I’ve been working out at the gym for months, with Madrid as my motivation. I need all the strength and stamina I can muster. I go four days a week, one of them with a great trainer, Jessica Bowman. She’s got me running stairs, which is brilliant. It makes total sense if you know how much time I spend climbing and descending stairs in museum. I do upper body weights with the goal of being able to heave my carry-on luggage into the overhead bin on the airplanes. True confession: I also play the old lady card. Hey, gray hair and seniority is good for something. Usually someone offers to give me a hand.
Today was typical – I pedaled for 50 minutes on a recumbent bike, stretched, then did a back/ ab machine for another ten minutes.
I am not kidding myself that this in any way equals what the upcoming Madrid/ Lisbon trip will require of me, but it does keep me limber. I shift into a another gear on the road. The adrenalin and endorphins released when I’m standing in front of great art, the mental agility required to navigate each day in a strange land, plus the complete lack of routine seems to tap into resources I can’t usually access.