Being retired and all, I supposedly have a ton of time to prepare for our upcoming trip. And I have been doing a bit, both mentally and physically. I want to know something about our destination and I would like to have a few basic Spanish phrases at the ready. I also need to be fit enough for the hiking part of the holiday -- 12 days and 90+ kilometres in the Picos de Europa. It would be so embarrassing to be carried off the trail on a stretcher.
Reading about must-see Madrid, Bilbao and Granada is easy enough, but language acquisition at my age is a hard slog. When faced with a list of Rick Steeve's essential Spanish phrases, it is all too easy to plead neuron overload. Desperate for a break, I heed the siren call of clean towels heaped on our bed. Fold me, fold me, fold me they plead, and suddenly that seems like an excellent idea.
But hiking -- that is a different sort of training altogether. Hiking is a no-excuses activity.
Ten kilometres into today's walk on the Bruce Trail (the closest thing we have to picos in southern Ontario) we discovered that we had miscalculated the distance. Oops. We still had 5 more kilometres to go, 5 more kilometres of rocky trail, heat and mosquitoes. But stopping was not an option. We could either spend the night under a tree or trudge on. Because the only way to finish a hike is to just finish. It is that simple. Today's hiking-inspired life lesson: if you want to reach your destination, you need to keep going. And that is what we did.
Now if only I could apply that philosophy to every aspect of my training for Spain.....