Climbing the steep rocky switchbacks, I stall in my tracks without noticing, dreaming of faraway alternatives — long-ago strolls on flat beaches, delicious beer of the future. The trail, lined with both tropical trees and evergreens, passes hillside farmsteads and sparkling streams, while green cotorra parrots wing overhead — lovely. But my knees ache, my hamstrings are cramping and my bronchioles sting with each breath. “La proxima parte se llama Arrepentimiento,” guide Joel says, casually backtracking downhill to join me, “difícil.” Translation: The next part, nicknamed “Repentance,” will be difficult. My chest heaves, lungs flapping after what turns out to be the easy part. Joel, breathing easily, inclines his hand to show the upcoming 19 percent grade. The tiered trail ahead looks like a rock wall. Perfect. I repent my desk job, the zero-percent grade between my chair and the snack machine.