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Nervous to start

dmmorris

Member
Hi Anniesantiago,

I can't find you on my personal email anymore... but need to hear from you or other pilgrims regarding fear...

I've been doing so much research and have been so excited... and then recently, it hit me... I'm afraid to start because I'm afraid of failing... I'm even concerned about whether or not my backpack will fit in the overhead storage and will I be so clumsy that I'm bumping and annoying others with my clumsiness??

Anyone else out there have this same fear? It makes me think that this is the exact reason I MUST do this camino, to face any and all fears?

But I could sure use reassurance from others at this time~ Denise
 
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gittiharre

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Hi Denise, your backpack will be more manageable than other peoples bags, handbags, childrens backpacks, nappy bags, camera cases and laptop cases, you will just have one tidy item to pack away, so that is not a problem.
Re failing....you don't need to prove to anyone you can do this, although I kind of know how you feel, I told everyone I was going to do this thing and I would have been embarrassed had I packed it in during the first 2 days. As I was walking on my first Camino, fumbling along with getting to know my body and limitations and sharing my experiences via email with friends and family, most said I was mad and should just abandon the whole thing and have a lovely luxurious holiday instead. Even 2 or 3 days of walking was a huge achievement for most of them. Just getting there and getting through the first day is the first step of your achievement. Pace yourself well, listen to your body, take it easy in the beginning. There are overnight accommodations every few kms, so no need to fret. Just think of the next few steps and don't think too far ahead, it feels insurmountable if you do, but everybody can do a few more steps and focus on just that. I am a real neat and clean freak and really like my personal space and when I did the Camino that was the very thing that I knew would be the biggest challenge for me. I threw away my jandals for the shower after a few days, as I could not be bothered carrying them and coped fine in bare feet. I learnt to detach from what was going on around me in crowded dorms without having to leave the room. It is really liberating to face one's fears and we are all capable of doing it. Go well, and go with the flow, regards, Gitti
 

dmmorris

Member
Thank you Gittiharre,

I just booked my flight from Seattle to Paris. Now I'm committed... but do need to face my fear of possible failure. I will take your encouraging words of taking it one day at a time, at my own pace.. and so thank you again~ Denise
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
Maybe some of the posts on this topic will help.
el-camino-frances/topic8123.html

Don't worry about the mistakes you will make on the Camino we all have made them, some the same as you will make some different. It is a learning process and it does not matter how much you read and plan you cannot predict what will happen on your journey.

Buen Camino

William
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Don't think of failure, every step in itself is a success as you move forward, I met a few people who had several goes and every time was a new and important experience, it is your own special way of doing it that counts, even if you don't get there first time round. Hope you have a lovely time, Gitti
 
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lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Denise -

Try not to plan too far ahead - enjoy one day at a time! Focus on beautiful days, friendly pilgrims, some of whom will become good friends, yummy food and wine, glorious days of energetic walking and restful nights' sleep. Try not to let fear rob you of any of the adventure!

You will have a grand time and at the end you'll say "What ever was I worried about?"

Go well. Peace.

lynne
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Hi Denise! You will be fine!

Are you afraid of falling on the trail? Buy yourself a walking stick when you get to the Camino and it will hold you up, along with all the other wonderful pilgrims you're going to meet and befriend. Watch for the mud, and go very slowly down slippery hills. Go on your butt if you need to, the clothing will wash.

On the plane, take your pack off and carry it when you get on so you don't knock people down. If it fits into the measuring bin, it will fit fine above the seats.

You may want to take a trip to the airport ahead of time to see if your pack fits into their little measurement "thingy." If it does not, consider leaving some items home. Your pack should NOT be so heavy that it puts you off balance. If it does put you off balance, lighten it and reposition your "stuff."

As for packing, pack the heavier items down in the bottom and close to your back/body.
Pack the lighter items around those. This will keep the center of gravity close to you and easier for you to control. Pick up something heavy and hold it 10 inches away from your body and carry it around for 2 minutes. Now put the same item in your arms and hold it close to your chest. See the difference? Heavy items CLOSE to the body and DOWN in the pack!

The way I pack: I stuff my sleeping bag down into the bottom of the pack first. On top of that I pack small stuff bags... one with my soap and towel....one with underwear and socks... one with tomorrow's clothing...

I do not take a heavy headlamp.. I carry a tiny LED (about 1 inch long) light on a lanyard with a whistle and that stays around my neck. I carry my money and passport in my money belt around my waist under my clothing AT ALL TIMES. The only thing in the outside pocket of my pack is my credential, my guidebook if I take one, and the $20 Euros for the day.

I strap my Tevas to the outside, and carry my water in the side pockets provided.

My pack is very light and when it's all strapped up, easily fits into the airport measuring bin.

You are going to have the time of your life!
Please start a blog on Blogspot.com so we can follow your adventure!
 

dmmorris

Member
Wow... I have read numerous posts on the "fear" link William sent and what a treasure chest of wisdom and encouragement is to be found there along with each and every post you have all sent me in the last 24 hours! Thank you soooooo much!!!

And no Annie, I'm not afraid of falling- but of failing. However, I am a clumsy thing and therefore will heed the great advice you gave!!

My fear really boils down to failing to finish. I'm wishing I wouldn't have shared with a few of my colleagues about this camino because I don't want to return and say, "I only made it a couple of days." Am I that vain?? I also don't want to fail myself. To be fit most of my life and now be where I'm at seems incomprehensible and yet... it is what it is... but it doesn't have to stay this way! My first purpose is to find peace and balance in my life again of which has eluded me the last 5 years or so. I like the way Hape Kerkeling added to his title, "losing and finding myself." This is my desire, the weight loss will be the icing on the cake... if I make it!

After reading all your posts, I'm internalizing that yes, it is my walk and to just take the "adventure" one step and day at a time. It's such a load off my mind that I don't have to complete 20-30 k per day but take it at my own pace. Sounds practical but if I'm hearing others correctly, many people have done as I was doing- thinking we had to go so far per day! Also, I felt like I was going to be a "loser" if I chose to stay in hotels rather than refugios/hostals and such. Yet I know that I will need a good night's sleep and wouldn't get that if surrounded by snorers... and the thought of bedbugs has me scratching already! (though I'm sure they live everywhere) I'm thinking that if I get a good one-week start, then I can transition over to the other options.

So again, thanks to each and every one of you!!! I will continue to read the forum and glean as much information as possible while on the other hand, try not to stress about this journey I'm about to embark on in June.

Grazie~ Denise
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
It is said, and you will likely hear, that "you don't choose the Camino; the Camino chooses you".
Right, you have been chosen or perhaps you wouldn't be worrying! There are no hard and fast rules about when you get to Santiago, or even if you don't. There are no failures for pilgrims: we do what we can, when we can, and in our own time and distance. This includes people of all ages, states of apprehension, and, stages of infirmity! Any or all of the Camino from where you begin (and that in itself soesn't matter) will enlighten you - though when it comes to being "lightened" don't take any more than you need to. And if you do, send some of it home, or give it away.
As for staying in refugios, I would advise you to do so if you can. The opportunity to meet with other pilgrims is unmatched. You'll be too tired to worry about snorers, and the bedbugs thing is over-exaggerated. If you need to along the way, treat yourself once in a while. If you don't, donate a little bit more. It sure will be appreciated.
What you are about to embark upon is a life-altering experience and no matter how little a distance or how far you walk you will gain something you never would by staying at home.
The old Chinese proverb says: "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".
May each of your steps be blessed.
Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
 

Nandy61

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2010 CF StJPP to Santiago
2014 CF Leon to Santiago
2015 Primitivo
You people are so positive, affirming and uplifting! I always end up with a smile on my face when I log onto this Albergue! Thanks!
 
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dmmorris

Member
Grazie Tracy for your words of wisdom. I can truly see the benefit of "sleeping under the same roof" as other pilgrims. I hope to do so once I get some mileage under my belt.

I found it quite ironic that you mentioned the Chinese proverbs of a journey beginning with a small step as I just started our Ancient China unit yesterday and several students chose that exact proverb for their poster I outlined!

And Nandy, I couldn't agree with you more!! This forum is very uplifting and helpful. It's like sunshine on a rainy day when you think about the goodness of people all over the world when on the opposite hand, we're in such a state of political and economic crisis worldwide.

Thanks ladies~ Denise
 

Alanj

New Member
How good it is to read this.... just had 2 weeks in the English Lake District, voluntary work for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme - a very fit 58 year old - and yet, every twinge, every slight ache registers - will I be OK, will I be fit enough? - start in early May - train booked - no turning back now - good to see that others have my (irrational?) concerns - Alanj
 

pat.holland

Member
Past OR future Camino
C F 2007-10, Le Puy St. Jean 2011-13, C P 2015 Via F 2016-7
Folks, pilgrims to be, think of it this way, thousands of people do this walk every year. Every day hundreds of pilgrims are on the road or marching down Santiago's streets to reach the Cathedral. They make it, sometimes with pains and aches, and adventures, and companionship and cameraderie and wine and talk and food and laughter and tears but

they make it !

Let all those whispers of doubt pass by, people far older/slower/more unfit/with less spanish/less money/more troubles/more aches have all done it

You can do it !

Dont worry about tomorrow, just keep walking, Poco poco little by little.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
One quote I just re-discovered for inspiration. Hope it helps enhance your confidence and fortitude. When you're scared or hurting, just say to yourself "I DARE!"

To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily.
Not to dare is to lose oneself.

- Soren Kierkegaard
 

dmmorris

Member
Alan- yes, we are not alone. I think it helps for pilgrims to share that at one time they were nervous too but now, having been there, they can encourage us "newbies." You go a month before me... so excited for you!!!

Pat- Thank you... well said... true words of wisdom for life in general let alone the camino.

Lynne- Loved the inspirational quote. Yes, I'm choosing to "dare." Whenever one of those "whispers of doubts" that Pat mentioned comes darting my way, I'm working diligently to dodge it! Just tonight while hiking I found myself thinking, "what if I hurt my knees or break an ankle before I ever even leave? Would I have time to recover beforehand?"

I tell myself, "Oh, for Pete's sake Denise, think positive, only positive thoughts allowed!"

So... ++++++++++++++++ it is~ Denise
 
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No problem, Denise, that's what we're here for. :) Buen Camino! Take your time, don't over-plan, because you might miss out on something fun. Conversely, it does pay to know what your various options are (ie, how far to the next town with an albergue, transportation & accomodation options, etc), so it is a good exercise to look at the books & maps & think "ok, what if?"

Kelly
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
All of these posts have reminded me of the first days of my first Camino in 1999. I told everyone I knew I was going so that I couldn't back out. But then I found myself exhausted just from walking from the bus station to the Seminario in Pamplona! I remember sitting on my bunk looking at all these fit (and much younger) pilgrims and thinking: "Tracy...what the hell are YOU doing HERE?"
The next two days I walked on my own as I had planned. The first was hard, the second less so. By the fourth I had met the German lady with whom I walked the rest of the way. I tell this story in my novel of the Camino. The names are different...but the nervousness was the same.
Now, 11 years and 4 Caminos later, I still can recall my fears but I know now that every step made them easier.
Animo y Ultreia
Buen Camino Denise.
Tracy
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
 

Jeff Stys

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (03, 04), VdlP (05, 06), Norte (07,08), Primativo (09), Frances (12)
Friends:

Although I have undertaken different stages of the multiple Caminos over the years, I can readily identify with being nervous to start. The combination of jet lag, preoccupation with 'normal' life back at home, things left/kept in the backpack, and worrying about space in the next albergue can block all those positive things you've read about or expereince on previous caminos. The thing I always try to remember that the camino rhythm kicks in for me around day three or four. At that point, my legs have adjusted and my mind has quieted. Daily prayer and meditation comes much easier. Connecting with other pilgrams becomes natural.

Each Camino is different but the "Camino does provide". There is no 'right' way to do the Camino. Find your rhythm. Enjoy the beauty around you. Eat beautiful Spanish food. Drink a beer in the afternoon.

Enjoy.
 
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Labtails

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte (9/2012)
I haven't walked the Camino yet, but it occurs to me that each pilgrim must be realistic and evaluate their own individual abilities, strengths or weaknesses. If you are able carry your pack, great. If that is not possible send it ahead and take a lighter daypack. The length of each day may vary based on physical needs ie. a shorter day may follow a longer day. One may either be overly confident or even underestimate oneself and be surprised in the end. It is not a race or competition. I am looking at my trek as a personal life experience. I'm very much looking forward to starting.
 

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