Being a writer is all about finding ways to avoid writing.
To that end, about a week before I flew out, I decided to sign up for the Cursa de la Mercè—a 10k run that forms part of the annual festival held here in honour of the Patron Saint of Barcelona. (More on this later in the month.)
I got back into running about a month ago after a long break, and though I generally hate it, I actually thought it would help with the writing—hey, if it worked for Murakami—as well as keeping the ol’ midsection from expanding too much after all the tapas and cerveza I’ll be consuming.
Anyway, I decided to resume my training as soon as I arrived. There’s a stretch along the beach of about three miles, down from Poblenou, where I live, to the café in Pl. del Mar in Barceloneta where I like to go for breakfast, and it’s just one of those routes where you feel that if you’re not running, you really should be. Because everyone else is—or they’re at least jogging, or cycling, or moving faster than you ‘cuz they’re on one of those motorized scooters. And if they’re not doing any of those things, they’re definitely taking pictures. Either way, it’s good motivation… and the views aren’t too shabby either.
One thing I didn’t consider, however, was the humidity. It’s actually not all that hot—relatively speaking—but I’d forgotten just how “close” it gets, and also how long it takes to acclimatise in general. The first couple of days here always slays me, as my body takes a while to adapt to the change in temperature and other atmospheric shenanigans. Accordingly, I’ve been sweating. A lot. As you can imagine, it’s extremely becoming—especially when you walk into a shop or a restaurant and have to address another human being, who stares at you with a mixture of disgust and confusion, a look in their eyes that betrays their desperation to ask one question: “Sir, how is it possible that you are sweating so much?” It doesn’t help, either, that my room is on the top floor of the apartment block and there’s no elevator. Every time I climb those steps, I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack, and by the time I’ve opened the door I’m drenched once more.
Still, as my old mate Sam likes to say: “It’s all fitness.” Besides, I’m sure all this excessive sweating will soon stop, and that I’ll settle into a rhythm. The festival I mentioned at the beginning is said to mark the end of the summer, welcoming in the cooler months of autumn, for which – to be honest – I’ll be grateful, as I’ve not been sleeping too well since arriving. Then again, that might just be my brain’s way of telling me I’m not writing enough…
Words written since arriving: 1052