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What do you do when you cannot walk anymore?

2020 Camino Guides

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Another member posted this:

There are many inspirational stories of people who walk and do other things well into old age. A more difficult and poignant situation is where a person simply cannot continue walking caminos, for various reasons. I would like to hear about how they came to terms with this. On thinking about it, I suppose it is similar to how we all come to terms with our limitations.
I cannot imagine me not returning annually for another Camino, but:

So, when do you have to stop your Caminos, and how do you deal with it?
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
when do you have to stop your Caminos, and how do you deal with it?
I haven't had to stop yet, but probably will some day. Assuming there is no sudden physical problem that happens, I expect it will be a case of realizing that I have been enjoying it less on recent caminos. Then one day, when thinking about making new travel plans for Spain, I will realize that I don't really "need" to go, and would prefer to spend the month doing something else.

One year I was too sick to go skiing. I decided that I would not be skiing ever again, because I wasn't good enough to overcome that year off, and would be risking further injury. I was a tiny bit sad, but more importantly, I took satisfaction in the years I had skied with my family and with that experience, I could continue to enjoy their skiing vicariously
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
I thought I would walk forever. I knew I would walk forever. There is something about the camino that gives meaning to my life. I am fit and healthy in my mid-sixties. And then all of a sudden I am learning to live with arthritis in my spine. How did that happen? (Rhetorical question.) I have always led a healthy and active lifestyle. But sh*t happens when you least expect it. After a walk around the block this evening, I met my neighbour, a lot younger than me, who also came out for an evening stroll, and we chatted for a while before she continued, in her wheelchair. And I realised just how blessed I was when sometimes sh*t REALLY happens. You just don’t know when.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
For the record: I, the threadstarter, am 65. I worry about this. I quit smoking 7 months ago without problems. I had been smoking for 53 (!) years... My son who is a doctor has examined me and says I have no damage. Good on me...

I bought my flight to Madrid yesterday, for April 16th. I will be 66 by then. The Camino(s) has changed my life, for the (much, much) better, for the people around me, as well as for me. I wish for all the first-timers to receive some of the peace that the Camino has brought into my life: It is quite a journey, if you take it in.

The day I have to stop walking the Camino(s), I will be at the end of my life. Thanks to the Camino, that moment is not too scary anymore: I have found peace. I'll continue walking as long as I can.


Ultreya!
 
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marilyn van graan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
Mmmm this is quite a question - thought about it but not for long - decided I will deal with it when I have to.
I agree the camino is just something else - sometimes so tough I question myself what and why am I doing this - but lucky that only lasts a short while. The first thing my family say to me when I get back "so is that it?!!" Hell no - not yet. ULTREYA!!
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
I can remember, at 18 years of age, standing on the summit of Mount McKinley (Denali) and thinking I can and will do this type of stuff until I die.

Now that I am much, much older, with the injuries and wear and tear from decades of outdoor adventures and from earlier military service having caught up with me, I started thinking about two years ago, "How much longer can I continue?"

There are now many more days that I feel 'old and worn', than not. Trying to maintain a good base of physical conditioning seems soooo much harder every year. When looking at an upcoming year and thinking of plans for the backpacking season starting. . .or going on a Camino . . it is far more difficult to get motivated to train/exercise.

I now feel anxious about "can I do it". . . and I worry a lot more about the 'what ifs' of physically breaking down in the middle of a 14 day or month long backpacking trip. Or having to terminate a Camino early.

Then I get disgusted with feeling sorry for myself. I remind myself what a Sergeant hollered in my face during a particularly vicious training cycle: "Do you need a hug, sweet-pea? Either quit and get yer sorry carcass off my course, or do something and keep pushing on. Vacation is over, cupcake. The only easy day was yesterday."

Yeah, I know. . . . but so far, it's working. :) I'm not going to let my fears and anxieties dictate my choices. But when the time comes, I hope I can have the courage of my youth to cope and adapt to those things which I cannot control.
 

rometimed

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(SJPdP: 2015, June2020!) (Eng Way: 2015)
I have to enjoy each moment I can. :)

I'm just, still, at the beginning of my Camino + walking life but have had at least 1 large, multi-day walking adventure each year since 2013 (sans 2017).

This year's Camino and Mont Blanc circuit will be my last month + off for likely 10 years ... but I do hope when I get past 55 or so to spend most of my time walking Caminos and other paths.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
Well, I have been trying to end up my caminowalking for 15 years now, from the day I reached SdC in June 2005 for the first time and said never again. I have had a few stops trying other walking paths, but when I tell myself that it´s enough you are too old for this, there are always some forum members tempting me with new routes. Because of that I walked the Invierno in May 2018 and enjoyed the camino very much.
I had to give up my camino planned last September, after an experience of what might happen to us oldings going abroad, with 3 weeks in hospital in Greece with my husband. This gave me a little stuck and if I go abroad I will stick to Spain.
So this year I have planned my last camino, I guess, tickets booked, starting in Madrid, a result of reading this forum. If I feel I can manage I will go on to the Vladiense to go to Fuente De.
Living in an area where I can start walking or skiing from my front door, I hope I might be able to do that even if I find myself too old for the camino or if familysettings keeps me at home.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Well, I have been trying to end up my caminowalking for 15 years now, from the day I reached SdC in June 2005 for the first time and said never again. I have had a few stops trying other walking paths, but when I tell myself that it´s enough you are too old for this, there are always some forum members tempting me with new routes. Because of that I walked the Invierno in May 2018 and enjoyed the camino very much.
I had to give up my camino planned last September, after an experience of what might happen to us oldings going abroad, with 3 weeks in hospital in Greece with my husband. This gave me a little stuck and if I go abroad I will stick to Spain.
So this year I have planned my last camino, I guess, tickets booked, starting in Madrid, a result of reading this forum. If I feel I can manage I will go on to the Vladiense to go to Fuente De.
Living in an area where I can start walking or skiing from my front door, I hope I might be able to do that even if I find myself too old for the camino or if familysettings keeps me at home.
Would like to meet you and give you a North Norwegian hug... En god Camino klem til deg.
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
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Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Not being able to walk long or longer distances is an issue I will face in the not too distant future. I am now planning to do the Porto In May/June (from Porto) with my brother (we are both over 70 with a few issues). This will be his only Camino, and possibly a last for me. Although I would like to walk the VDLP (say last 300km) but that will depend upon a number of external factors.
So what will I do when I can no longer walk a camino? Read and contribute to this forum; attend monthly meetings of the Sydney Pilgrims; offer advice if asked. But in general try to enjoy to the fullest the years that are left to me. I have recently adopted this motto: the glass is half-full, but feel free to top it up!!

Thanks Alex for starting this post. Cheers to all.:):);)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2009), Camino Frances (2012), Via de la Plata (2013) and Camino del Norte planned for May, 2015
I can remember, at 18 years of age, standing on the summit of Mount McKinley (Denali) and thinking I can and will do this type of stuff until I die.

Now that I am much, much older, with the injuries and wear and tear from decades of outdoor adventures and from earlier military service having caught up with me, I started thinking about two years ago, "How much longer can I continue?"

There are now many more days that I feel 'old and worn', than not. Trying to maintain a good base of physical conditioning seems soooo much harder every year. When looking at an upcoming year and thinking of plans for the backpacking season starting. . .or going on a Camino . . it is far more difficult to get motivated to train/exercise.

I now feel anxious about "can I do it". . . and I worry a lot more about the 'what ifs' of physically breaking down in the middle of a 14 day or month long backpacking trip. Or having to terminate a Camino early.

Then I get disgusted with feeling sorry for myself. I remind myself what a Sergeant hollered in my face during a particularly vicious training cycle: "Do you need a hug, sweet-pea? Either quit and get yer sorry carcass off my course, or do something and keep pushing on. Vacation is over, cupcake. The only easy day was yesterday."

Yeah, I know. . . . but so far, it's working. :) I'm not going to let my fears and anxieties dictate my choices. But when the time comes, I hope I can have the courage of my youth to cope and adapt to those things which I cannot control.
A lovely and very poignant question. I did not start 'walking' until I was 60, and now as I come up on birthday 71, I have to consider if there is a 'next year' ahead. I have noticed physical changes that might indicate a 'countdown' and I certainly let these concerns dictate last year's Walk. I will walk again this year...in probably more questionable shape than last year...but I am ready to be adventurous and let the Camino roll as it will. I have learned that the thought of 'giving something up' is far worse than the actual deed. I suspect that there is life beyond Camino...
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
While I have walked my last Camino in Spain, it's just too hard to do without Scott, my legs still work. My gait may be a bit hobble now thanks to a doggie archillies and various foot niggles, but I can still stride off and enjoy what's around me and the memories that accompany me.

Sadly I can't say the same about my Dad who as he approaches 90 appears to be trapped in his body and struggles to keep mobile. The wandering in his mind is more troublesome and reminds me that despite years of keeping fit in body and brain age wears us down, and it ain't gracious about it,
 

MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
I am in my mid sixties. A few years ago my distance walking came to an abrupt end when my knee bones became much too familiar with one another and chose to exert high degrees of pain due to arthritis. Still have not had knee replacement, but I am sure that will come in the near future.
Though I miss the peace of being on a Way or a trail, my path has always been before me. It is true that I can have moments of self-pity, but they pass quickly. The call of the Camino has yet to stop and in moments of quiet solitude, I clearly hear the call to pilgrimage.
Tears flow more easily now, but they are sweet and full of gratitude for the experiences of the past and the humble willingness to follow on; to not give up and to find both peace and joy in what each day brings.
Our Caminos have not ended simply because we are not on the Way; our Caminos have never stopped, will never stop until we consciously choose for them to end.
 
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Penny Kingma

M.S. Can't Stop Me !
Camino(s) past & future
May 29th to July 4th 2016
SJPDP to Santiago
And many, many more I pray
when I did my first in 2016 one year after my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis no one could understand my WHY. One week after my return home dislocating my hips waterskiing. Since my 2016 Camino I’ve had 2 Lipedema surgeries, MOH surgery where a cancerous tumour was removed from my face, I’ve been diagnosed and began treatments for Lyme disease and Babasia , in less than 13 months I had both hips and both knees replaced in 4 surgeries. My last will be a year old on March 7 2020. Yet all I can think about is walking the Camino again. My family, friends and Doctors don’t understand. Why ??? They don’t understand how robbed I’ve felt these past 4 years. I hope to start walking from SJDP on May 25 2020. I keep picturing all those I met walking. Everyone walks with some kind of baggage. I look at all I will gain in returning. My renewal ♥🤞👣
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2009), Camino Frances (2012), Via de la Plata (2013) and Camino del Norte planned for May, 2015
While I have walked my last Camino in Spain, it's just too hard to do without Scott, my legs still work. My gait may be a bit hobble now thanks to a doggie archillies and various foot niggles, but I can still stride off and enjoy what's around me and the memories that accompany me.

Sadly I can't say the same about my Dad who as he approaches 90 appears to be trapped in his body and struggles to keep mobile. The wandering in his mind is more troublesome and reminds me that despite years of keeping fit in body and brain age wears us down, and it ain't gracious about it,
As a very dear friend of mine said. "Growing old is for the courageous!" And when all is said and done, pilgrimage is nothing more than a journey with intent. Even if the body can only walk a few steps, the spirit is unlimited.
 

Penny Kingma

M.S. Can't Stop Me !
Camino(s) past & future
May 29th to July 4th 2016
SJPDP to Santiago
And many, many more I pray
As a very dear friend of mine said. "Growing old is for the courageous!" And when all is said and done, pilgrimage is nothing more than a journey with intent. Even if the body can only walk a few steps, the spirit is unlimited.
I turned 52 during my 2016 Camino. I plan to celebrate my 56th in the same manor. ❤👣
 

pilgrim b

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances 2013-Ingles 2014-Frances 2015
St Cuthbert's Way 2017-Via Francigena 2018 & 2019
I hope to walk for a seven to ten days this year in Italy to do the St Francis Way.But I wish to see and walk into Assisi (I walked into Rome on last year’s Francigena. This may well be my last pilgrimage who knows I was born in 1941.But it seems as long as I am fortunate and blessed . I shall treat each one as if it were my last with something that I learned on my first one , with gratitude and hope !
 

alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
Struggling with this as well. After injuring both Achilles on Lisbon-SdC in Oct 2017 (damnable cobbles), I really have not had energy, strength or motivation to train while battling newly emerging health issues (afib and its meds really slow me down!!).
That said, I have been playing with planificador to plan a Sept camino; Pamplona to Ponferrada in 40 days for 13km/day average. So my hoped for aging solution is to cut the mileage! At my new slow speed, that is still 6 hours per day of joyous walking!!

Looking at Hunter S Thompson posting on my wall:
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride Walk!”
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
Struggling with this as well. After injuring both Achilles on Lisbon-SdC in Oct 2017 (damnable cobbles), I really have not had energy, strength or motivation to train while battling newly emerging health issues (afib and its meds really slow me down!!).
That said, I have been playing with planificador to plan a Sept camino; Pamplona to Ponferrada in 40 days for 13km/day average. So my hoped for aging solution is to cut the mileage! At my new slow speed, that is still 6 hours per day of joyous walking!!

Looking at Hunter S Thompson posting on my wall:
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride Walk!”
I wish I could remember the tv show that I recently heard this quote from. The character suddenly got fed up with not taking action: "I haven't been living. What I've been doing is waiting around to die".
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
It's something that we all have to struggle with and come to terms with as we grow older. For some of us it come sooner than others. I still grieve for the loss of my singing voice, it's one of the things that sometimes happens at menopause. It was one of the few things that I really liked about myself but I didn't realise that until it was gone.

I am slowing down physically although my lovely replacement knee has extended my walking career for some time. In one sense I have already worked through the loss of mobility once as my knee disintegrated. I didn't know whether a replacement could ever give the hills back to me but it has, and I am grateful every day for it. So I don't fear it, although I know that I will feel the loss keenly if my body stops letting me do the things I want to.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2009), Camino Frances (2012), Via de la Plata (2013) and Camino del Norte planned for May, 2015
I turned 52 during my 2016 Camino. I plan to celebrate my 56th in the same manor. ❤👣
Go for it sez I...make plans for your 60th...your 65th...and so on. No-one says you can't plan or dream. Even if your body says "not today", there are still marvelous journeys to be made.
 

alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
the other poster on my wall from Teddy Roosevelt (of Sagamore Hill Roosevelts)

We must either wear out or rust out, every one of us. My choice is to wear out.

+++++++++++++++++
I think for many of us our multiple caminos have been a great way to avoid rusting out!! As well as avoiding Thoreau's 'living lives of quiet desperation'

I am thinking that 'cannot walk anymore' is a more distant barrier for me than the mental one of learning to lower my expectations. In hindsight, it was even a bit difficult when I saw my pace decline from 5km/hr to 4 to 3+. But the joy of walking is still there. And over the years, this joy has been shared via companionship with a blind couple, a couple in their late 80s, and a man on Canadian crutches; they showed me the joy of a slower pace.

Still walkers and pilgrims all.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
This issue has come to the fore in my life recently, as I have been added to a list of persons waiting for a knee replacement. But I really don't believe that I shall have to end my caminos. I have never been an athlete and have never considered myself to be strong. Now, in my 70's, my doctor seems to consider that I am in very good health, in spite of the arthritis, which is unlikely to shorten my life on its own. I am used to being a slow walker and a long one: many hours a day of few km./hour seems to work for me and I hope I may continue at this pace for many years to come. At present, my immediate fear is that soon the cost of my medical insurance will be greater than the cost of my flight from Western Canada. When that happens, I guess that I shall just have to adjust my budget. Before my camino last fall, I discussed with my brother what I wanted done with my remains if I died during the trip. For me, this was just a sensible discussion, to release my brother from having to make such decisions. It meant no more to me than any other of my camino plans. Really, I expect to live into my 90's and to go on walking for as long as possible. I am a tortoise, not a hare, and I hope to get better every year.
 

Debi Kellerer

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I will be walking the Camino in June/July 2015
In 2015 we did our first Camino, the French Way. I went into it knowing I had arthritis in both knees, even went to the doctor to see if they knew of any reason I should not do it, they said "go for it" but at the time I did not know how severe my arthritis was. It became pretty obvious that I would not be able to walk with my pack so I began shipping my pack most days to our destination that day and and some days only walked part of the day. Sure I was disappointed, but the Camino had been doing its work on my soul and my spirit and it reminded me to be grateful for what I was able to do. I remember the day we were to walk into Molinaseca I only walked a short distance before accepting that I should not walk that day, I wanted so badly to walk to the Cruz de Ferro with my husband and friends. I took a taxi and as the taxi was almost to Cruz de Ferro I looked and saw my group just getting to the cross. The taxi driver was kind enough to pull over, I called out to my husband, we embraced and both cried. As the taxi pulled away the tears were flowing and the taxi driver placed his hand on my arm and said the Camino is not about the work of your legs it is what is happening in your heart. I have never forgotten that. In 2017 we did the Portuguese Coastal route and I only walked the first 8 days not so much because of my knees, the terrain was actually pretty flat, I had a pinched nerve in my back and it was causing my right leg to go numb. The call of the Camino was still working in my life and continues to this day. This past year our group walked the Norte Camino and the Primitivo Camino, I decided before we left that I would not be walking it but I would travel the different Camino's by train and bus and met the group most days along the Way, it did not mean I I didn't have my own Camino experience along the Way, I did but it was much different then maybe I wanted or expected and in many ways it was what i needed. I was still able to travel with other pilgrims and we learned from each other and cared for each other. I was even able to spend a few days with a dear family we met on our first Camino that live in San Sebastian. My life has been changed forever and is much richer because of my three very different Camino's. I will be having double knee replacements in the near future and hope that some day I can return to walk another Camino, God willing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis SJPP April 2016,
August 2017, May 2018
Camino Portuguese
2019, May Porto, Sept Lisbo
How inspiring you all are....I started an addiction to Caminos in 2016...Frances, 2017, 2018 all starting in SJPdP. My son and I met a 93 yo & her 73yo daughter in our Valcarlos path, 2017!
In May 2019, it got really bad with my solo from Porto, the Ingles & then my second return from Australia in September to do the Lisbon Portuguese to Santiago. Yes that's 3 in one year! 1000 K +.....SO I recently did a 2 day course with Julie-Anne Milne to volunteer as a hospitalero this May in Spain for 2 weeks. Hope to do 3 more Caminos around my stint - the Madrid, inveirno, primativo......have I got health issues? Yes! But I'm doing slowly what I can and if I have to stop walking I'll be able to be at the donations with other pilgrims...I call it insurance....
Love
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis SJPP April 2016,
August 2017, May 2018
Camino Portuguese
2019, May Porto, Sept Lisbo
How inspiring you all are....I started an addiction to Caminos in 2016...Frances, 2017, 2018 all starting in SJPdP. My son and I met a 93 yo & her 73yo daughter in our Valcarlos path, 2017!
In May 2019, it got really bad with my solo from Porto, the Ingles & then my second return from Australia in September to do the Lisbon Portuguese to Santiago. Yes that's 3 in one year! 1000 K +.....SO I recently did a 2 day course with Julie-Anne Milne to volunteer as a hospitalero this May in Spain for 2 weeks. Hope to do 3 more Caminos around my stint - the Madrid, inveirno, primativo......have I got health issues? Yes! But I'm doing slowly what I can and if I have to stop walking I'll be able to be at the donations with other pilgrims...I call it insurance....
Love
Donativos
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
As a very dear friend of mine said. "Growing old is for the courageous!" And when all is said and done, pilgrimage is nothing more than a journey with intent. Even if the body can only walk a few steps, the spirit is unlimited.
My father in law would say "Getting old is not for sissies."...then he'd shake his head and chuckle. 😊
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I have no idea, as I'm not there yet.
But I hope I will gracefully surrender, and simply remember and be grateful that I could...and then find a way to give forward.
I have to say that in this you are a role model, @mspath. Thank you. Each time I read one of your posts I am grateful for your shared experience.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
When we are young
Wandering the face of the earth
Wondering what our dreams might be worth
Learning that we're only immortal
For a limited time
. . .
We travel on the road to adventure
On a desert highway straight to the heart of the sun
Like lovers and heroes, and the restless part of everyone
We're only at home when we're on the run
On the run


Excerpted from "Dreamline" by Rush, from Roll the Bones
lyrics by (the now deceased) Neil Peart
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués Porto'17,Lisbon'18
Inglés A Coruña y Ferrol '18
Invierno'19
I wish I could remember the tv show that I recently heard this quote from. The character suddenly got fed up with not taking action: "I haven't been living. What I've been doing is waiting around to die".
Hi,
I just heard that quote from Jean Luc Picard on the new Star Trek 'Picard'.
A pilgrim and a trekkie.....
MaryEllen
 

Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
Last year, for the first time, I was asked on two occasions how old I was. One was a bartender who said "How did you get here?" Another was a fellow pilgrim who, when I revealed my age, said "Oh good, that means i've got another 20 years of walking!" My knee now causes me grief, but I spent my last holiday travelling around Portugal by train (half price for seniors) and visited a few of the camino highlights there. Travelling by public transport is good; you arrive with more energy to sightsee. You can still carry a backpack; those station platforms are long!
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
I think about this too.
I'm now 65.
Someday I will stop carrying my pack.
Someday I will stop walking Caminos.
I hope I can always go for a walk from my home, even a short one.
I'm not sure I will be okay if I stop.
Hi efdoucett
last year no camino but I could not help this year to book for the first of April a flight to Edinburgh busses to John O Groat's and finally start my walk to Rome via Canterbury Via Francigena should be around 3000+Kilometer.
The good thing is that I am only 73.
Ultreia
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
For the record: I, the threadstarter, am 65. I worry about this. I quit smoking 7 months ago without problems. I had been smoking for 53 (!) years... My son who is a doctor has examined me and says I have no damage. Good on me...

I bought my flight to Madrid yesterday, for April 16th. I will be 66 by then. The Camino(s) has changed my life, for the (much, much) better, for the people around me, as well as for me. I wish for all the first-timers to receive some of the peace that the Camino has brought into my life: It is quite a journey, if you take it in.

The day I have to stop walking the Camino(s), I will be at the end of my life. Thanks to the Camino, that moment is not too scary anymore: I have found peace. I'll continue walking as long as I can.


Ultreya!
I don’t know why, but something in what you say makes me think you will walking the camino for many MANY M A N Y years to come. Call it an Indian woman’s instinct 😊
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 entire CF, Porto and CF again in Feb 2020
I have enjoyed reading all the comments here about aging and the Camino 'calling' us. It reminds me when I had a sailboat: 'you don't really need a boat.... to get the same effect you get into a cold shower and rip up $100 bills.'
Perhaps with VR technology we can just strap on our goggles, step into a cold shower or sauna and have the same effect? :) nahhh... the camino is SO much more than physical pain. I'll keep walking the trail until i drop - hopefully on the trail.
 

Aidan21

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to SDC 2013/14
SJPP to SDC 2016
Porto to SDC 2017
VdlP Sevilla/Salamanca 2018
So, when do you have to stop your Caminos, and how do you deal with it?
To answer the first part of the question, I guess when I can no longer walk without pain or discomfort. To answer the second part; I hope I never have to. But if I have to deal with it, then I have to recognize a land mark in my life has been reached and that most of my life will have been lived (I am 64 now). I guess at that point other issues will have to be faced and dealt with. I will give thanks for the love and the beauty that the Camino has meant to me and face what is to come with hope and faith.

Buen Camino to all of us.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
I think I would like to take a different tack on this. I used to backpack but can't any longer for a variety of reasons. So I walk. I've done about 1000 miles of Caminos and intend to do more. But at some point, you will stop because nobody gets out of here alive. It's not what do you do when you stop walking the Caminos that is important. It's what will you do -- period. When you can't do one thing, you can either worry about that - but it's probably out of your control. On the other hand, you can just pick up something else - maybe totally unrelated. The goal is not to keep walking - it's to keep going forward. Not looking forward to when I can't walk a Camino any longer, but I am looking forward to what I do next.
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
I think I would like to take a different tack on this. I used to backpack but can't any longer for a variety of reasons. So I walk. I've done about 1000 miles of Caminos and intend to do more. But at some point, you will stop because nobody gets out of here alive. It's not what do you do when you stop walking the Caminos that is important. It's what will you do -- period. When you can't do one thing, you can either worry about that - but it's probably out of your control. On the other hand, you can just pick up something else - maybe totally unrelated. The goal is not to keep walking - it's to keep going forward. Not looking forward to when I can't walk a Camino any longer, but I am looking forward to what I do next.
Such a lovely discussion. Reminded me of something out of Leonard Cohen’s last collection of poems:
I pray for courage
In the time
When suffering comes and
Starts to climb

I pray for courage
At the end
To see death coming
As a friend
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
I wish I could remember the tv show that I recently heard this quote from. The character suddenly got fed up with not taking action: "I haven't been living. What I've been doing is waiting around to die".
From the Shawshank redemption: " get busy living or get busy dying"
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
My second Camino at age 70 was cut short by sciatica. But that is a temporary condition -- a couple weeks after returning home I was pain-free.

I am now on an extended desert retreat (which is, in many ways, a Camino for me). There's a woman here, in her 60s, who was in a terrible accident several years ago that resulted in extensive traumatic brain injury. Her mobility is severely impaired, though she navigates her walker on these gravelly desert paths with aplomb.

We recently had a conversation about how life can suddenly change in ways we never dreamed. In that accident she lost her career and life as she knew it. She has adapted well. I pray that, if this happens to me, I can adapt to a situation that I would never wish upon anyone.

I cannot work in a Camino this year but I hope I have at least one more left in me.
 

Chris Gi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Did April through June 2018 from Pamplona to Santiago.
2020 May or end of September - NO!
2021 ?
Another member posted this:


I cannot imagine me not returning annually for another Camino, but:

So, when do you have to stop your Caminos, and how do you deal with it?
I am almost at that point ☹ At 80 Sciatica has caught me totally unprepared and I have to slow down. So what to do when your mind is climbing the next mountain and your body just can’t keep up? I think my next Camino may be my last and it will be shorter but then I will be out there with all of you with the help of Ivar and the Forum - my daily epistle.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
Another member posted this:


I cannot imagine me not returning annually for another Camino, but:

So, when do you have to stop your Caminos, and how do you deal with it?
Great post alexwalker. It really resonates with me at this point of my life as I look back over my five visits to the Camino. I have moved through my life from the days of: "I can do anything", to "I can do this better than most people my age" and now "why does everything hurt". I am well into my 77th year and planning a walk from Pamplona to Leon this April and Leon to Santiago next Fall. As long as my mind is still confident that I can achieve these goals, my body will still follow, I feel.

This is the crux of the matter for me. Adapting to a less supple body, parts of which don't like me very much anymore, requires more of a shift in mind set. As we age, it is too often very easy to just become complacent with the fact that we are not as able physically and "give up" on activities. Walking in general and the Camino in particular, allows my mind to over rule the body complaints to the degree that I am not doing something harmful to myself. Hunkering down in the middle of a Canadian winter offers the opportunity to focus on aches and not push yourself to what you are actually capable of physically. Just writing this encourages me to go for a workout.

Reading the posts on this blog, some with worse issues than I, and remembering the encounters with other pilgrims on the Camino is uplifting. Let's continue to encourage each other and focus on what we can do and do it.
 

efdoucette

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Camino Frances
Since 2011 - too many to list
Hi efdoucett
last year no camino but I could not help this year to book for the first of April a flight to Edinburgh busses to John O Groat's and finally start my walk to Rome via Canterbury Via Francigena should be around 3000+Kilometer.
The good thing is that I am only 73.
Ultreia
A couple years back 3 Camino friends and I walked the VF from Sarsana, north Italy to Rome. I hope you will love it as much as I did. And good for you for staying young, all the best my friend,
Eric
 

hecate105

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese Estellas 2014 Aurelia 2016 St Davids 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P. 2018 Michael Mary Way
I spent over 20 years reading and dreaming about the Camino - but I had fibromyalgia and so it was just a dream... My husband refused to countenance going by donkey or with me on a disabled buggy....!
But eventually I was lucky enough to start finding the keys to dealing with my disability. while I was still ill I did indeed cycle my first Camino - painful tho' it was - I was ecstatic!
Fast forward a few years and the experience was another key that helped along the way (!) to recovering from the fibro - now I am fit and healthy (tho' overweight and slow!) and have several more Caminos under my belt.
When something happens that prevents me doing any more - I will still have my memories - so I will thank St James for that - and perhaps peregrinate to a local place, church, ancient stone or hostelry....
We can travel in our minds as well as our bodies.....
 
Camino(s) past & future
in fall 2017
Not being able to walk long or longer distances is an issue I will face in the not too distant future. I am now planning to do the Porto In May/June (from Porto) with my brother (we are both over 70 with a few issues). This will be his only Camino, and possibly a last for me. Although I would like to walk the VDLP (say last 300km) but that will depend upon a number of external factors.
So what will I do when I can no longer walk a camino? Read and contribute to this forum; attend monthly meetings of the Sydney Pilgrims; offer advice if asked. But in general try to enjoy to the fullest the years that are left to me. I have recently adopted this motto: the glass is half-full, but feel free to top it up!!

Thanks Alex for starting this post. Cheers to all.:):);)
I like that motto. Maybe ill adopt it too.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
when I did my first in 2016 one year after my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis no one could understand my WHY. One week after my return home dislocating my hips waterskiing. Since my 2016 Camino I’ve had 2 Lipedema surgeries, MOH surgery where a cancerous tumour was removed from my face, I’ve been diagnosed and began treatments for Lyme disease and Babasia , in less than 13 months I had both hips and both knees replaced in 4 surgeries. My last will be a year old on March 7 2020. Yet all I can think about is walking the Camino again. My family, friends and Doctors don’t understand. Why ??? They don’t understand how robbed I’ve felt these past 4 years. I hope to start walking from SJDP on May 25 2020. I keep picturing all those I met walking. Everyone walks with some kind of baggage. I look at all I will gain in returning. My renewal ♥🤞👣
You are an inspiration Penny. Happy walking from up the road in Peterborough:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
The Camino has guided me in so many ways - wanting a simple life, paying attention to feelings, life around me, "small" kicks in the pants - and if it feels right, go for it. And be grateful!
I have arthritis - feet, knees, back, hands - but I will NOT allow the pain to get in my way! With the help of professionals in my healthcare system, I've learned about anti-inflammatory foods, and stay away from those that can trigger inflammation/pain. Other professionals in my healthcare system have helped guide me to appropriate strength training and exercise levels. MY responsibility is to keep up - and I don't always do that! But - IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME!! - no one else! ...something I learned a long time ago.
I'm 75 and intend to start walking from Le Puy this Fall. Hopefully, my knees & I will reach an agreement each day as to what we can do together. I would like to go all the way to Santiago - but realize it may not be walking every step of the way But that's ok in my book of my life. One day at a time will be one of my guides.
Hopefully, this won't be my last Camino/Chemin, but if it is, it's ok. I can always do it vicariously - as I do every day at home - in my mind, going for walks (long or short) instead of taking mechanical transport, sorting my Camino photos - an on-going process 😉, watching videos, reading blogs, THIS FORUM - I know all those places - and never get tired of them!!
There are SO many ways to be on Camino!!
 

freescot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
La Plata (2010) Portuguese from Coimbra(2010) Levante (2011) La Lana (2013) Francés from Roncevalles to Molinasaca then the Camino de Invierno (2014)
A lovely and very poignant question. I did not start 'walking' until I was 60, and now as I come up on birthday 71, I have to consider if there is a 'next year' ahead. ...
We must be almost exactly the same age, Doug. I've been slowing down for 5 years now and on quite a few Caminos I've had to accept that I couldn't make it all the way. I go back later and do a bit more. Today I've finished one I started last March in Terradillos, gave up in Ponferrada and again in Sarria in October. This last 100k has taken 8 days of walking some days for 10 hours.
Yes, my time is coming when I won't manage even this. The Camino, though, has taught me detachment and the great joys and gifts of the Camino do not depend on the Camino itself they are already within us and the Caminos I have walked have been endlessly giving of gifts and emptying me of my own baggage. I'm sure we'll be just fine when the day comes when we have only Camino memories and not Camino dreams.
 

mishlove

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugués...April/May (2014)
Camino Ingles..........Sept. (2015)
At 64 and with some problems walking......I do not know if I've walked my last one......If indeed I have.....I have 2 that will sustain me for the rest of my life...they live within me.
 

MisterH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018 neither successful
I have been on the Camino twice. I had to leave the first time due to serious problens at home. The second time I "just got tired". Now at 77 I have to decide if I should complete from whare I ended the second time, Leon, or try something else, elsewhere, in the world.
 
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Hilarious

Hilarious
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
Another member posted this:


I cannot imagine me not returning annually for another Camino, but: Then

So, when do you have to stop your Caminos, and how do you deal with it?
What a wonderful thread this is Alex. Thank you and to all the respondents! I have only just started my Camino career doing the Frances last year at 64 years young. I used to be a runner doing all the fun runs I could get my feet into. I wore my hip out and had to have a hip replacement so I took up walking. I am always so grateful for what I can do as I have a dear friend who has had severe rheumatoid arthritis since she was 18. She is now in a wheelchair and in constant pain - I always think of her when I am walking and all those people who for health reasons can’t do the everyday things we sometimes take for granted. Like the serenity prayer says “Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”. I practice living in the present - I don’t always succeed but I believe it’s one of the keys to acceptance and serenity.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I'm sure we'll be just fine when the day comes when we have only Camino memories and not Camino dreams.
Indeed. And, thanks to Ivar, we have the Forum, our virtual everlasting Camino, worthy of our donations to keep it (us) going.
 

jimmyc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
Hey, I am 80 and I have no intention of stopping any time soon. I have walked the C to C ,the CF from SJPP, the Portuguese from Lisbon, the Primitivo and the Sanabres last September. I am already planning my next walk.
The important thing is to walk within your limitations. I usually restrict my daily walk to around 20kms and take a day off after every 7 days..
Having said that I dont know how I would cope with not being able to walk. I firmly believe that there is no better exercise for older people than regular extended walks.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Hey, I am 80 and I have no intention of stopping any time soon.
My man! You give us all hope. Balls.

This spring chicken prefers 20-25 kms/day. And I prefer a break or two with a cold beer, enjoying life and being in the now.
 
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MisterH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018 neither successful
Hey, I am 80 and I have no intention of stopping any time soon. I have walked the C to C ,the CF from SJPP, the Portuguese from Lisbon, the Primitivo and the Sanabres last September. I am already planning my next walk.
The important thing is to walk within your limitations. I usually restrict my daily walk to around 20kms and take a day off after every 7 days..
Having said that I dont know how I would cope with not being able to walk. I firmly believe that there is no better exercise for older people than regular extended walks.
Whin I was in the USMC I seriously broke my ankle. I is starting to bother me now. What I am afraid of is that if I overwork it, that I might become a cripple. I have similar diagnoses from two doctors where both said that the pain will only increase and if it gets that they could "fuse" my ankles as last resort. Currently ibuprofen helps enough that I almosr normal.

I do not want to stop walking! So I'll just have to take it one day, or walk, at a time.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I’m getting a bit of practice at the moment. I had to abandon my CdMadrid in November with a painful recurrence of plantar fasciitis but thought I should be fine by early Spring. No chance. Mid year at the earliest.

I do a variety of things - some physical, some more intellectual, not enough artistic. The loss of one pastime is frustrating and inconvenient, but it’s not a crisis. I’m heading back to Spain in mid March as planned, but instead of walking a Camino I’m improving my Spanish at an intensive school in Malaga.

We all get old - if we’re lucky.
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
When I was a young man of 36 I was struck by disease, which greatly affected my ability to walk. For the next 8 yrs I walked with short shuffle steps and eventually needed a leg brace in addition to my canes (many of which I made myself). When my older son was fighting in Afghanistan, it became my motivation to learn how to walk "normally" again so I could meet him upon his return and be able to walk beside/with him during his post-war struggles. Through many miles of repetition, my brain and my body learned to work together again to allow me near normal function. Love is a motivator of the highest order. Hiking and walking together helped him to heal and has been a true gift to me.

I live in a state of gratitude for being able to walk in places both near and far, and have since been on Camino four times. Now in my 50's, due to wear and tear, I am facing a knee replacement in the next year or two. Hopefully, my Dr and his pit crew will enable me to keep going on in the future. As someone who has lost the ability to walk normally then able to regain mobility, I have often wondered what I will do when the time comes that walking/hiking is once again no longer possible. I have resolved that should that time come, I will roll with it, either figuratively through accepting that it is no longer possible while also being grateful for the great experiences, or literally by converting to a wheelchair and keep on going places that are accessible (perhaps joining up with Patrick and Justin, the "I'll Push You" guys, on their accessible Camino trips).

Buen Camino, brother.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
So many wonderful posts in the thread, I can "like" them all!

During my years of walking the camino there have often been times that life has caused me to chose not to walk, usually because love has dictated other priorities. When that has happened I've missed the camino, but always been aware that it will still be there to walk again when the time is right. I've also had one camino where I was bought up short with an injury, but even then I knew I would eventually recover and be able to walk again.

I really don't know how I will react when I can no longer walk. I hope I am able to bear it graciously.
 

Penny Kingma

M.S. Can't Stop Me !
Camino(s) past & future
May 29th to July 4th 2016
SJPDP to Santiago
And many, many more I pray
Whin I was in the USMC I seriously broke my ankle. I is starting to bother me now. What I am afraid of is that if I overwork it, that I might become a cripple. I have similar diagnoses from two doctors where both said that the pain will only increase and if it gets that they could "fuse" my ankles as last resort. Currently ibuprofen helps enough that I almosr normal.

I do not want to stop walking! So I'll just have to take it one day, or walk, at a time.
Be careful relying on Ibuprofen. I did so on my 2016 Camino. It helped with the neuropathy in my feet. Now I have stomach issues. Just 🤞❤
 
Camino(s) past & future
Levant from Avila 2013
At 82, I'm gradually accepting that I now will probably not be able to walk another Camino after a life spent bushwalking on OZ and hiking in Europe, including a Camino in 2013 (Saureste). I've had a series of medical issues over the last few years, Bowel cancer, fractured pelvis, a hip replacement. Finally, having completed bookings and flights for a September 2019 Primitivo, I had a seizure in Sydney a few weeks before take-off and had to cancel the lot. Glad it wasn't in Spain. Quite depressing. Acceptance is realising you won't be doing another overseas trip unaccompanied or perhaps at all. It's worth noting that with my plethora of medical preconditions, the cost of travel insurance for the 2019 trip was $1,400, equal to the cost of the airfare from Sydney to Paris. Possibly now, with all that lot, I can't get travel insurance. That's it for me I think. I'd like to thank all the forum members who've contributed to this wonderful resource, not forgetting Ivar. I continue to log on daily as a sleeper.
 

jprogers

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2005
Ptgse 2007 Norte 2009 Ingles 2011
Vasco del 2013 Ourense to SdC 2016
Invierno? 2020
This is so great this thread and all the comments are thought provoking and i am agreeing with alot of the comments ! Luckily I have 10 days for Spain in September and hopefully a short camino. I do love Spain so much..if I am not walking I can always train or bus. Meanwhile i can walk locally.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
Not being able to walk long or longer distances is an issue I will face in the not too distant future. I am now planning to do the Porto In May/June (from Porto) with my brother (we are both over 70 with a few issues). This will be his only Camino, and possibly a last for me. Although I would like to walk the VDLP (say last 300km) but that will depend upon a number of external factors.
So what will I do when I can no longer walk a camino? Read and contribute to this forum; attend monthly meetings of the Sydney Pilgrims; offer advice if asked. But in general try to enjoy to the fullest the years that are left to me. I have recently adopted this motto: the glass is half-full, but feel free to top it up!!

Thanks Alex for starting this post. Cheers to all.:):);)
You could walk the Ingles...and if you felt the urge continue to Finisterre/ Muxia. As we adjust to new realities,the struggle remains. And all that separates us from a final resting stop - is the urge to resist
 

Alan Pearce

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
One never knows when it will come the time to stop walking. But when it happens one thing I will do is donate the money that the trip would have cost me to worthy causes that help pilgrims along the camino eg Peaceable Projects, Camino Chaplaincy, Confraternity of St James, Pilgrim House and others.

Be brave. Life is joyous.

Alan.
 

Theresa Brandon

Artist, photographer, dreamer
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (2018), Camino Ingles (from La Coruña, 2019), Camino Portugues (2020)
I create sketchbooks during each journey, and large hardcover photo books once I am home. I can happy relive my adventures looking through them, and put myself in each place where I stopped to draw or paint. I think I leave a little of myself in each of those places.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
You could walk the Ingles...and if you felt the urge continue to Finisterre/ Muxia. As we adjust to new realities,the struggle remains. And all that separates us from a final resting stop - is the urge to resist
Thanks @Richmond Gardner; I was going to walk to Finisteer/Muxia after this camino but brother did the flight organising and now do not have the time. If my offer to be a volunteer at Pilgrims Office in Oct comes off then I will do the short walk either before or after. Whilst I have not seen it the Ingles does not really interest me. The VDLP was my first attempt at a camino back in 2013 but foot injuries curtailed that plan. So I think I owe it to myself to try the walk 10/15 days of the big one. Cheers.
 

marilyn van graan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
A lovely and very poignant question. I did not start 'walking' until I was 60, and now as I come up on birthday 71, I have to consider if there is a 'next year' ahead. I have noticed physical changes that might indicate a 'countdown' and I certainly let these concerns dictate last year's Walk. I will walk again this year...in probably more questionable shape than last year...but I am ready to be adventurous and let the Camino roll as it will. I have learned that the thought of 'giving something up' is far worse than the actual deed. I suspect that there is life beyond Camino...
Lovely reply - remember every year is different as is every camino - most important it is about doing it your way and if you have to take longer breaks or more often or even shorter days so what - just be true to yourself and love the precious moments and memories. Much love and many more caminos aheadXXXX
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
If my offer to be a volunteer at Pilgrims Office in Oct comes off then I will do the short walk either before or after.
Good luck with that: It is very rewarding work. Did it last summer. Something one may consider when walking is not possible anymore.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2009), Camino Frances (2012), Via de la Plata (2013) and Camino del Norte planned for May, 2015
Lovely reply - remember every year is different as is every camino - most important it is about doing it your way and if you have to take longer breaks or more often or even shorter days so what - just be true to yourself and love the precious moments and memories. Much love and many more caminos aheadXXXX
Camino de Lana/Olvidado is the plan...arriving in Santiago is optional:). I intend to follow your advice.
 

Ghislaine

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francès(2006)
Le Puy/Conques(2009)
Del Norte(2012)
Portuguese(2018)
For the record: I, the threadstarter, am 65. I worry about this. I quit smoking 7 months ago without problems. I had been smoking for 53 (!) years... My son who is a doctor has examined me and says I have no damage. Good on me...

I bought my flight to Madrid yesterday, for April 16th. I will be 66 by then. The Camino(s) has changed my life, for the (much, much) better, for the people around me, as well as for me. I wish for all the first-timers to receive some of the peace that the Camino has brought into my life: It is quite a journey, if you take it in.

The day I have to stop walking the Camino(s), I will be at the end of my life. Thanks to the Camino, that moment is not too scary anymore: I have found peace. I'll continue walking as long as I can.


Ultreya!
That is one of the situation, what seems cliché, the “here and now”, has such an important meaning. I am 62, healthy, fit and I enjoy every single moment on the Caminos, as we don’t know next... so until I can, I will and when time come, at least, I will have no regrets to not have hit the roads.😊
For the record: I, the threadstarter, am 65. I worry about this. I quit smoking 7 months ago without problems. I had been smoking for 53 (!) years... My son who is a doctor has examined me and says I have no damage. Good on me...

I bought my flight to Madrid yesterday, for April 16th. I will be 66 by then. The Camino(s) has changed my life, for the (much, much) better, for the people around me, as well as for me. I wish for all the first-timers to receive some of the peace that the Camino has brought into my life: It is quite a journey, if you take it in.

The day I have to stop walking the Camino(s), I will be at the end of my life. Thanks to the Camino, that moment is not too scary anymore: I have found peace. I'll continue walking as long as I can.


Ultreya!
 

Ghislaine

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francès(2006)
Le Puy/Conques(2009)
Del Norte(2012)
Portuguese(2018)
I can remember, at 18 years of age, standing on the summit of Mount McKinley (Denali) and thinking I can and will do this type of stuff until I die.

Now that I am much, much older, with the injuries and wear and tear from decades of outdoor adventures and from earlier military service having caught up with me, I started thinking about two years ago, "How much longer can I continue?"

There are now many more days that I feel 'old and worn', than not. Trying to maintain a good base of physical conditioning seems soooo much harder every year. When looking at an upcoming year and thinking of plans for the backpacking season starting. . .or going on a Camino . . it is far more difficult to get motivated to train/exercise.

I now feel anxious about "can I do it". . . and I worry a lot more about the 'what ifs' of physically breaking down in the middle of a 14 day or month long backpacking trip. Or having to terminate a Camino early.

Then I get disgusted with feeling sorry for myself. I remind myself what a Sergeant hollered in my face during a particularly vicious training cycle: "Do you need a hug, sweet-pea? Either quit and get yer sorry carcass off my course, or do something and keep pushing on. Vacation is over, cupcake. The only easy day was yesterday."

Yeah, I know. . . . but so far, it's working. :) I'm not going to let my fears and anxieties dictate my choices. But when the time comes, I hope I can have the courage of my youth to cope and adapt to those things which I cannot control.
I believe you will find the strength!🙏
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2018)
when I did my first in 2016 one year after my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis no one could understand my WHY. One week after my return home dislocating my hips waterskiing. Since my 2016 Camino I’ve had 2 Lipedema surgeries, MOH surgery where a cancerous tumour was removed from my face, I’ve been diagnosed and began treatments for Lyme disease and Babasia , in less than 13 months I had both hips and both knees replaced in 4 surgeries. My last will be a year old on March 7 2020. Yet all I can think about is walking the Camino again. My family, friends and Doctors don’t understand. Why ??? They don’t understand how robbed I’ve felt these past 4 years. I hope to start walking from SJDP on May 25 2020. I keep picturing all those I met walking. Everyone walks with some kind of baggage. I look at all I will gain in returning. My renewal ♥🤞👣
Why can't they understand? Because they have not walked the Camino and cannot feel its pull. I walked from SJPP for the first time in 2019, at age 71, and it wasn't easy. I thought while walking that I would never feel the need to do it again, yet now I think of it all the time and am planning another Camino for 2021. Buen Camino, my friend. Take it at your pace, and enjoy every moment.
 

Koidream

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francès 2012
Camino Finisterre 2012
Keep on believing there will be one more time...
We did our first camino in 2012 and planned immediately a second. But... real life decided I had to wait.
In 2013 I was involved in a bike/car accident. Unluckily I was the one with the bike 😢
The first two years after the accident, I could barely walk (in the beginning it was like 2 km a day). I had an active job in the military, they sent me on retirement because after two years they were sure I would never be good enough to rejoin the forces. But...
I decided to fight back and go back for another camino. When? I didn't knew, but what I knew is that I had to train and keep on trying to walk more and better.
Now, (8 years later) I can walk 25km again, not every day, but I am sure, if real life doesn't mess up again, we will be on our second camino next year.
Because I am only 56 now, I hope I can do a third, fourth and...
And even if we don't go back to the camino in Spain, I had my home camino's in those 8 years of revalidation.
 

Michael-FL

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portugues (2017)
Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2021)
For the record: I, the threadstarter, am 65. I worry about this. I quit smoking 7 months ago without problems. I had been smoking for 53 (!) years... My son who is a doctor has examined me and says I have no damage. Good on me...

I bought my flight to Madrid yesterday, for April 16th. I will be 66 by then. The Camino(s) has changed my life, for the (much, much) better, for the people around me, as well as for me. I wish for all the first-timers to receive some of the peace that the Camino has brought into my life: It is quite a journey, if you take it in.

The day I have to stop walking the Camino(s), I will be at the end of my life. Thanks to the Camino, that moment is not too scary anymore: I have found peace. I'll continue walking as long as I can.


Ultreya!
Alex, Right there with you. While I consider myself pretty fit with swimming/biking/running, I know, just turning 67, it won’t last forever. Having just lost my dear wife to younger onset Alzheimer’s and after eight years of caregiving, I feel compelled to take on this Camino, to grieve, take stock and maybe discern what God has in store for me next. I wish you the best on your upcoming Camino.
Maybe we’ll run into each other? I will arrive Paris 16 Apr, then fly to Biarritz, bus to Bayonne and overnite; then train to SJPP to stay at Beilari and start CF morning of 18 Apr. Buen Camino
 

Stroller

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
Because of the side effects of cancer surgery at 70 I am finding long distance walking less and less palatable. I have used a bicycle and turbo trainer for rehab. and I can cover reasonable distances. Yes I know all the stuff about bicigrinos. But if I can cycle far and as "owt is better than nowt" it looks like the way to go. So I am planning a trip from home to Rome by bicycle in the coming year, once treatment is complete and despite my oncologists predictions of how the current treatment cycle will age me. If we extend this a bit I could be tricycling, "tricygrino," well into my 80's and your right there will be no lycra.
 

Adelina

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - s'2018- Astorga to Santiago
Camino Frances - s' 2019- St Jean to Carrion
What I know is that if we are lucky, life as it goes on is full of little losses. We recognize them, mourn them and then keep going - again, if we are lucky. At almost 65, I certainly can't do what I could when I was 18, but I will keep going until I can't!
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Maybe we’ll run into each other? I will arrive Paris 16 Apr, then fly to Biarritz, bus to Bayonne and overnite; then train to SJPP to stay at Beilari and start CF morning of 18 Apr. Buen Camino
Arriving in Madrid (ticket bought) April 16th, starting out from Pamplona April 18th is my plan.

You have a very good reason to get walking. I wish you all the best, and may you have many good thoughtful findings on your Way.
 
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Island

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues 2019
Pilgrims' Way 2020
Via Francigena 2020
California Mission Trail 2020
Such great comments and perspectives! (Answer: At least once more!)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Via De La Plata, Camino De Madrid, The Oberstrasse, Camino Ingles, Camino Portugues
I wish I could remember the tv show that I recently heard this quote from. The character suddenly got fed up with not taking action: "I haven't been living. What I've been doing is waiting around to die".
The new Start Trek Picard!
 

CathyP

Cathy
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2020)
I am in my mid sixties. A few years ago my distance walking came to an abrupt end when my knee bones became much too familiar with one another and chose to exert high degrees of pain due to arthritis. Still have not had knee replacement, but I am sure that will come in the near future.
Though I miss the peace of being on a Way or trail, my path is has always been before me. It is true that I can have moments of self-pity, but they pass quickly. The call of the Camino has yet to stop and in moments of quiet solitude, I clearly hear the call to pilgrimage.
Tears flow more easily now, but they are sweet and full of gratitude for the experiences of the past and the humble willingness to follow on; to not give up and find both peace and joy in what each day brings.
Our Caminos have not ended simply because we are not on the Way; our Caminos have never stopped unless we consciously choose for them to end.
Michael, thank you so much for your beautiful words. I am just going to be stepping foot in Spain on my first Camino this April, and am inspired and blessed by your words. Thank you.
 

Delphinoula

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C.Franconia 2019 C.Algeciras Sevillia 2019
Swabian C. (2020)
We are the Camino, so how can we ever stop something we are? Every time our body seemingly deserts us there will open another way as long we can keep up the spirit and that may not be there at any age. As older I get as more obstacles I mastered and since I life basically from birth on borrowed time so what the heck.
Bob my heart goes out for you. But since the Camino starts at your house door could you you not mark your Camino from there on as an inspiration and marker for pilgrims to come.I started my second one Camino just like that.
OP all the best
 

susanawee

susanawee
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
Another member posted this:


I cannot imagine me not returning annually for another Camino, but:

So, when do you have to stop your Caminos, and how do you deal with it?
For me, I've not been able to walk very much for many, many months due to a very painfully twisted back which is never going to recover, plus my left foot which was operated on, unsuccessfully by a surgeon who should have done a better job...ie..he has caused more damage and these rwo issues, make walking without heavy duty medication, very painful...walking any real distances. I have been right to the bottom of that "deep black hole, where my mind thinks thoughts of ending my life" and have had to fight very hard at times to claw my way back up, but, over time, have gradually come to terms with things as they are now. Running my own facebook group, Australian Pilgrims on the Camino and taking part in 2018 in the ducumentary, Camino Skies, has also helped tremendously. Now, I am contemplating a two week walk in September this year in Portugal. I will have turned73 by then and will have plenty of time and no deadlines to keep.
 

Michael-FL

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portugues (2017)
Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2021)
Arriving in Madrid (ticket bought) April 16th, starting out from Pamplona April 18th is my plan.

You have a very good reason to get walking. I wish you all the best, and may you have many good thoughtful findings on your Way.
OK, then you’ll be 2-3 days ahead of me. Buen Camino.
 

TinaB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
From Leon to Santiago
Whole of Camino
Planning on walking in September 2019
Another member posted this:


I cannot imagine me not returning annually for another Camino, but:

So, when do you have to stop your Caminos, and how do you deal with it?
About four years ago I set off to walk the Camino Frances alone carrying my stuff aged 65years. A one way ticket so I could take as long as it takes. After five weeks of joyous walking I developed really painful Achilles tendinitis and realised I had to stop or be left with serious long term damage. I sat down along the Way listening to the birds and accepted I had to stop. But at the same time I promised myself I would come back the following year to where I stopped and continue. The Casa Rural was so kind when I got there. Putting ice on my foot and sorting a taxi the next day to get to my next stop and a taxi the next day to León and homeward. When I came back the following year (with a lighter bag!) I returned to the same Casa Rural and was greeted with big warm hugs! The next day I set off and walked for a further four weeks to Santiago. Lots of lessons learned. Wonderful experiences! That’s the wonder of the Camino. You are never far from anywhere but you can feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. Buen Camino my friend.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
For me, I've not been able to walk very much for many, many months due to a very painfully twisted back which is never going to recover, plus my left foot which was operated on, unsuccessfully by a surgeon who should have done a better job...ie..he has caused more damage and these rwo issues, make walking without heavy duty medication, very painful...walking any real distances. I have been right to the bottom of that "deep black hole, where my mind thinks thoughts of ending my life" and have had to fight very hard at times to claw my way back up, but, over time, have gradually come to terms with things as they are now. Running my own facebook group, Australian Pilgrims on the Camino and taking part in 2018 in the ducumentary, Camino Skies, has also helped tremendously. Now, I am contemplating a two week walk in September this year in Portugal. I will have turned73 by then and will have plenty of time and no deadlines to keep.
A very touching post Susanwee. Having Ptsd, I have had my own deep holes to "claw" my way out of. Walking has helped and it is good that you are rising above your issues to plan a two week walk. What ever the distance and whatever the pace, you are brave to move forward this way. I find the planning of trips is of great assistance in dark periods. I have recently been diagnosed with a heart issue called atrial fibrilation or afib. It is a matter of the heart not beating in its regular rhythm and the doctors say that it is not life threatening as the rest of me is in pretty good shape. I decided that I might have walked my last Camino, not out of physical concerns but the increased cost of my travel insurance scared me :oops:

I mention this because your post and others on this thread have convinced me that there is a greater cost in the not going. I am 76 and planning to leave Pamplona on April 15th and so may see you alexwalker. Look for a white beard and a kilt moving on to Leon.
 

nomadko

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela (2016)
I hope to walk for a seven to ten days this year in Italy to do the St Francis Way.But I wish to see and walk into Assisi (I walked into Rome on last year’s Francigena. This may well be my last pilgrimage who knows I was born in 1941.But it seems as long as I am fortunate and blessed . I shall treat each one as if it were my last with something that I learned on my first one , with gratitude and hope !
Ultreya!
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I am 76 and planning to leave Pamplona on April 15th and so may see you alexwalker. Look for a white beard and a kilt moving on to Leon.
Most certainly will do.
 

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