Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A new year - 'Hola amigos' - Adventure Dream

It's another year.

In years gone by I'd get all excited about New Year. It's a time to put the trials of the previous year behind us and to feel excited and energised for all that awaits.

Both last year and this I feel like an exhausted runner standing at the starting line of a race that I don't want to run and having to take numerous deep breaths to psych myself into putting on foot in front of the other.

On the other hand, there are so many things just in the first six months of this new year that I am totally excited about.

I'm back to circus school from Monday - hip-hip-hooray!

Then, late-January kicks off with the Orienteering Schools League. I've got a ton of stuff to write and prep between now and then but I'm looking forward to the League (and the camp that follows at the beginning of March) and hope to see the sparkle in the eyes of many children as they realise that they can find their way from A to B.

In the last few months of 2012 I finished writing the second level of school activities and games so I'll have many school visits to do. I really enjoy interacting with the teachers - teaching them how to teach orienteering skills - and also with the children when opportunity presents.

I've got a nice project to start working on now for Cape Union Mart, one of my clients. They have an expo thing at the end of February.

And, of course, there's my fabulous Forest Run on Saturday, 9 March. I've got a super volunteer team assembled and a ton of organising and logistics to put in place. My list of things to do for this event is a long one. But, it is going to be super fabulously amazing!

In late March I get the chance to run. It's the five-day Namib Desert Challenge. I'm really looking forward to this. I'm running well, feeling good and looking forward to the race.

April is comparatively 'quiet' with no major events. It's's 12th birthday so I'll have a Metrogaine Joburg event on - a week night.

May... Expedition Africa time. This is a 500km adventure race organised by Heidi and Stephan. I had been planning on racing... I mean, it's the Drakensberg! But, because of my June-July plans (I'll get to this in a mo) I may have to can this idea and instead volunteer.

This year my 37th birthday looms. Continuing in the tradition of last year and the year before, I've got '37 Days of Running' starting on 13 May. This is 37 continuous days of running - leading up to my birthday - for the age that I'm turning.

Here's the [even more] exciting part...

I've been to South America a few times. In 2003 I went across to run in the inaugural seven-day Jungle Marathon in Brazil. I spent a week in Buenos Aires on one of those great packages where you get flights, seven nights accommodation, city tour, tango evening and such for next to nothing. I went on from BA to Manaus, in Brazil and absolutely loved the race (won ladies and was 10th overall) and the jungle.

In early 2005 I ran the inaugural five-day Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica. A super fabulous event. Straight after this I headed to the tip of the South American continent to write for the Patagonia Expedition Race. That was three weeks in Chilean Patagonia and I fell in love with the place. I was back there in early 2006 and decided then that I really, really wanted to learn Spanish.

I signed up for a course here with Slade and the Spanish Academy. Slade is a superb language teacher and I learned more in one lesson with him than in three months of French at Alliance Francaise. It was here that I had the idea of heading to Argentina to do intensive Spanish lessons for four weeks. While I have a basic understanding of the language, I'm not conversant and especially now when almost seven years have passed.

Last year at FEAT I did a new thing - Adventure Dream postcards. The audience was asked to write down their Adventure Dream - something that they really want to do. Anything counts. I realised that learning Spanish was top of my list - still.

About a month ago I was chatting to Marianne Schwankhart (climber/adventurer; we met through FEAT 2010). She has recently done a course with Slade and she has spent quite a bit of time travelling in South America to climb. When I told her of my plan to go to Buenos Aires she suggested Bariloche instead. Great suggestion as it is an outdoorsy destination rather than a city, which suits me better. It's on the Argentina-Chile border - right up against the Andes mountains. At the 2005 Patagonia Expedition Race there was a cameraman (also an adventure racer) who came from Bariloche and I remember him speaking highly of the place - beautiful, town on a lake, mountains surrounding it, snow...

So, I looked into it...

And last week I booked my flight, accommodation and the Spanish course. Yes, four weeks away to learn Spanish! My adventure dream. I've been working through these awesome Spanish lesson podcasts to revise and to build a bit of a vocabulary again. I should be through all 80 of them by June. You're placed in lessons according to what you know... I really don't want to go all that way to go through 'Hola' and 'Como estas?' again.

I chose to go over this winter period as our schools are on holiday so I won't miss out on stuff for my orienteering project. I can handle odds and ends for clients online. And the double bonus is that Bariloche is a mega snow ski destination (from July) and I've never skiied. I'll definitely sign up for some lessons.

So, that's the first 6.5 months of 2013 for me! And, of course, in between all of this is writing, media releases for clients, various projects, website admin, smaller event participation... BOOM! Time to jump in.

Warm wishes to you too for a full, rewarding and adventurous year ahead.


Michelle said...

Wow Lisa, that sounds amazing! Enjoy every minute!

I'm also excited for this year, so many new adventures and new beginnings!!

Lobby said...

Great year planned L, the Spanish learning is on my list too- I love the language :)- best way to learn being totally immersed in the Spanish way of life!