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Why the hurry?

2020 Camino Guides

Gwaihir

Member
Camino(s) past & future
1-7-2019: Nijmegen-Santiago (Lim/Mon), Campaniensis, Voie Rocamadour, Podiensis, Norte, Primitivo
Hey pelgrims,

There is one thing that's been an annoyance to me ever since I started. The Camino itself is all good and it unfolds. However, almost every time I rest somewhere I get one of the following comments:

"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"

Aside from being idiotic (why would you want to walk from Nijmegen to St Severin in 4 days), I am really tired of the feedback.

I am doing this at my own pace. I loathe any sort of forced schedule. Sometimes I walk at 05:00 and see the sunrise and other times it's too warm to even walk.

What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?

Don't get me wrong. If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.

I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?
It may just be part of the human condition to judge others by what we ourselves feel we can or want to achieve. I suspect we all do it, just as you have done here about those who are doing their camino faster than you. Whether it is appropriate to then express these judgments 'out loud' is another matter, particularly when we have no idea what the other person is trying to achieve.

How to deal with it? I don't have a ready cut solution, but I do think that somehow you need to be able to gently rebuff any implied criticism. Others might have better suggestions, but something like 'what a pity they didn't have the time to walk at a gentler pace' or 'I am fortunate enough not to have to rush my camino, and can take my time over it' might work to reinforce why your approach is just as worthy as any other.
 
Camino(s) past & future
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
From the time we are sperm trying to fertilize the egg, we are a competitive species.
Once we achieve THAT, then there's the next competition, and the next, and the next.
Survival of the fittest and all!🤣

I agree --- it doesn't matter.
Walk at your own speed/pace.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Hey pelgrims,

There is one thing that's been an annoyance to me ever since I started. The Camino itself is all good and it unfolds. However, almost every time I rest somewhere I get one of the following comments:

"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"

Aside from being idiotic (why would you want to walk from Nijmegen to St Severin in 4 days), I am really tired of the feedback.

I am doing this at my own pace. I loathe any sort of forced schedule. Sometimes I walk at 05:00 and see the sunrise and other times it's too warm to even walk.

What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?

Don't get me wrong. If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.

I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
Hahaha, you're not the only one out there. I have never started walking before 8am not even on Levante when I had the highest at approx.40C for almost 2 weeks. And rarely stop much before 5pm because I could say about my walking that I "camino rapido pero descanso lentamente" ;)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hey pelgrims,

There is one thing that's been an annoyance to me ever since I started. The Camino itself is all good and it unfolds. However, almost every time I rest somewhere I get one of the following comments:

"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"

Aside from being idiotic (why would you want to walk from Nijmegen to St Severin in 4 days), I am really tired of the feedback.

I am doing this at my own pace. I loathe any sort of forced schedule. Sometimes I walk at 05:00 and see the sunrise and other times it's too warm to even walk.

What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?

Don't get me wrong. If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.

I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
You are right that some people are judgmental and say disparaging things about those who walk short distances. But that side of the equation has no monopoly on the judgment. The judgment extends both ways. I LIKE to walk 30-40 km, and this is a habit I acquired at age 64, after almost 15 years of walking much shorter stages on the Camino. I feel alive and in touch with myself and my body. I am smelling the roses, I am enjoying the solitude. I am enjoying the effort and the sense of self-sufficiency, When I am walking and in sync with the universe, the thought of stopping early has no appeal at all. And for me, the thought of sitting in a cafe for three hours or waiting in line for an albergue to open just drives me crazy. That’s just me. You are obviously different. That’s great.

But if you think you aren’t being judgmental, read what you wrote again.

If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.


I don’t mean to sound defensive, but I can assure you that I am ALSO here to enjoy my life and not to race anywhere. We do caminos differently. Whether I walk faster or for longer hours, that’s what works for me.

I’ve been on this soapbox before, but I always feel the urge to jump to the defense of those who thrive on walking longer stages and would not enjoy it any other way. This is like the cyclist vs. pedestrian debate or the carry your own bag vs. Jacotrans debate — the judgment is frequently there beneath the surface. It’s not a bad thing to call it out, IMO.
 

DLJ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(4/2012) St.Jean to Santiago; (9/2013) Geneva to Le Puy-en-Velay and beyond
Hey pelgrims,

There is one thing that's been an annoyance to me ever since I started. The Camino itself is all good and it unfolds. However, almost every time I rest somewhere I get one of the following comments:

"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"

Aside from being idiotic (why would you want to walk from Nijmegen to St Severin in 4 days), I am really tired of the feedback.

I am doing this at my own pace. I loathe any sort of forced schedule. Sometimes I walk at 05:00 and see the sunrise and other times it's too warm to even walk.

What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?

Don't get me wrong. If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.

I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
Amen!
 

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)
This kind of comparison annoys me no end, in either direction.
Better than, worse than, equal to...faster slower, longer shorter; any of it. It's not to deny that some are faster than we, or slower - but it is painful to take the comparing seriously and then to point fingers at others on account of it. Painful both to the person comparing and the one being compared to.

I like the probing question as a response: why does it matter? That directs the focus back to where it needs to go - the root of the comparing in the first place.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I don't find the OP judgmental at all. He is just annoyed with judgmental comments by others about his way of walking. At least that's what I understand from it :)
Totally disagree, when someone says To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere, that is clearly judgmental.

I agree with VN that we need to stop the comparisons altogether. It’s comparing what I do to what you do that gets us to the point of judgment.
 

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)
And it's worth saying that judgement can be hidden, mostly from ourselves.
So when someone goes by me on the camino and I say to myself even "What's the hurry?" I imply that the other person is hurrying. And if I were to say "I'm not racing anywhere" I'd be implying that the other person is - when maybe they just have longer legs and younger bodies. But to me it may not feel judgemental.

Which is not to say that the OP's annoyance is hard to understand. It's not, at all. Nor is @peregrina2000 's.
I hate it when people do this to me. These days I am walking more on the slower side than I used to, and I notice that there can be an air of superiority that some people (not ever you @peregrina2000!) get when they think their longer days are somehow better. The thing I have to pay attention to is that if I'm not careful I can take that and sling it right back, making my shorter days better or somehow more virtuous.

We can't control what other people think, do, or say - or even whether those thoughts arise in ourselves. But at least internally we have some agency about where we go with it. And what's completely possible is to notice that comparing thought, and let it go right by without by taking it seriously abnd giving it life.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
There is one thing that's been an annoyance to me ever since I started. The Camino itself is all good and it unfolds. However, almost every time I rest somewhere I get one of the following comments:
"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"
"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"
(...)
I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
I wonder whether you are getting these comments from people who have never walked long distance in their lives, and I guess, based on where you are right now, you've met very few pilgrims who walked as far as you are planning to do. "How long have you been walking?" is a standard question from people who've never done anything like this before and most likely never will. Regard it as small talk and not as criticism based on any knowledge or understanding. "How long did it take you?" is a standard question that I get all the time.

The person who said their cousin did it in 30 days probably doesn't realise that that walk started near the French-Spanish border and not in The Netherlands. Nijmegen to Saint Severin must be around 200 km, right - oh yeah, easily in four days. Did the person walk it himself or herself? Just don't overestimate people's ability to realistically estimate distances and times for walkers on foot. Relax. Don't tell them how many days you've walked, just tell them the date you started. That will keep their brains busy for a while when they try to work out the number of days. 😅

Bon chemin!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Oh, @Gwaihir, and I predict that the standard question will change from "When did you start?" to "Where did you start?" sometime in the future. It's equally irritating. Though probably not for you. The pilgrim who asks you may regret their question once they've heard your answer. 🙃
 

Telboyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
What is wrong with going fast? During my camino I would walk really fast on Fridays, this was my weekly work out, I would try to keep heart rate up in the 150 160s for up to 2 hours at a stretch, I hate running but would use my poles to increase my speed to 6.to 7 kph pulling my self up hills. I found it necessary to work out as I tend to get fat if I don't exercise sufficiently. The rest of the week I would just amble along. This strategy seemed to work ok as my weight after 4 weeks on the CF was 300g less than when I started.
 

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)
What is wrong with going fast?
Nothing. Nor is there anything wrong with going slowly.
It's not about speed per se. What sucks is how either of these can be used as a soapbox for the ego. Which was @peregrina2000's and my point. Both the OP and @peregrina2000 voice how it feels to be on the receiving end of this and I don't blame them for the annoyance at all. It IS annoying.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I agree with everybody 😄. However (there is always a however), I might very well ask someone those questions of where? When? How long? I am interested in the different styles, approaches and experiences. Comparisons in themselves can be interesting and non-judgemental.

But I am annoyed by statements such as "it's not a race" or "I like to smell the roses" which imply that the other person doesn't.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Could be this conversation also, yes. And what exactly is judgmental here in the answer???
 

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)
Well, both analogies don't quite do it for me, Laurie and K1.
Because there are no 'loaded' words in there.

Some words in and of themselves have positive or negative connotations: for example, 'hurry' and 'rush' on the negative side and 'linger' and 'savor' on the pleasant side.

So if you said, " I like to savor my beer," that could be distinctly judgemental depending on to whom it was directed and under what circumstances (eg., if you said it with a particular tone of voice to someone who'd just guzzled a whole beer in a short period of time). But it could be completely neutral.

Context and tone count for a lot - and words with positive connotations can be easily used sarcastically or pointedly. And if you use the ones with negative overtones, the message is often one of judgement.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Well, both analogies don't quite do it for me, Laurie and K1.
Because there are no 'loaded' words in there.

Some words in and of themselves have positive or negative connotations: for example, 'hurry' and 'rush' on the negative side and 'linger' and 'savor' on the pleasant side.

So if you said, " I like to savor my beer," that could be distinctly judgemental depending on to whom it was directed and under what circumstances (eg., if you said it with a particular tone of voice to someone who'd just guzzled a whole beer in a short period of time). But it could be completely neutral.

Context and tone count for a lot - and words with positive connotations can be easily used sarcastically or pointedly. And if you use the ones with negative overtones, the message is often one of judgement.
You’re right. I thought of that on my ride home tonight. But not so much because of the loaded words, but because the final comment needs more positivity to serve as a contrast with what the first person said, and so it equates better to “But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.”

A: I think I’ll drink a gallon of gin.

B: To each his own. I think I will have a glass of beer. I love my liver, and I don’t want to destroy it.

And I also agree that context, expressions, cadence, etc all carry a lot of meaning, which is of course why written comments on the forum so frequently get misinterpreted and descend into bar brawls.

And, btw, this maybe should be better posted in Rick’s silly thread, because I am really just trying to mess with Kinky.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?

Don't get me wrong. If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.
Yup. . to each his own. :)

My 'own' is to enjoy walking 32 to 40 kilometers per day. It is my normal and comfortable pace while walking from sun up, until the nearness of early evening. With that pace I can smell the roses, hear babbling brooks, see the shadows of cloud shapes as they scutter along the ground, pet dogs, chat with passersby, and enjoy several Fantas. :)

I don't race and I don't run. It is how I enjoy my time walking and backpacking. :cool:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
Sadly, I believe that many now have such negative outlooks that they are unable to see the good in other people, even when it is clearly not intended to be offensive. Others have lost the ability to redirect an encounter into more positive directions.
 
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truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
And it's worth saying that judgement can be hidden, mostly from ourselves.
So when someone goes by me on the camino and I say to myself even "What's the hurry?" I imply that the other person is hurrying. And if I were to say "I'm not racing anywhere" I'd be implying that the other person is - when maybe they just have longer legs and younger bodies. But to me it may not feel judgemental.

Which is not to say that the OP's annoyance is hard to understand. It's not, at all. Nor is @peregrina2000 's.
I hate it when people do this to me. These days I am walking more on the slower side than I used to, and I notice that there can be an air of superiority that some people (not ever you @peregrina2000!) get when they think their longer days are somehow better. The thing I have to pay attention to is that if I'm not careful I can take that and sling it right back, making my shorter days better or somehow more virtuous.

We can't control what other people think, do, or say - or even whether those thoughts arise in ourselves. But at least internally we have some agency about where we go with it. And what's completely possible is to notice that comparing thought, and let it go right by without by taking it seriously abnd giving it life.
Oy, what a lesson. Thank you for these words 🙏🏼
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young gun
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - 2015
Camino Norte - 2016
Camino Frances - 2018
Jean Christophe Rufin explains it beautifully in his book The Santiago Pilgrimage: Walking the Immortal Way. For some pilgrims on the Camino the distance is your status. It is like the question: What do you do for living? in real life. The thing is people need time to understand the Camino... Also, the physical aspect of the Camino might be terrifying at first and some people are really focused on that comparing with others as a benchmark if they are doing OK. The more you walk the more you see the true purpose... Normally, when I talk to people who have never done the Camino they are fascinated by the numbers... 700km... 30days... 25 km a day... Waking up at 5:00... All these things, I was like that at first as well.... After few Caminos I know that walking is just a part of it... Not the objective
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
I've only walked a couple of Camino's so far, but each time I had the same experience when getting close to Santiago (or Finisterre): feeling sorry that it's coming to an end.

When it's almost over I always realise that it actually is about the way, not about reaching the destination.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Poor OP when he'll read all this :D :D :D
In particular, and I agree with your reading of the OP, he appears to be mainly annoyed because others seem to expect him to walk faster than he has chosen to walk. So the issue is not that others walk fast or walk long distances per day, compared to him, at least not primarily.

He's also one of the few people I've read who says there are days when I don't want to walk. Because it's too warm to walk for example. Eminently sensible imho. That's something most peregrinos are apparently unable to do: just not walk for a day. There always has to be a reason: "play" tourist, cure an injury etc. Not walking for a day or more, or not moving forwards in any way, can apparently never be part of a pilgrimage. Of course, it's understandable, since the modern albergue rules in Spain force you to be on the move day after day and there's a plane to be caught at the end of the Camino Frances. But four months from The Netherlands to Spain? Give him a break. In the true sense of the word.

🙃
 
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nickpellatt

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French 2015 Portuguese 2018 Norte May 2019 Finesterre and Muxia April 2019
"How long have you been walking?"

I was a little later than most people. It was Easter 1970, I was a year old before I took my first steps.

"When did you start your Camino?"

I have been walking a Camino my whole life.

My preferred answers. I'm OK with the judging and measuring thing, actually I accept it as being totally normal. A basic Daoism idea is that everything only exists in relation to something else. We only know what is beautiful by judging something that is ugly. Understanding this helps me accept being judged as the 'Crazy Camino Man', after giving my above answers to a simple 'Let's make friends' Camino question :)
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
My ”comfort distance” is 20-25 kms per day depending on terrain. I am a slow walker and I like to take frequent breaks, so I generally use 7-8 hours to walk that distance.
Anybody can think whatever he or she wants about that, I really don’t care 🙂
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
On my first Camino, I noticed an other pilgrim. Somewhere on the Mesetas. He was walking ahead of me. When walking at a normal speed, I would expect that it would take some time to catch up with him. To my surprise I was catching up with him very fast. So I became worried. He was moving so slowly I thought he might have a problem.

When I caught up with him, it turned out to be a Korean man, 78 years old. I asked him if he was alright. He was. He explained that he doesn't walk fast and never more than 15 km. per day. Enjoying himself every moment and every meter. And replied: "I'll get there in my own time: Santiago isn't going anywhere".

He didn't need to explain, I immediately got the lesson to be learned.

Or, as a Tibetan sherpa said to the Swiss mountaineers who were in a hurry to climb the Mount Everest: "You've got the watch, but I've got the time".

🙂
 

Dave2525

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014
If someone asks me a simple question I try and give a simple answer, not a deflection, evasion or throwing a question back at them.

If that then leads to other comments, judgemental or not, then I would play it by ear as to the response.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
You 'get it'..............they don't. ;)
Don't even try to explain it.............
Each to her/his own........
 

Nick B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - May/June 2018
Portugese - (2019)
Norte - (2020)
We all should have more to worry about then another's statement or question, in my view be polite and just keep walking.

“Walking is the great adventure, the first meditation, a practice of heartiness and soul primary to humankind. Walking is the exact balance of spirit and humility.” ~ Gary Snider
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
As you get older your perspective changes a bit. When I walked when I was younger 30 or 40 K a day was normal. I didn't consider it fast. Now (in my 70s), I find that my limit is probably 30K and I'd prefer no more than 25K. What that has done is gotten me into towns that I didn't know I would even like. I'm a big city person who feels comfortable walking with another 2M of my closest friends. But, yet, when I'm forced to spend some time in a very small town that can be walked in 10 minutes, you find something that you didn't know you even wanted. So, yes, I do miss the speed and the ability to say that I walked 40K yesterday, but somehow life replaced that with a different joy (or maybe I've just rationalized by getting older). I guess my bottomline is that when I walked more I saw less and not that I walk less I see better. But I still miss being able to have a pace of 40K a day with little pain :)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Poor OP when he'll read all this :D :D :D
That thought stayed with me last night. I re-read the thread and see that I was being overly sensitive. I’ve gotten so many of those “it’s not a race” and “why don’t you take time to smell the roses” comments that they now get right under my skin and trigger an almost involuntary reaction. I apologize for that.

It’s funny, when those comments come up in a face to face conversation, it doesn’t bother me at all since I can respond to a person and in context. It’s the stripped to the bone text that irritates me. Good lessons, VN and Kathar1na, once again!
 

Michael-FL

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portugues (2017)
Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2021)
Hey pelgrims,

There is one thing that's been an annoyance to me ever since I started. The Camino itself is all good and it unfolds. However, almost every time I rest somewhere I get one of the following comments:

"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"

Aside from being idiotic (why would you want to walk from Nijmegen to St Severin in 4 days), I am really tired of the feedback.

I am doing this at my own pace. I loathe any sort of forced schedule. Sometimes I walk at 05:00 and see the sunrise and other times it's too warm to even walk.

What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?

Don't get me wrong. If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.

I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
Short answer: It’s your Camino; it’s no one else’s. Who gives a flip what others think?
 

bikerkvw

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Inglish, Camino de la Plata. Future Camino Francis
Hey pelgrims,

There is one thing that's been an annoyance to me ever since I started. The Camino itself is all good and it unfolds. However, almost every time I rest somewhere I get one of the following comments:

"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"

Aside from being idiotic (why would you want to walk from Nijmegen to St Severin in 4 days), I am really tired of the feedback.

I am doing this at my own pace. I loathe any sort of forced schedule. Sometimes I walk at 05:00 and see the sunrise and other times it's too warm to even walk.

What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?

Don't get me wrong. If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.

I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
I begin my 5th Camino the middle of August. I am planning on 60 days to walk from SJPP to Astorga and then south to walk the Sanabres Camino to Santiago. Then out to Muxia and Finnesterra. I am taking my time. For a return ticket reasons I will average about 19 kms day. I want to stop, smell the roses, take plenty of photos, talk to people and enjoy to bliss that God gives me while walking the Camino. I am a motorcycle rider and the saying is "ride your own ride" now it is "Walk your own Walk/Camino." This is my Camino and I will do it my way. You do it yours. My walk will be a walk of "tranquillity" and enjoyment. this may be my last time on the Camino so I intend to enjoy ever centimeter of it. Buen Camino.
 

Traa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I want to walk Camino in Sept/Oct 2017
With the utmost respect, You're wasting energy even asking or thinking about this. To reiterate many other comments, it's your Camino, fast or slow paced, whatever you like. Why would you even care.

I always liked to walk at quite a fast pace when I did the Camino and it was so enjoyable and perfect for me. It drove two ladies absolutely crazy though and every time we came across each other they used to ask me what my hurry was, tell me it's not a race, tell me to slow down and enjoy myself etc... it was just bizarre! I really don't know why it used to annoy them and why they felt the need to question me and try to make me feel like I was doing it wrong?! Mind you I really didn't care, I actually felt sorry for them for being like that.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
Wow, quite a thread!! But I learned something from all this: I rationally and logically believe strongly in the 'smell the roses' approach. But in reality, my inner self is quite competitive. So I want to get where I'm going early, I want to be respected for how fast I can walk (at the tender age of 70) and my logic flies away.

This past camino I was stopped by sciatica. I was the grasshopper and was forced to be a turtle. That was harder than the pain involved.

I'm trying to embrace my inner turtle these days in real life, but those old habits die hard.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
You are right that some people are judgmental and say disparaging things about those who walk short distances. But that side of the equation has no monopoly on the judgment. The judgment extends both ways. I LIKE to walk 30-40 km, and this is a habit I acquired at age 64, after almost 15 years of walking much shorter stages on the Camino. I feel alive and in touch with myself and my body. I am smelling the roses, I am enjoying the solitude. I am enjoying the effort and the sense of self-sufficiency, When I am walking and in sync with the universe, the thought of stopping early has no appeal at all. And for me, the thought of sitting in a cafe for three hours or waiting in line for an albergue to open just drives me crazy. That’s just me. You are obviously different. That’s great.

But if you think you aren’t being judgmental, read what you wrote again.

If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.

I don’t mean to sound defensive, but I can assure you that I am ALSO here to enjoy my life and not to race anywhere. We do caminos differently. Whether I walk faster or for longer hours, that’s what works for me.

I’ve been on this soapbox before, but I always feel the urge to jump to the defense of those who thrive on walking longer stages and would not enjoy it any other way. This is like the cyclist vs. pedestrian debate or the carry your own bag vs. Jacotrans debate — the judgment is frequently there beneath the surface. It’s not a bad thing to call it out, IMO.
Amen!
Thanks Laurie, you saved me from having to answer the OP.

Some of us just love those long distances (and/or have a naturally fast tempo) and don't want to arrive at 10 or 11 a.m.
 

Thomas1962

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Porto - SdC - Finisterra 2011: E4 on Crete 2012: Le Puy - SJPdP 2013: Camino Madrid -> Del Salvador -> Primitivo 2014: European Peace Walk. 2015: Amsterdam - SdC & Barcelona -Burgos. 2016:Norte & hospitalero
Like Dougfitz already stated, we all judge. And I'm happy we all do, we have to. There are things, which I cannot and don't want to accept.
Any compliment is a judgment too, and most of the time we do like them, it can make us grow. But sometimes people judge us in a negative way, or it might be we feel as something negative. Most of the time we feel bad about that.

Although most of the times I'm not good in it, I try to think in these cases that I cannot change the other persons thinking or judgment. I can only guide my own reaction of feeling to it. Why does it bother me if other people have ideas about if my caminospeed is good or bad? The only person feels bad about being bothered is me. It is an exercise every day for me.

So @Gwaihir, I wish you many people telling you their opinion about the perfect camino speed.
:eek::(:confused::rolleyes:😶😐😑🧐🤨😌😉🙂🙃😛😝🥳
 

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)
"Suffering or happiness is created through one's relationship to experience, not by experience itself."
Very true, and it can't be repeated enough. And...
ie: your reactions to others comments are more important than the comments themselves. And you have a large control over your reactions.
Maybe.
Some of us do and some of us don't - and the people who do know this still make mistakes. It's a matter of learning how to access inner space, and getting skilled at that. So we also need to learn to cut each other (and ourseves) some slack when that's not possible.
It's called compassion.
 

Denise McKay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
16th September 2017
Hey pelgrims,

There is one thing that's been an annoyance to me ever since I started. The Camino itself is all good and it unfolds. However, almost every time I rest somewhere I get one of the following comments:

"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"

Aside from being idiotic (why would you want to walk from Nijmegen to St Severin in 4 days), I am really tired of the feedback.

I am doing this at my own pace. I loathe any sort of forced schedule. Sometimes I walk at 05:00 and see the sunrise and other times it's too warm to even walk.

What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?

Don't get me wrong. If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.

I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
Everyone walks their own Camino but I am with you...Why hurry? Maybe time might be limited and not everyone has the luxury of time. Just enjoy the Camino no matter what pace you walk it.
 

Lel

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago (2006)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
Hey pelgrims,

There is one thing that's been an annoyance to me ever since I started. The Camino itself is all good and it unfolds. However, almost every time I rest somewhere I get one of the following comments:

"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"

Aside from being idiotic (why would you want to walk from Nijmegen to St Severin in 4 days), I am really tired of the feedback.

I am doing this at my own pace. I loathe any sort of forced schedule. Sometimes I walk at 05:00 and see the sunrise and other times it's too warm to even walk.

What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?

Don't get me wrong. If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.

I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
I think that is exactly what you should say. I say that too but have to work really hard to resist the pressure to keep up with all the rushers. L
 

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)
Wow, quite a thread!! But I learned something from all this: I rationally and logically believe strongly in the 'smell the roses' approach. But in reality, my inner self is quite competitive. So I want to get where I'm going early, I want to be respected for how fast I can walk (at the tender age of 70) and my logic flies away.

This past camino I was stopped by sciatica. I was the grasshopper and was forced to be a turtle. That was harder than the pain involved.

I'm trying to embrace my inner turtle these days in real life, but those old habits die hard.
This was the first post on this thread that resonated with me. My response to earlier posts was: If I ever stop competing with myself, I'll maybe find space in my life to compete with someone else. I am feeling highly embarrassed that this fall's camino will only be about 750 km, my shortest yet. And I realize that just to say that is a kind of bragging. That is one of the things that I cherish about the camino, and this forum, that coming up against others' and our own, foibles and frailties can be a significant way towards self-knowledge and maybe even acceptance of self and others.
 

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.
Hey pelgrims,

There is one thing that's been an annoyance to me ever since I started. The Camino itself is all good and it unfolds. However, almost every time I rest somewhere I get one of the following comments:

"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"

Aside from being idiotic (why would you want to walk from Nijmegen to St Severin in 4 days), I am really tired of the feedback.

I am doing this at my own pace. I loathe any sort of forced schedule. Sometimes I walk at 05:00 and see the sunrise and other times it's too warm to even walk.

What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?

Don't get me wrong. If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.

I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
If people want to get somewhere fast, they should drive. Walking is meant to be slow travel - they slowest there ever was, actually!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
This was the first post on this thread that resonated with me. My response to earlier posts was: If I ever stop competing with myself, I'll maybe find space in my life to compete with someone else. I am feeling highly embarrassed that this fall's camino will only be about 750 km, my shortest yet. And I realize that just to say that is a kind of bragging. That is one of the things that I cherish about the camino, and this forum, that coming up against others' and our own, foibles and frailties can be a significant way towards self-knowledge and maybe even acceptance of self and others.
Hey, no problem in "short" Camino. Majority of people couldn't even imagine walking 5km per day. Without backpack ;)

As a purist I had some problems busing (due to all range of circumstances one can't predict) from Via de Bayona to Salvador to Ingles in 2016. In the end I was OK with all what happened. I guess it must've been that way. And I don't feel sorry for any of my decisions on that Camino Combo. I'm sure you'll feel the same after finishing. Again, nothing wrong with "only" 750km Camino ;)
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"

Aside from being idiotic (why would you want to walk from Nijmegen to St Severin in 4 days), I am really tired of the feedback.
We all get tiresome feedback from people, especially when we do something outside the norm - on the Camino and away from it. I find that the tried and true smile-and-nod is a great way to deal with this type of feedback - maybe a non-committal statement here and there. I am reminded of my grandpa, who had 2 go-to phrases for tiresome feedback:

"You don't say."
"I'll be damned."

Try it - see how well it works:

"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"
"I'll be damned"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"
"You don't say"
 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Travel318
Some days I walk and savor, and some day I feel like soaring, I can’t feel my pack and I go go go. But generally my mantra to myself is walk in a relaxed manner. I take tons of pictures and stop for breaks and to visit. If I meet someone and we want to spend the evening togetherness I just make sure I do gets exchanged so we can connect after I arrive. (Usually later than others. Personally, I don’t care how you walk as long as you are enjoying yourself.
 

CAJohn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept/Oct 2019
About a year ago, there seemed to be a lot of threads about people criticizing how people were doing the Camino. Too fast, too slow, carrying backpack, using backpack service, staying in albergues, staying in single rooms, skipping a stage, taking a bus, riding a bike; starting in SJPDP, Roncenvalles, Pamplona, or Sarria, etc.

So many of the comments that people were reporting that others had said to them seemed almost designed to provoke.

I decided back then (but haven't thought much about it since until this thread) that I would respond to such a comment about how I was doing the Camino with: "I am sorry, but I can only do my Camino, I cannot do yours for you. You will have to do it for yourself"

We'll see if I actually say that to someone, or if I just say "Buen Camino" and refuse to further engage.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Amazing development. The OP writes about people who tell him he might walk more, and faster than he wants to do.

Give the guy a break, will you? He has had a difficult start of his Camino and he could do with a little support from this community. Instead he is being critcised for things he did not even write, it takes a peculiar kind of mindset to read his words as criticism of long distance hikers.

Walk a while in his shoes.
I believe you misinterpreted my post, I mentioned nothing about long distance hikers. I was agreeing with Laurie's post and that those of us on the other side of the spectrum (walk fast or like walking long DAILY distances) also receive similar comments. Nothing else to read into my post.
 

Juspassinthrough

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, May-June (2017)
Ingles, June (2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Le Puy-Santiago (2023)
Hey pelgrims,

There is one thing that's been an annoyance to me ever since I started. The Camino itself is all good and it unfolds. However, almost every time I rest somewhere I get one of the following comments:

"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"

Aside from being idiotic (why would you want to walk from Nijmegen to St Severin in 4 days), I am really tired of the feedback.

I am doing this at my own pace. I loathe any sort of forced schedule. Sometimes I walk at 05:00 and see the sunrise and other times it's too warm to even walk.

What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?

Don't get me wrong. If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.

I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
My friend, when you get this question, I would offer only that we each walk our own Way.

Buen Camino.
 

Rick Chollett

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spring of 2018.
Hey pelgrims,

There is one thing that's been an annoyance to me ever since I started. The Camino itself is all good and it unfolds. However, almost every time I rest somewhere I get one of the following comments:

"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"

Aside from being idiotic (why would you want to walk from Nijmegen to St Severin in 4 days), I am really tired of the feedback.

I am doing this at my own pace. I loathe any sort of forced schedule. Sometimes I walk at 05:00 and see the sunrise and other times it's too warm to even walk.

What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?

Don't get me wrong. If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.

I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
I always had to think about how long I had been walking. I usually just tell them when I started.
 

Mr_Ross_Duncan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018) Portuguese (2017)
"how long have you been walking?" Is not asking how fast you're walking, nor how far you're walking, nor how slow you're walking, it's just small talk about exactly that, how long have you been walking.
Bit of a mountain out of a molehill me thinks.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I don't think Gwaihir was being judgemental, just letting off a little steam produced by the endless competitive questions.

and there is an invented hierarchy amongst pilgrims and we have all seen it and it always starts with "Where did you start" and if you say Pamplona they will look smug and instantly tell you they started in St Jean, then they will ask someone else and that person will answer Le Puy and they go all hero worship - the another competition is how much does your pack weigh - crikey! I loathe the pilgrim competition game.

On the other hand it could be that those questions are just opening small talk instead of the 'at home' soiree question of 'what do you do' ?

Few suggestions - you could just respond by asking when/where they started, then you could ask why, then are they enjoying it and for all you know you may end up with a new pal!!

Or - If you get asked "when did you start walking" tell them "when I was 15 months old".
If they then say "no, I mean where did you start" say, "right next to my mother".
If they ask where you are from and you tell them which country and they ask "which part" answer "all of me"

and so on ....

Fast walking, to me, is hurrying. This is not judgemental but what I perceive when they zoom past. I have a pal who walks and his pace is about three times mine so he has to sort of circle me like a Collie dog. Thing is, he does all this mindfulness and meditation but when I ask him 'what's the hurry, we are already here - we are here!' he gets all huffy.
If one has the attitude and awareness that we are already here, there, in the centre of it, then there is no hurrying, no pounding the miles, only sauntering - and, rather than the mileage pounding which looks like hurrying and missing everything to me - I prefer to saunter - saunter is a good word, don't you think??
 
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David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
What is wrong with going fast? During my camino I would walk really fast on Fridays, this was my weekly work out, I would try to keep heart rate up in the 150 160s for up to 2 hours at a stretch, I hate running but would use my poles to increase my speed to 6.to 7 kph pulling my self up hills. I found it necessary to work out as I tend to get fat if I don't exercise sufficiently. The rest of the week I would just amble along. This strategy seemed to work ok as my weight after 4 weeks on the CF was 300g less than when I started.
I see it like this -

q-doctor-ive-heard-that-cardiovascular-exercise-can-prolong-life-30995946.png
 

bobbogram

Member
Camino(s) past & future
El Norte San Sebastián to Santiago; Portuguese Lisbon to Porto; Porto to Santiago; Geneva west
Like many other folks, they misunderstand the term “human race”.

I explained to other pilgrims that I was trailing behind my three companions because, in American baseball, the strongest batter bats “cleanup”, the fourth one in batting order, or that I was just being polite, or other silly idea at the time.

This non-stop competitive attitude isn’t screened out when opting for the Camino. It’s just another chance to demonstrate it.

Cheers
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Every speed is right if it gets you where you need to go.
And here is a Dr. Seuss reply for all those know it betters: “In the places I go there are things that I see that I never could spell if I stopped with the Z.”
Or maybe a mathematical formula?
Or with Hafiz :Ever since happiness heard your name it has been running through the streets trying to find you.
 

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)
Fast walking, to me, is hurrying. This is not judgemental but what I perceive when they zoom past. I have a pal who walks and his pace is about three times mine so he has to sort of circle me like a Collie dog. Thing is, he does all this mindfulness and meditation but when I ask him 'what's the hurry, we are already here - we are here!' he gets all huffy.
So asking someone whose pace is different from yours, "What's the hurry?" is not being judgmental? Suggesting that everyone should saunter, like you do, is not being judgmental?
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
So asking someone whose pace is different from yours, "What's the hurry?" is not being judgmental? Suggesting that everyone should saunter, like you do, is not being judgmental?
You carry so much anger - please to try and read my post again, I did not suggest such a thing

try these -

C7nnzl8X0AIp4dc.jpg

f68ee2fccf8cec3352fe33641648bca8.jpg

d3e7192de3a2c66ab9a9dc80573e9030.jpg

So judgemental, these Buddhist masters - Buen Camino 🙏❤
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
"how long have you been walking?" Is not asking how fast you're walking, nor how far you're walking, nor how slow you're walking, it's just small talk about exactly that, how long have you been walking.
Bit of a mountain out of a molehill me thinks.
I agree. It's just small talk among people who are walking the same route.
I don't think Gwaihir was being judgemental, just letting off a little steam produced by the endless competitive questions.
They are only competitive questions if you take them that way.
 

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)
David, we don't usually disagree. ;) 🙏
But here's how I see it:
Fast walking, to me, is hurrying.
So judgemental, these Buddhist masters
Not to take those quotes out of context. Slow is not always better.
Hurrying and going fast are two very different things. One can be deeply and completely present in a contemplative way while walking fast. Sure, in an intensive retreat, people often slow down, a lot, and that's encouraged because it's helpful fot training the mind and developing deeper insight. But in daily life - and on the camino - it's impossible to function at a snail's pace. So moment to moment awareness at speed is an essential skill to develop.
(Osho's was not Buddhist, BTW...far from it.)

And of course sauntering is good.
The point I suspect you're missing is that what pace sauntering happens varies immensely from person to person. I can attest from first-hand experience that my sauntering and @peregrina2000's or @LTfit's sauntering look really different. Their speed might be misconstrued as rushing but it's absolutely not.

There IS rushing on the camino, and I don't like it either. Rushing always comes with a lack of embodied presence, where the mind that wants to get somewhere has taken over the show. But to assume speed is always a symptom of the 'hurry up mind' is a dangerous assumption, and yes, a judgement.

It's that 'hurry up' mentality that's an issue, not the speed one walks per se. Because it's possible to hurry at a slow pace, too. I can't speak for you, but I catch myself at it all the time.
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
The funny thing about communication is that the receiver has the choice how to receive the message.
Often what we hear is tinted with our experience and not intended the way you may have heard it or understood it.
So dear big bird listen to yourself what are those remarks doing with you? And then nurture your needs in your answer.
A lot of people are flat.
I meat at the cathedral a guy who just arrive there just as I did and I was happy to see a fellow pilgrim who had come from the same direction, so instead of rejoicing with me that we all had made he literally looked down at me and said yes but we walked it in 40 km increments. First I was speechless then I thought 40 is great I cannot do it but this is his story not mine. That made him happy, but did he have to put me down. No. Actually he diminished himself. So again not my story.
So someone comes with a competitive or stupid remark how much energy do I want to invest in this? Hence my Dr. Seuss remark.
 

Marc S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012-2018 Frances, Norte, Salvador, Aragones, Portuguese, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakibspaad.
hey @Gwaihir

Just want to say I enjoy your blog. Pretty inspirational, as I plan to walk from Amsterdam some day. Hope all is going well, as you have not posted on it for some days.

As for the debate about being judgemental. English not being my first language, at first I did not fully grasp what this word means and I could not really understand what some people are so upset about. In Dutch I though it means 'beoordelen' and now I realize it means 'veroordelen', which has a more negative connotation. Personally, still I do not quite grasp what some people are so upset about and why they consider the OP's post as judgemental.

It seems a bit judgemental to me to label someone as judgemental. If a statement appears judgemental, it is maybe more appropriate (particularly for those who find it important to not be judgemental) to ask for clarification and to check if one has understood correctly.
 

Koidream

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francès 2012
Camino Finisterre 2012
I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
Why don't you try: "I made my first steps when I was 13 months old..." I am sure they will understand what you mean 🤣
 

CharlieWart

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (2018)
I love the even-handed sentiment here -- and totally agree that there should be no judgment of others choosing to go fast, or slow, or long, or short (well unless they take taxis and claim they've walked of course).

But as someone from the opposite end of the spectrum -- who did the minimum distance, but ran -- I can tell you the pilgrims' office is on your side. I was refused a distance certificate for having done it too quickly!
 

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)
For me, fast walking can be bliss, not always, because bliss comes to me as a gift. My earliest memories of this are as a teenager, feeling my body speeding up into faster movement as I grew and became stronger, and laughing at my older brother for expressing embarrassment that his sister walked liked a man and not like a girl. Now, I walk like an old woman and struggle to manage arthritis and shin splints. But occasionally I feel this again. Most recently, after a month of daily walks and swims in Puerto Vallarta in February, I found myself alone, walking back to my hotel after dark, uphill, in the cool evening air. I sped up, without effort, and felt my breath coming smoothly and my body warming up a little, so I sped up some more, just for the sheer pleasure of it. At some point, that pleasure turned into joy. I shall feel myself blessed if, at some point after walking the camino for a month or more this fall, that feeling returns to me, even briefly. But I shall enjoy the slower walking, too. I believe that we pilgrims can find our bliss at any pace.
 

GeorgeMacCready

New Member
Hey pelgrims,

There is one thing that's been an annoyance to me ever since I started. The Camino itself is all good and it unfolds. However, almost every time I rest somewhere I get one of the following comments:

"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"

Aside from being idiotic (why would you want to walk from Nijmegen to St Severin in 4 days), I am really tired of the feedback.

I am doing this at my own pace. I loathe any sort of forced schedule. Sometimes I walk at 05:00 and see the sunrise and other times it's too warm to even walk.

What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?

Don't get me wrong. If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.

I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
 

GeorgeMacCready

New Member
I have done three caminos and am very slow. On my first camino people would ask me where I started from that day, and when I told the truth, they would scoff and tell me they were going 30 or 40 kilometres a day. I, however learned and when asked I would state a location 10-20 kilometres before where I started. That usually
shut them up.
 
Camino(s) past & future
this will be my first. Norte September 2018.
Hey pelgrims,

There is one thing that's been an annoyance to me ever since I started. The Camino itself is all good and it unfolds. However, almost every time I rest somewhere I get one of the following comments:

"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"

Aside from being idiotic (why would you want to walk from Nijmegen to St Severin in 4 days), I am really tired of the feedback.

I am doing this at my own pace. I loathe any sort of forced schedule. Sometimes I walk at 05:00 and see the sunrise and other times it's too warm to even walk.

What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?

Don't get me wrong. If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.

I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
Don’t take it personally. Those questions are about those people. Let it wash over you like water, certainly do not attach to resentment or annoyance. Find a nice neutral answer and let go. It depends on if you want to engage. ❤
 

ClaireJJ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Way (2017); Hope for French Way again (2019)
This is an entertaining thread, which I really have enjoyed, but which I hope to forget about soon so I won't be keeping it my consciousness as I walk the Camino (in Sept). I don't want to be second guessing myself and to make sure I ask the proper questions when I just want to connect with someone. I don't want to avoid, "When did you get started this morning?" or "Where did you start." or "What brings you to the Camino." Perhaps I could be more creative, but I don't want to have to over-think how to be so. My body seems to prefer about 20 km per day, which is just the way it is, not good or bad. There are times I see someone sprinting athletically around me and I have a short-lived rush of envy and resentment. Other times, I pass someone sauntering along with a beatific grin and I have a similar rush of envy and resentment. I try not to share those particular internal experiences because I know they are about me - not them. I hope I haven't let my envy and resentment slip out - if so, sorry out there. This thread will help me be more aware of loaded words - but, hopefully not hyper-aware. Most of the time I'm just interested in the experience others are having and want to connect.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
This is an easy problem to solve - wear a scowl or a sign that says "Don't ask me any questions." Then you will avoid judgement about your answers.

Fast walking, to me, is hurrying. This is not judgemental but what I perceive when they zoom past. I have a pal who walks and his pace is about three times mine so he has to sort of circle me like a Collie dog. Thing is, he does all this mindfulness and meditation but when I ask him 'what's the hurry, we are already here - we are here!' he gets all huffy.
Your friend gets huffy because you are criticizing his speed and implying that he is motivated to get somewhere faster. Circling you like a Collie is not "hurrying"! It is the opposite - he is walking at his comfortable speed and trying NOT to hurry because he wants to accommodate your natural speed. It is unkind to admonish and embarrass him for it.

You carry so much anger
C'mon @David . I am dismayed by this presumptuous and unwarranted suggestion.
 
Last edited:

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Fast walking, to me, is hurrying. This is not judgemental but what I perceive when they zoom past. I have a pal who walks and his pace is about three times mine so he has to sort of circle me like a Collie dog. Thing is, he does all this mindfulness and meditation but when I ask him 'what's the hurry, we are already here - we are here!' he gets all huffy.
I know that this might be hard to understand, but it's difficult, and sometimes even painful for a person who has a naturally fast pace to slow down. I know that my back can start to hurt when I'm trying to walk at someone else's slower pace. Your friend obviously values time spent with you, and is doing his best to accommodate your walking pace so that he can do so.
 

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)
There are times I see someone sprinting athletically around me and I have a short-lived rush of envy and resentment. Other times, I pass someone sauntering along with a beatific grin and I have a similar rush of envy and resentment. I try not to share those particular internal experiences because I know they are about me - not them.
You've nailed it, Claire.
I hope you have a very buen camino at whatever speed you walk.

This is an easy problem to solve - wear a scowl or a sign that says "Don't ask me any questions." Then you will avoid judgement about your answers.
🤣🤣🤣

I know that this might be hard to understand, but it's difficult, and sometimes even painful for a person who has a naturally fast pace to slow down.
It actually isn't, really. Most of us are faster than someone, and they may be thinking that we are rushing, when we're not. And you're right, @trecile, it's painful to walk anyone elses's pace.
So even if you're relatively slow, how would those judgements feel if they were leveled at you?

We just have to remember to stop making assumptions about people who are faster or slower than we are.

Sometimes people are in a hurry and are arrogant about their speed, and that's obvious in context after we see them or talk to them. We all know the kind. And sometime it's the holier-than-thou slow walkers that can get to us, once we start talking to them. But to know if that's happening takes a conversation, at the very least. And if there is arrogance coming at us, then we are free to take some space from the people spouting it.

But it's the knee-jerk reaction (ours and other's) that's the one not to trust or to pay any attention to.
 
Last edited:

CAJohn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept/Oct 2019
Today I got to tell a coworker who is in her 20’s about Rosie Ruiz. She found the story fascinating. Other coworkers who remembered Rosie got a little chuckle out of it. So, just where is the subway entrance in Roncenvalles???

😉
 

Dàoest

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2020)
Where did you start (today / your Camino)?
"at the first step"

How many days have you walked?
"all of them"
or "most of them"

Are these answers avoiding the question?
Technically? No.
Effectively? Yes.

Will these answers frustrate / confuse / enlighten?
Reactions will differ.

Am I trying to avoid comparison? Yes.
Do I think comparison is a bad thing? Yes.
Is that thought judgemental? Yes.

Am I trying to raise awareness? Yes.
Do I feel superior merely because I think that I know something that others may not? Possibly.
Is it easy to avoid comparisons? No.
Can you 'educate' everybody? No.

Can I find a Taoist quote that will gently clarify my general feeling without sounding provocative / pretentious to some readers. No.

Are people simply asking a question the way they feel is easiest to start engaging with me? Most likely.

Am I overthinking this whole conversation thing?

If I am happy to engage in conversation, should I ask "What are you enjoying about Your Camino?"

If I do not want conversation, should I merely say "Buen Camino" and walk on?
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
"Your friend gets huffy because you are criticizing his speed and implying that he is motivated to get somewhere faster. Circling you like a Collie is not "hurrying"! It is the opposite - he is walking at his comfortable speed and trying NOT to hurry because he wants to accommodate your natural speed. It is unkind to admonish and embarrass him for it."

Sometimes I really should not make comments.

The situation isn't quite as it seems. Dave is my oldest friend, we met back in 1967. I have an injury to my right knee (and right arm) from an accident in '68 and was registered disabled for eight years before I tore up the card and threw it away. Nowadays it hardly bothers me but it does mean that I have to walk slowly on hikes. Dave knows this, makes fun of me as being a tortoise or an old man, and I make fun of him for his need to disappear over the horizon.

On Monday I had an operation and he postponed some jobs and drove 150 miles to come and stay with me, collect me from hospital, keep an eye on me. I am encouraged to walk but cannot lift anything or drive for six weeks. He came out with me on my first slow and painful walking exercises (with a stick) and stayed patiently with me - he is a good man and my best pal.

The thing is, and many women don't seem to ever get this - Men, if they like each other, insult each other - it is our humour and also our bonding, it is what men do. We don't do it unless we like the person.
It may seem an odd way to feel included, true, but it is what men do. Look at the practical jokes men get up to in all-male working environments - and although he doesn't actually do it, 'circling like a collie' is a funny image, don't you think? :D
 
Last edited:

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)
On Monday I had an operation and he postponed some jobs and drove 150 miles to come and stay with me, collect me from hospital, keep an eye on me. I am encouraged to walk but cannot lift anything or drive for six weeks.
Wow, heal well, David. All good wishes...
 

tony l

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2018
Hey pelgrims,

There is one thing that's been an annoyance to me ever since I started. The Camino itself is all good and it unfolds. However, almost every time I rest somewhere I get one of the following comments:

"you took 4 months out to walk? my such-and-so cousin did it in 30 days!"

"you can walk from Nijmegen to Saint Severin in 4 days easy!"

Aside from being idiotic (why would you want to walk from Nijmegen to St Severin in 4 days), I am really tired of the feedback.

I am doing this at my own pace. I loathe any sort of forced schedule. Sometimes I walk at 05:00 and see the sunrise and other times it's too warm to even walk.

What is it with these people and their big need to run the camino instead of walk it?

Don't get me wrong. If you want to run it, you run it. To each his own. But I am here to enjoy my life, not race anywhere.

I think from now on, instead of giving an answer to the question "how long have you been walking?", I'll ask: why does it matter?
I like this forum and love the Camino. Some people just like walking and look forward to the next day. Not a race but natural energy and enthusiasm to walk the next chapter. This can result in a 31 day journey. Some need time to sit and think and some need to walk and think. Some just love to walk and not think. Some are just at peace with the pack on your back waiting for the sun to rise behind you. No time, no clock just the daily blessing of sunshine on your shoulders. My wish is for people too share their stories and not judge someones pace. Quick or slow it does not matter as long as its right for you.
 

Felicia V

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2017
Returning 2018
All I know is, my sister and I didn’t want it to end, so we tried to savor each second. As a result, we actually studied moss by a stream, but we tried to stay out of the way of those with a different pace.
 

ClaireJJ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Way (2017); Hope for French Way again (2019)
"Your friend gets huffy because you are criticizing his speed and implying that he is motivated to get somewhere faster. Circling you like a Collie is not "hurrying"! It is the opposite - he is walking at his comfortable speed and trying NOT to hurry because he wants to accommodate your natural speed. It is unkind to admonish and embarrass him for it."

Sometimes I really should not make comments.

The situation isn't quite as it seems. Dave is my oldest friend, we met back in 1967. I have an injury to my right knee (and right arm) from an accident in '68 and was registered disabled for eight years before I tore up the card and threw it away. Nowadays it hardly bothers me but it does mean that I have to walk slowly on hikes. Dave knows this, makes fun of me as being a tortoise or an old man, and I make fun of him for his need to disappear over the horizon.

On Monday I had an operation and he postponed some jobs and drove 150 miles to come and stay with me, collect me from hospital, keep an eye on me. I am encouraged to walk but cannot lift anything or drive for six weeks. He came out with me on my first slow and painful walking exercises (with a stick) and stayed patiently with me - he is a good man and my best pal.

The thing is, and many women don't seem to ever get this - Men, if they like each other, insult each other - it is our humour and also our bonding, it is what men do. We don't do it unless we like the person.
It may seem an odd way to feel included, true, but it is what men do. Look at the practical jokes men get up to in all-male working environments - and although he doesn't actually do it, 'circling like a collie' is a funny image, don't you think? :D
Yes, I think "circling like a collie" is a funny image. Nice to see your explanation and yes, I have noticed that men often insult their friends - all in love. So do service members and some women - it's a thing. I remember standing in line for dinner at an albergue in Estella, jokingly insulting a fellow American I had just met. A couple behind us commented she knew we were Americans by the insults.
 
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