Traveling by car is one of the most enjoyable parts of our travel, and personally, I feel very relaxed when driving a hired car in most places around the world. I have driven in both North America and Europe (as well as motorbikes in Asia) and it’s been an awesome experience every single time.
If you live in Barcelona and the surrounding areas, you’re quite lucky when it comes to internet connections. Fiber optic is available almost everywhere with speeds up to 1000Gbps.
Most companies also offer packages that include a mobile phone sim card and contract on a monthly basis. We’re also seeing many of these companies offering contracts that allow you to change providers at any point in time.
Before, it used to be customary for a company to entice you with a good offer and tie you down for a minimum of 6 months or a year. Invariably the price would then go up so you had to make sure to set reminders to change the company once the initial discounted period is up.
Nowadays things are simpler. I would recommend two companies above all:
Both companies are owned by Movistar, which has the best 4g and fiber optic network in Spain. Tuenti offers a 50Gbps symmetric fiber optic connection + 4GB data on your phone for €40, while O2 offers 300GBps + 20GB data for €50.
Tuenti’s offer is enough for most people’s needs, but if you absolutely need 300Gbps and lots of data for your smartphone, go with O2 for an extra €10 per month.
Here’s a very interesting thread from the Twitter account @Kpaxs. It really makes you think about how we spend our time here on earth.
- You sleep for thirty years without opening your eyes.
- You spend seven months having sex.
- For five months straight you flip through magazines while sitting on a toilet.
- You take all your pain at once, all twenty-seven intense hours of it. Bones break, cars crash, skin is cut, babies are born. Once you make it through, it’s agony-free for the rest of your afterlife. But that doesn’t mean it’s always pleasant.
- You spend six days clipping your nails.
- Fifteen months looking for lost items.
- Eighteen months waiting in line.
- Two years of boredom: staring out a bus window, sitting in an airport terminal.
- One year reading books.
- Two weeks wondering what happens when you die.
- One minute realizing your body is falling.
- Seventy-seven hours of confusion.
- One hour realizing you’ve forgotten someone’s name.
- Three weeks realizing you are wrong.
- Two days lying.
- Six weeks waiting for a green light.
- Seven hours vomiting.
- Fourteen minutes experiencing pure joy.
- Three months doing laundry.
- Fifteen hours writing your signature.
- Two days tying shoelaces.
- Sixty-seven days of heartbreak.
- Five weeks driving lost.
- Three days calculating restaurant tips.
- Fifty-one days deciding what to wear.
- Nine days pretending you know what is being talked about.
- Two weeks counting money.
- Eighteen days staring into the refrigerator.
- Six months watching commercials.
- Four weeks sitting in thought, wondering if there is something better you could be doing with your time.
- Three years swallowing food.
- Five days working button.
Our life is split into tiny swallowable pieces, where moments do not endure, where one experiences the joy of jumping from one event to the next like a child hopping from spot to spot on the burning sand.
Here are some other posts that help put a perspective on the time we have here on earth:
So how do we win at padel? It’s the million dollar question, and perhaps one that tennis players especially ask when making the switch to this sport.
At first, for ex-tennis players, padel might seem like an easy sport since you get the impression that you don’t have to run a lot or hit powerful shots as you do in tennis. However, the fact that the ball remains in play much easier due to the walls can play havoc with newcomers to the sport. The natural instinct of most new players is to hit the ball hard to finish the point, however this is one of the worst ideas in padel.
The most important factor in playing padel is keeping the ball low.
It’s a sport that is decided by the number of mistakes one does more than the number of winners achieved. Thus, by keeping the ball low, we would be forcing our opponent into an uncomfortable return, increasing the chances that he will make a mistake or hit a high ball that would be easy for us to put away.
The video of the practice match below is shot at a very good angle that allows us to see how low the ball actually travels when the pros are playing. Although they make it look easy, return balls that are that low, at that speed and with that degree of underspin is extremely hard, unless of course you’re a pro player like them.
So there you have it, the most important factor in winning at padel is to keep the ball low and of course try to make as little mistakes as possible. In other words, try to use your head more than your physique, and the results will follow.
It’s time to take a reflective view of my second year as an amateur padel player. As I’ve mentioned in other posts on my blog, I am taking this journey very seriously and dedicating a lot of time and effort into becoming the best player possible. You can read the summary of my first year in padel here.
My second year of playing padel was quite intense and I feel like I’ve tried many things. I’ll start off by saying that I didn’t improve as much as I wanted to this year, so that’s a negative point. As for the rest, there was plenty to be happy about, and most of it will probably serve as a building block to my next big jump in my padel level that hopefully will happen in 2019.
I bought a car towards the end of the year and that gave me a lot more flexibility and allowed me to play at clubs that are further away from the city center. In Barcelona, the best clubs are not so centrally located, so having a car is a must really. I was deluding myself for some time thinking I could do without it, but now that I have it I’m very glad I did buy it.
In September, I underwent surgery (bone marrow biopsy) in order to investigate the sources of my anemia that showed up in the regular bloodwork I do. Thankfully, there were no important issues there, however, the surgery kept me out of action for a few weeks as I had to recover. This disrupted my flow a bit and I struggled to get back on track towards the end of the year. I also got sick with flu-like symptoms and fever on several occasions and that also conditioned me physically.
I ran the padel level test as I did at the end of last year and the results are the ones you see below. Again, I think they are slightly optimistic and I would rate myself as a 4 player not a 4.5 one, and that’s when I’m having a good day. I still need to polish many basic things especially since I haven’t transitioned to padel from another racket sport. My movement is still a bit clumsy too.
This year I really took my fitness to a different level entirely compared to what I had ever done before, and I ended the year in the best shape of my life by far.
I achieved this mostly by working with personal trainers to improve my mobility and shore up weak areas of my body. I also did a lot of work on agility, coordination and reaction time, working with tools such as agility ladders, skipping ropes, and ball grab and toss exercises.
I had always trained on my own in gyms, but training with a personal trainer was a huge difference. It made it much easier to train consistently 3-4 times a week. My personal training takes around 30 minutes, and I spend anywhere between 20-60 minutes after my session training on my own.