Tag Archives: ursula k. leguin

The Physical And Mental Aspects Of The Camino

camino
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end”
-Ursula K. Leguin
People walk the Camino for many reasons. Some choose to do it just for the challenge of walking 500 miles in the course of 30-35 days. Others make the journey for more spiritual or personal reasons. The death of a loved one, defeating a deadly disease or hoping that one in remission doesn’t return.
Others, however, are searching for something. It can be a turning point in their lives. A change in jobs or careers. Or as it will be in my case, retirement. What am I going to do when I retire? I’ll only be 55 so the prospect of doing nothing doesn’t seem that appealing.
So why am I writing this? Most of the videos I have seen and books I have read claim that walking the Camino itself is the spiritual journey. I am looking at this from a slightly different point of view.
I hold a strong belief that the mental and physical preparation prior to the actual walk is what will maximize the overall spiritual nature of the walk itself. Stories I have read describe people who just make the decision to walk the Camino with no physical preparation. They describe the agonizing first miles that are filled with blisters, pulled muscles and pain.
In some cases, this may indeed enhance the quality of their walk. They may see this suffering as part of their journey. The hope that I have is that by being physically fit at the start of my journey, it will then keep the mental lows to a minimum. One of the things that I have found throughout my life is that it usually isn’t the body that fails us first, it’s our lack of mental preparedness.  But, as they say on the AT, “Hike your own hike.” I would think that the same applies here.
Anyone have any thoughts?
Happy Hiking!!!