...than returning home from a segway adventure in Malaga with my brother, tired, achey and satisfied from a super-active day out.
We started with a train journey into Malaga - sitting with my forehead pressed against the glass and the sun shining directly onto my face, revelling in the warmth and lazily appreciating the casitas, pools, orange groves and decaying white buildings sliding by.
The first challenge when we got off the train was to navigate our way through the cacophony of Spanish chatter, movement, traffic and the unfamiliar city streets to get to a meeting point where we joined a small group of excited tourists and went through an incredibly speedy introduction to the art of segway.
Health and safety is a far less important thing in Spain than it is in the UK - yey! I love the freedom this brings.
But, it was quite scary. Having not had time to properly learn how to use the segway, and feeling very uncertain and insecure, we set off in the midst of busy central Malaga, desperately trying to keep up with the group leader while weaving a safe way through the wall-to-wall crowds and learning to master the braking and steering at the same time.
It took a lot of energy and concentration for me to work through the initial panic and fear - to use breathing techniques to help me relax and start to enjoy the sensation and the speed - just to learn how to balance and not fall off basically!
In the past, I would have relied on the thought of a drink afterwards to calm my nerves and help me to gain a bit of bravado but I didn't have that as an option and had to ride through the fear feelings. The great thing was that I came out the other side feeling exhilarated. Halfway through the ride, I decided I wasn't going to die and I started to really enjoy it. The anxiety dropped away and I had become confident enough on the segway to pay more attention to our surroundings and the views.
After we'd handed the segways back, we spent some time wandering around trying to find the best place to have lunch. This is impossible in a city like Malaga when you don't know your way around. Every place you come across seems like the best place to eat so we did a fair bit of circling around before we plumped on a beachside restaurant near the marina.
A couple of years ago, it would have been hard work for me to have ordered my non-alcohol lager alongside my brother’s normal one over lunch. It would have taken concentration, rehearsal and effort. Now, it requires no thought or energy at all. To drink or not to drink is not a consideration – not drinking is easy when you know that alcohol is not on the menu for you. As it was, it was so good to sit in the sun, tired and hungry, happily chatting about the segway adventure and taking in our surroundings.
How lovely to be enjoying the experience and the moment instead of thinking about drinking. How lovely for lunch and conversation to be the main event instead of alcohol taking over the experience!
An afternoon of shopping and another train journey home later and I'm returned home with that worn-out feeling that makes you want to eat comfort food, watch some crappy tv and fall into bed with a book.
There’s nothing better than feeling all of this in your body and mind. Right now, I’m shattered and my legs are aching, I feel slightly hot and very slightly flu-ey and (this might sound perverse) but it feels so good! Sort of like I’m totally in touch with my body and have a reason to indulge myself with some nurturing and relaxation. I love this feeling of having earnt some chill time and indulgence after a jam-packed day. And, I love this feeling of having a clear head and knowing that I'm going to wake up tomorrow raring to go again.
To have had such a good day and to feel all the comfort of coming home and enjoying a bit of a foody feast all completely clear-headed and sober is amazing.
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