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I’m learning a lot at Club La Santa

Written by Fiona February 28 2011

I love Club La Santa, even if it does make me feel unfit and a tad out of shape. At this sports heaven on the island of Lanzarote, it is absolutely normal to take part in three, four or five different sports a day. And, abnormally for a holiday resort, the majority of people are slim, fit and good-looking.

So even though I am slim and fairly fit in my normal life, and even when I swim, cycle and do a yoga practice every day of this week-long Glasgow Triathlon Club trip, I still don’t feel as fit and sporty as many of the people here.

But I do absolutely love this elite and focused sports complex. I love that I have days and days of sunshine in which to choose to do whatever sports I fancy – or not. I love the smooth roads for cycling (hardly a pot hole in sight for hundreds of miles!) and the fabulous descents from amazing mountain climbs. I love the huge salads, the gorgeous ice creams and the ice-cold colas after a long climb to a summit café.

I have also learned a few things this week:

1) A new bike makes you go so much faster, especially if it’s made of carbon fibre and comes with top-notch components. I had not cycled my shiny, handsome new Giant racer bike until I arrived on Lanzarote and I can confirm that it is every bit as awesome as I’d hoped for. If anyone ever tells you that it’s not the bike but the legs that make you a faster cyclist tell them that’s not true. My new bike is so much easier to cycle and handle. It’s responsive and sleek. Yes, stronger muscles will make you go faster, too, but stronger muscles on a lightweight and responsive bike are even better.

2) Swimming every morning at 7am is not that bad. I’d been dreading the early rises and the freezing cold water in the 50m pool but after the initial shock of plunging into a pool when you’re half asleep the subsequent swim session is actually quite pleasant.

3) Taking your lap top with you on holiday doesn’t mean you’ll do any work. There are so many distractions, including great chat from my tri club friends, the sports, the eating and drinking, more chat and the relaxing that it’s very hard to pull yourself away to a spot in the complex where you can pay (yes, pay!) to sign up to the internet. And when you do sign up, the internet is so slow that you can imagine a man in a back room manually winding up the Wi-Fi charger (or whatever it’s called!). So, I am sorry if I’ve a) Not updated this blog too often. B) Neglected my Twitter and Facebook pals c) Been a bit quiet on the work front (I’ll make up for it big time on my return later this week).

d) Having time out from Little Miss, the G-Force, Wispa the Wonder Whippet and normal life is really rather lovely. Although I feel guilty at heading overseas mid-term and leaving Little Miss with her dad, and although I do miss them all terribly, I am realising that there are huge mental benefits to having some time out just to please myself and enjoy the hobbies I most like with friends I really enjoy the company of.

e) Laughing is a great thing. I have laughed a lot this week and it’s been a fantastic therapy.

f) Open water swimming is every bit as yuk as I remembered… but after an hour in the lagoon today in my wetsuit I do feel just an intsy whintsy bit less frightened. I even put my head in the water and kept my eyes open. Next time I might manage to swim further than 100 metres without wanting to run out on to the beach, grab my towel and never ever think about doing an Open Water triathlon ever again.

g) I play volleyball like a girlie girl. But my volleyball does amuse spectators.

h) Drafting on this windy isle while cycling is sometimes the only way to get back to base. After three days of fairly strenuous cycling I have Legs Eleven and Hill Billy to thank for so generously shielding me from a strong headwind yesterday. If it wasn’t for them and for the drafting I might still be cycling the final 15 miles of a 50-mile outing to the south of the island.

h) Just because you’re in your early 40s doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with people more than a decade younger. And, apparently despite my age I look better than Marvellous Matt’s mother! Great! Thanks for that Matt!

I) There are some great sights at the top of the mountains! It’s a long story…

I have only two more full days left to enjoy this sports heaven so you’ll forgive me if I am too busy cycling, swimming, running, doing yoga, playing tennis and volleyball and just chatting and sitting around in the sun to update this blog again! As I said, if you’re like me you’ll  love this place called Club La Santa!

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