the towel when life gives you a few knocks. Redundancy?? Sickness?? Tricky kids??? It’s about keeping going and not giving in to those problems and fears and not settling for mediocrity. What I know is that I was put here to be the best possible version of myself that I can be and from now on that is what I intend to do with my life. So from now on its #missiongreatness. Watch this space…