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I'll Push You

mcintyre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2019) Camino Frances by wheelchair
#1
Hi all, I finished listening to the audiobook of I'll Push You (read by the authors!) this morning and can't wait to see the film now. I am wondering though if I'd be able to make it on my own - in the book there are stretches where they describe about needing a dozen people to help get over obstacles - have I underestimated this or perhaps over-estimated my abilities?

Well there's only one way to find out eh!
 

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Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#2
There are indeed many places which would create significant obstacles. :(:(
And many of the tracks would be tough to negotiate.

I have not read the book, but it must have been a significant challenge.

Perhaps you could avoid the stages that would be problematic and use roads?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPdP (June 2017)
Camino Frances Sarria (June 2018)
Camino Ingles (July 2018)
#3
Buen camino! No one completes the camino without the help and support of others. I am so grateful to everyone who supported me with kind looks, words and deeds. I hope you find the support you need too when the moment comes.
 

jozero

Oh... That's what the shell is for...
Camino(s) past & future
CF January 2013
CF April 2016
CF January 2018
CP Coastal September 2018
#4
I think a lot would depend on the time of year you are considering. I would imagine in the hard-packed ground during the heat of summer would be the ‘easiest’ because the thick, sticky mud (and snow) of late fall through late spring would be a killer. Then there is probably about 3-4% of the trail that are rocky trails that I’m not sure how a person would navigate on their own in a wheelchair (up and down Alto del Perdón, Rabanal del Camino to Molinaseca, up and down O’Cebriero to name a few stretches). There a bike routes for all those stretches however and absolutely nothing ties you to navigating along the same set of trails as anyone else. I hope you will take on the challenge! Buen Camino!
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#5
Hi all, I finished listening to the audiobook of I'll Push You (read by the authors!) this morning and can't wait to see the film now. I am wondering though if I'd be able to make it on my own - in the book there are stretches where they describe about needing a dozen people to help get over obstacles - have I underestimated this or perhaps over-estimated my abilities?

Well there's only one way to find out eh!
Hi, mcintyre...

Without knowing your full capabilities, there are some really challenging places on the route. Thinking about it, the more mobile one is on those sections it seems that the better the ability to deal with them by oneself.

But there are usually alternatives and plan B's which can be employed. My philosophy for dealing with the kind of unknown you are planning for is that it is better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

So to me in trying to imagine being in the same circumstances, I would be thinking what I would do if I reached a section beyond my realistic capabilities to handle. What would acceptable alternatives be? Would I try to enlist volunteers to help me along the way? Would I take transportation to the next nearest access to the Camino after the detour around? I don't know because I don't share you situation; I do know that if I were at a point on Camino where you were, and I saw you having a difficult time, I wouldn't hesitate two seconds to do what I could to help and to recruit others nearby to lend a hand if needed.

It takes guts and grit to face the unknown, mcintyre; you don't seem to be short on either. What you face as concerns about Camino makes a lot of other concerns I read here seem anemic by comparison. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you plan your pilgrimage, my friend.

When are you headed to Camino, and where are you starting from? I don't recall from previous posts what you have told us.
 

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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#6
I’ll be with @davebugg lending a hand - but I agree it would be prudent for you to consider alternative options for if there’s no one around.
Remember the I’ll push you duo chose the most difficult option every time! There is no shame in choosing the bike route!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
#7
My recommendation is to make a donation and get the "I'll Push You" video. I believe it will greatly help to inform you. Then, should you be as incapacitated as the individual in the documentary, the real difficulty is getting some friends who will help you...the documentary highlights how very, very difficult it was for the guy who did the lion's share of the helping.

Good luck. And glad I made the donation.

Tom
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#8
Hi all, I finished listening to the audiobook of I'll Push You (read by the authors!) this morning and can't wait to see the film now. I am wondering though if I'd be able to make it on my own - in the book there are stretches where they describe about needing a dozen people to help get over obstacles - have I underestimated this or perhaps over-estimated my abilities?

Well there's only one way to find out eh!
Hola, @mcintyre

You can contact me anytime (through PMs on this forum or e-mail) and I will be glad to help you. If not in person I can do it with my knowledge about Camino(s). But anyway go for it!!!

If you haven't seen it the topic was already discussed on this forum. Just put "push you" in search box and it should offer you a hit.

Have a nice day and stay brave!

B.
 

Niels

camino mi privio
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte and Camino Primotivo in April and May 2016 + Santiago to Muxia.
#11
I can tell you, that getting the bonus DVD to the film really is worth it. Among other things you'll get the the amazing story of one of the girls that helps pushing. And the film of course really is something else.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#12
@mcintyre, I'm the one who mentioned "I'll Push You" in response to your original post. Others have given a lot of good advice, and realistically I agree it would be practically impossible for a person confined to a wheelchair to do it totally on their own. But the plus side is, with a little bit of help, choosing alternative routes and taxi rides around the really rough stretches, utilizing services such as Jacotrans to transport your bags, it becomes a much less daunting task. If you haven't seen the trailer for the DVD, look at
for an idea of what a few of the tough parts are like. And as someone else mentioned, the season you choose makes a difference, especially regarding rain and mud, which are two of the major obstacles. My wife and I walked the Camino Francés in mid-August through late September in 2013 and never experienced any rain other than a couple of sprinkles the entire way until we reached Santiago, where it began to rain in earnest for several days.

I'm not sure where you are, but if you're in a major city in the US, try to hook up with a local chapter of the American Pilgrims on the Camino at http://www.americanpilgrims.org/local-chapters and find some Camino veterans who can advise you on trail conditions and the practicalities of the journey itself. If you're not in the US, there are similar organizations in many other countries, such as the Confraternity of St James in the UK or the Canadian Company of Pilgrims in Canada.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#13
@mcintyre, I'm the one who mentioned "I'll Push You" in response to your original post. Others have given a lot of good advice, and realistically I agree it would be practically impossible for a person confined to a wheelchair to do it totally on their own. But the plus side is, with a little bit of help, choosing alternative routes and taxi rides around the really rough stretches, utilizing services such as Jacotrans to transport your bags, it becomes a much less daunting task. If you haven't seen the trailer for the DVD, look at
for an idea of what a few of the tough parts are like. And as someone else mentioned, the season you choose makes a difference, especially regarding rain and mud, which are two of the major obstacles. My wife and I walked the Camino Francés in mid-August through late September in 2013 and never experienced any rain other than a couple of sprinkles the entire way until we reached Santiago, where it began to rain in earnest for several days.

I'm not sure where you are, but if you're in a major city in the US, try to hook up with a local chapter of the American Pilgrims on the Camino at http://www.americanpilgrims.org/local-chapters and find some Camino veterans who can advise you on trail conditions and the practicalities of the journey itself. If you're not in the US, there are similar organizations in many other countries, such as the Confraternity of St James in the UK or the Canadian Company of Pilgrims in Canada.
Well stated and great advice, JM. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#14
Hi all, I finished listening to the audiobook of I'll Push You (read by the authors!) this morning and can't wait to see the film now. I am wondering though if I'd be able to make it on my own - in the book there are stretches where they describe about needing a dozen people to help get over obstacles - have I underestimated this or perhaps over-estimated my abilities?

Well there's only one way to find out eh!
Clearly it is possible for you to make a Camino. It will be your Camino. Given accessibility issues, I don’t think doing it on your own is in the cards. There may be stretches you need to bypass via taxis. But it will still be your Camino. Make it your Camino and you can make it! I will never dissuade anyone from making a Camino if they have the desire burning within them.
 
#15
@mcintyre, I'm the one who mentioned "I'll Push You" in response to your original post. Others have given a lot of good advice, and realistically I agree it would be practically impossible for a person confined to a wheelchair to do it totally on their own. But the plus side is, with a little bit of help, choosing alternative routes and taxi rides around the really rough stretches, utilizing services such as Jacotrans to transport your bags, it becomes a much less daunting task. If you haven't seen the trailer for the DVD, look at
for an idea of what a few of the tough parts are like. And as someone else mentioned, the season you choose makes a difference, especially regarding rain and mud, which are two of the major obstacles. My wife and I walked the Camino Francés in mid-August through late September in 2013 and never experienced any rain other than a couple of sprinkles the entire way until we reached Santiago, where it began to rain in earnest for several days.

I'm not sure where you are, but if you're in a major city in the US, try to hook up with a local chapter of the American Pilgrims on the Camino at http://www.americanpilgrims.org/local-chapters and find some Camino veterans who can advise you on trail conditions and the practicalities of the journey itself. If you're not in the US, there are similar organizations in many other countries, such as the Confraternity of St James in the UK or the Canadian Company of Pilgrims in Canada.
That brought tears to my eyes .... and then laughter .. “Seriously dude, it’s time to walk” .... then more tears. So beautiful ... such love ....
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#16
I am wondering though if I'd be able to make it on my own
I am a terrible judge of what you can do. I walked several weeks with Luis who had only one leg, having lost one in a car accident at age 18 over twenty years earlier. He moved faster than me on his Canadian crutches, and went from SJPdP to Fisterra. If ever I had an attitude about what someone "can" do, he would have dispelled it. Only you what you and your motivation are.

There is road available for the entire distance from Sarria to Santiago that avoids rough terrain (many of us wish bicycles would use those roads :)). Some of the grades are steepish, and may meander a bit from the more direct pedestrian route. From the Santiago airport to the cathedral, there are roads around the substantial hill of the marked route. With visibility aids, which are required by law in Spain, you can safely use roads. Companions are the best thing about the Camino (joined by caldo gallego and pulpo), so having them is a good idea regardless of your capability, and they can always be a backstop against the potential for hubris in demanding more from yourself than you prudently should. Buen camino.
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#17
Hi all, I finished listening to the audiobook of I'll Push You (read by the authors!) this morning and can't wait to see the film now. I am wondering though if I'd be able to make it on my own - in the book there are stretches where they describe about needing a dozen people to help get over obstacles - have I underestimated this or perhaps over-estimated my abilities?

Well there's only one way to find out eh!
I saw the movie and did the Napolean route two weeks ago. It was rainy, muddy, rocky, etc but very doable.
 

fraluchi

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
One every year since 2007
#18
A few years ago I had the opportunity to assist a small group of physically impaired people from Sarria to Santiago. We were "caracoles" (snails), averaging 7 kms a day. As Falcon269 mentions, certain parts of the trail have to be circumvented. A public organization in A Coruña publishes a "recorrido para minusvalidos" (Spanish only) with exhaustive information concerning the facilities along the trail.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#19
You might also want to contact the “I’ll push you” cast directly. Their input might be immensely helpful.

Perhaps when you have a tentative schedule and have specific needs you can post them. There may be others walking and willing to assist for some time.
 

mcintyre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2019) Camino Frances by wheelchair
#20
Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I plan to make my pilgrimage next year, possibly setting off around May time and travelling from St Jean to Santiago. I would like to use the "proper" routes but realise this may not always be possible.
 
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
#23
There are indeed many places which would create significant obstacles. :(:(
And many of the tracks would be tough to negotiate.

I have not read the book, but it must have been a significant challenge.

Perhaps you could avoid the stages that would be problematic and use roads?
Hi , you have to read it , it's overwhelming .

Wish you well , Peter .
 

mcintyre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2019) Camino Frances by wheelchair
#29
Wow just finished watching the film and must confess to having tears in my eyes at the end. I think it helped that I'd listened to the audiobook first as that gives you a lot more of the background and feelings etc.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#30
Wow just finished watching the film and must confess to having tears in my eyes at the end. I think it helped that I'd listened to the audiobook first as that gives you a lot more of the background and feelings etc.
Well it is often said that a picture is worth a 1000 words...so I it is likely being able to visualize their experience, joy and challenges, will significantly assist you in planning your camino. I do think there are many pilgrims who might be able to assist you so dopost when you are clear about when you decide to go.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#31
I bought the video and watched it online last night.
Indeed an amazing journey by amazing people.
And I would have to say a somewhat unique bond between those 2 guys.
I can't imagine many 'friends' doing what Pat did!

Justin's response to all the assistance was interesting too.
A real lesson in dealing emotionally with such a significant disabilty that I am sure most of us wouldn't be able to do.....

Well worth watching.
 


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