Living the dream in Spain

We are now far enough through the month of January to have gotten over the excesses of Christmas, allowing us to start on the plans that can turn our hopes and dreams into reality.

Montgó Arenal Jávea
A view of Montgo across Arenal beach, Javea. Will be seeing this everyday for the next 6 months

One of my favourite quotes is “in a year from now you’ll wish you started today”, it’s so bloody simple but so bloody true! I also coined the phrase ” get the run done” for my previous blog to remind myself the importance of stopping the excuses and prevarication, instead just get out on and do whatever you planned to do, because you ALWAYS feel better once you do.

And in the spirit of this, and as mentioned on earlier posts I am making some immediate changes to my personal circumstances to see what happens when I have no more excuses for failure! Yep, I have moved away from the negatives of big city life, by relocating for 6 months to the warmth and relaxation of Javea, a delightful small and quiet town(village?) sat equidistant between Valencia and Alicante in Spain. No more will I have the excuses of bad weather or dangerous roads, no more finding reasons for underachieving through lack of time or crowded facilities, I am going to be residing in the mecca of triathlon training and I will have every opportunity to really discover what my body and mind can do.

Lets take a quick peek at the main advantages that this part of the Costa Blanca can bring to the classic MAMiL that I am (MAMiL, in case you don’t know, is an acronym for Middle Aged Man in Spandex!)

Weather. The weather will be perfect, so I have no excuse not to spend time training outside every day. In actual fact it will be a pleasure, with winter temperatures starting above 10 degrees and many sunny days allowing for unlimited running, riding and even swimming outdoors.

Terrain The Costa Blanca is a tourist magnet in summer, although outside of Benidorm, never sees the crowds that Costa del Sol has. However in winter, it is only the people who have made their home there that remain, so the streets of the towns are quiet and the roads into the countryside should be almost deserted. The coast line offers mostly flat roads skirting the sea with the beautiful blue water and sandy beaches of the Mediterranean offering swimming all year round. Away from the coast you head into scenic mountains and valleys through tiny villages and quaint little towns. Surprisingly due to the majority of the infrastructure having been massively supported by grants from the EU, there have been huge improvements in both the quality and the sheer number of roads, so a genuine pleasure to ride on them.

Food. The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world, and while they too have their fair share of processed and fast foods, the underlying diet is still one of seafood, fruit and vegetables. What could be better for an athlete in training!

Living The pace of life is much slower, so much so that many of the “live in Spain guides” warn of the frustration suffered by the average Brit, who having been brought up to want everything done yesterday, with appointments kept and queuing etiquette observed, go crazy with the relaxed and laizzefaire approach of southern Spain. I am the worst of these punctuality obsessed stressed out grumpy old men, and I very much hope a little of the “grasshopper manana” attitude will rub off on my worker ant personality

Time I am determined to keep myself in one place with as little travel as possible. I will be going back to Japan and UK as and when necessary, but intend to be more planned about it. Work wise I will continue working from ”home” communicating via the phone and internet with my company, but will structure my work around my training. Training will be fixed hours, I expect some early morning and late afternoon.

But to make it work, for me to really get the full effect of being in such a perfect place, I need to make this my adventure, to live it fully, immerse myself in the way of life and give myself up to whatever comes along. So no more Richard the stressed busy bee constantly buzzing from here to there, worrying about money and the future, never in one place long enough to get a proper sleep pattern. Instead say hello to Richard the laid back, but focused athlete, who eats fresh fish and salads, while putting in hard sessions of training, long siestas and never worries about anything more than whether to swim in the sea, bike in the mountains or run on the seafront.

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