Adventures in the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees

This blog aims to answer a question any active person who wishes to stay motivated to remain active should know a sincere, thoughtful and immediate answer to: Why run and swim and lift on a regular basis when it would be easier to sleep longer in the morning, head right home for dinner, or spend lunchtime reading or yapping rather than working out?

One day after returning from a two-week vacation that involved backpacking through Spain, France and Germany, I offer the following answers:

So that you can hike through the loveliest mountain valleys and scale the steepest peaks of the Pyrenees—and keep plowing through tough ascents when the guidebook you’ve followed is a bit too optimistic about your route:

So you can make like Janet Evans, Summer Sanders, Anita Nall or another childhood swimming idol from circa 1992 in Barcelona’s Olympic pool, which is now open to the public (that’s me doing just that below):

So you can copy French and Spanish beach-goers and swim lap after lap around the buoys set up along Mediterranean shorelines for just that purpose, scoping out dozens of varieties of fish through the crystal-clear blue water:

And so you see your running buddy’s new hometown on the French Riviera with via a running tour, after which you can rest your legs on the patio of her lovely Toulon chateau:

These adventures in the Pyrenees and Mediterranean came courtesy of long runs in the hot D.C. summer sun, and courtesy of Sunday afternoons spent doing laps in public pools. Stay tuned for in-depth posts (next post on Friday) about how to replicate some of these adventures if you’re lucky enough to find yourself on vacation in or around Spain or France.

If the reasons above aren’t compelling enough motivators to work out, I offer one other reward for running, swimming or lifting on a regular basis: You can order that extra glass of sangria on the beach post-swim without any guilt!

What’s motivating you this week?


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7 responses to “Adventures in the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees

  1. samantha

    Wow, thanks for sharing these **stunning** photos of your trip and insights about the benefits of an active lifestyle. You look so gorgeous and fit (and happy!). The photo from the Pyrenees is my fave 🙂

  2. wow. oh wow. simply amazing shots. looks like you had a fantastic time. welcome back!

    p.s. I love your socks drying on your backpack. 🙂

  3. Liz

    You look so happy in these pics! I love this take on workout motivation. Hope your transition back to the real world hasn’t been too tough.

  4. So, so true. You’ll never be sorry you have the physical strength and stamina to take on any opportunity! Can’t wait to hear more about your fabulous vacation. Tweetup!

  5. your friend is so lucky! gah what a gorgeous place. i am jealous! glad you had a good time 🙂

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