Tag Archives: Walking

Camino Continued…

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In my last post I started to think about how important it is to me to be in decent physical and mental shape when I tackle the Camino next year. I think that part of the excitement, motivation and ensuing spirituality is the time that I will spend preparing to make my final choices in regards to dates, equipment, how long I want to be on the Camino and how far I want to go, each day as well as overall.

To me, the minutiae are what will truly enhance the entire experience. I have read accounts where folks have found this aspect of walking the Camino to be tedious and almost unworthy of consideration. For me, however, I need to do the planning so I can gain and maintain the focus I will need to make this a reality.

Here are some of the issues surrounding equipment: As of right now I am going to go with what I know works for me.

1) Footwear-Boots-Vasque St.EliasGTX/sandals

2) Backpack-Right now-Osprey Kestrel 48

3) Socks-Merino wool/shorts/t-shirts/rain gear

4) First aid supplies???

5) Sleeping Bag orLiner???

Some food for thought:

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

– Confucius

“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.”

– W. Clement Stone

“If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t, you will see obstacles.”

– Wayne Dyer

HAPPY HIKING!!!

The Physical And Mental Aspects Of The Camino

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“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!!!

The First Ride Back

“Your body can stand almost anything. It’s your mind you  have to convince.”

-Anonymous

After 65 days of no form of aerobic exercise, I was finally given permission by my surgeon and physical therapist to start riding the stationary bike again. Up until June 28th I had either hiked or rode my stationary bike no less than 6 days per week for the past three years. Of course I had regularly exercised prior to that, but not at the distances that I had been able to work up to.

When I decided to ride bike today I really didn’t know what to expect. How long should I ride? How much resistance should I put on the bike? And the biggest question, How much is it going to hurt?

So I climbed on the bike with just a little bit of hesitation and set my stopwatch for 15 minutes. I took a deep breath, put the resistance on two and started pedaling.  Starting pretty slowly, I was surprised that I didn’t feel any pain. Of course the doctor and the PT had told me that since it is not a weight bearing exercise it probably wouldn’t hurt, but what do they know?

One minute passed, then five, and at the fifteen minute mark, the alarm sounded. Since I didn’t feel any pain, I decided to go for another fifteen minutes. When that fifteen minutes ended I was even more shocked to find that I still wasn’t in any pain.

I will admit that as I climbed off of the bike and began stretching, I felt a great sense of relief.

I’ll count this first workout on the road to recovery a success!

 

 

Camino de Santiago

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A couple of days ago I wrote that after careful consideration, a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail was not going to happen. After consulting with my doctor, the fact that something could happen during a thru hike related to being dehydrated and my kidneys was too much to ignore. Also, if I were to get injured on the trail, I’m not confident that I would be able to either get out under my own power or be able to contact someone for help. This latest incident really made me think!

So what am I to do? A couple of years ago two of my colleagues completed a portion of the Santiago de Compostela. As I sat in my usual spot earlier this summer waiting and waiting for my ankle to heal, I thought about that and began researching what it would take to hike the entire Camino Frances.

What is the Santiago de Compostela you might ask? (taken from Wikipedia)

“The Camino de Santiago “Pilgrimage of Compostela”; known in English as the Way of Saint James among other names, is a network of pilgrims’ ways serving pilgrimage to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. It is also popular with hiking and cycling enthusiasts and organized tour groups.”

Although there are many different routes to get to Santiago, “The commonly agreed-upon route for El Camino de Santiago (a.k.a. the Way of St. James) begins at Saint Jean Pied de Port, France, and travels 500 miles through four of Spain’s 15 regions, ending at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.” This is the route that I intend to take.

Because so many people choose to hike, walk or bike the Camino, it has actually become a livelihood for the poeple living there and as a result has been broken up into 32 stages. Although the distance of each of the stages are similar, the difficulty can range from really difficult to really easy. It all depends on the day. They say you should allow for a total of 35 days to hike the Camino Frances, but some take longer, some shorter. There are so many towns and villages along the way so that if you decide that you want to go longer one day or cut a day short, it’s all up to you.

This is the main reason I have chosen to hike the Camino Frances. The fact that being isolated along the Camino is next to impossible, water is plentiful and places to stay are in abundance makes this an ideal place to spend a month or two right after I retire. You can even add on mileage at the end to add a hundred or so miles to your trek!

So the dream for now to thru hike the AT is gone. That’s ok. The large amount of other places to experience what it offers can be found elsewhere and I think that I have found it.

Has anyone reading this hiked any part of the Camino de Santiago?  Is anyone planning to do so? Let me know. 

 

 

Walk, Walk, Walk

“Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.”

-Steven Wright

Not that those of us who hike/walk have to be told, but check out the link below for some great information on the benefits of walking. It fascinates me that an activity as simple as walking can have such a profound effect on your overall health.

https://www.bluezones.com/2018/07/research-says-walking-this-much-per-week-extends-your-life/?utm_source=Blue+Zones+Newsletter&utm_campaign=2c230d255d-WalkThisMuchPerWeektoProlongYourLife&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9642311849-2c230d255d-199275553&mc_cid=2c230d255d&mc_eid=08164130e2

Happy reading and as always, Happy Hiking!!!

Quick Saturday Morning Hike

“Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”

– Henry David Thoreau

My original plan for this beautiful Saturday morning was to head out early and get in about 8-9 miles. However, as plans always do, this changed after I was 1.5 miles into the hike. As I walked, my left Achilles started to hurt. I decided pretty quickly that 8 miles was not going to happen and after a short water break I cut the loop short and headed back towards the start of the hike. All in all, I still ended hiking just over 4 miles.

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The reservoir across the street from the entrance of Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

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The same reservoir…

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The field at the start of the hike.

Happy Hiking!!!

Hike #17-4.2-101.9

The Trail Keeps Calling

“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you…”

-Jack Kerouac

Although it wasn’t sunny out, the temperature and humidity today were much lower than on Saturday.  Starting at almost the same time, the improved weather made the hiking much easier on the mind as well as the body. As always, it was a great hike and an awesome way to start the day!

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Happy Hiking!!!

Hike #15-8.0-90.3