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Age & Fitness


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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Roncesvalles to Santiago, May/June (2006)
Camino VdlP, Seville to Caceres, May (2009)
To any perspective pilgrims out there that are hesitating about doing a
camino pilgrimage due to age or fitness let me ease your mind a little.
I was the kid that always had a sick note on sports day and that was 50 years ago. I started my camino 5 days after my 60th birthday.The one thing I had going for me was I loved walking,but never,before the camino,
with a backpack,and always returning to a 2-star hostal for the night.
The part of Canada I live in is basically flat,I think I am slightly closer to
Spain than I am to the Rockie mountains.So the little training I had was on
the old rail-bed,the trains and track disappeared 15 years ago,(progress!).
I started from Roncasvalles thinking probably a week or 10 days would
put me on the edge of exhaustion......but it was not to be.I had always
been a little sceptical of the theory of drawing energy from the Earth,(due
respect to Shirley),but now I'm a beliver,whether it had been an 18 km
day or a 38 km day,the next morning the batteries were fully charged
People could not belive my theory of double-timing up steep hills to
shorten the agony time of a long slog!!
And did I feel young the day I helped a slightly disorientated 82 year
old,Swedish peregrino to find the alburgue in Sarria.

I hope this tips the scales toward the positive if you're having doubts
about taking on a mission that could have a profound effect on your out-
look on did for me.Les.
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PEI-les said:
... I hope this tips the scales toward the positive if you're having doubts about taking on a mission that could have a profound effect on your out-look on did for me ...
Reading that it certainly did that for me now.

When I will walk the Camino francès (when, not if) in May 2008 I will be almost 64 years old, granddad several times over. Still in quite reasonable shape, though, but with the same funny memories about "sport" like you (= mainly in school, ordered to play soccer: hopping like a monkey after a ball which always seemed to hop deliberately in the other direction...). This achieved only one thing with me: I hate sports. But I love long walks. So to me the Camino is just that: a long walk. And obviously I'm not the only one with thoughts like that: "heck, can I manage it?" Yes. Damn sure...

Thank you.
Hi Howie,
I am 62,grandmother of five, survor of a braintumour op. but left with some physical disabilities which will affect my Camino - balance being the main one. But though I 'feel the fear, and do it anway'(as the motto on the T-shirt my surfing son-in-law gave me says), I'm off Monday. I'll let you know how I get on. I've proved to myself that I manage to do most of what I set my mind to do. The power of the human spirit is amazing.
Un saludo desde Irlanda,
And PEI-les,
That 82 year old! GREAT - never say CAN'T.
You remind me of myself starting University at age 58. Thought I'd only last a week, then got to Christmas, then passed 1st-year exams and finally aged 60 I graduated with a double first class honours in Spanish and Irish Studies. Nobody was more amazed than myself!

But I couldn't have done it without the encouragement and help I got on the way. Same with El Camino. I will be relying on a helping hand from time to time and have faith in humanity, knowing that I will receive. 'Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened" and all that...
But how to keep the weight of the pack at 6 kilos?
PEI-les, Thank-you for sharing this. I have wondered if what Shirley said was true about the energy of the earth helping us along.

Beautiful! But then what else would we expect when we have people from all different parts of the world, working together for a common goal, all going in the same direction, that alone has to make a difference on the energy!

Only 24 more sleeps....
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Eleanor - thank you. Absolutely amazing. I'm thinking about going back to university too and finally doing my BA or even MA (my main interest is in Tiffany glass art and I work as a free lance tutor for that area here in New Zealand). Never could build up the courage to do so, though. Now I have to think about it again, because your post proves it can be done. Maybe after the Camino. Maybe this - the Camino - is just sort of a catalysator for me. See, we, my dear wife and me, we are very happy with ourselves and our life, so I'm not in dire need of any changes to my life - had that 25 years ago: changed everything quite radically then, and to the better of it. Now it's just "leftover wishes" in the "to do list" for the "second half of my life" (I intend to become 120...). The Camino is not part of this "leftover wishes", it is more a - well, a "beckoning"? Buggered if I know...

feel the fear, and do it anway
Coming from a world known surfing town I know this saying. Good way to see things. I simplified it a bit into a message to my kids: "when you don't try, you will never know...".

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