Monday, May 12, 2014

First steps

Day 1: Decision
According to the Chinese Philosoper Lao-Tzu,
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
So begins the Camino

I will walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in the spring of 2015.

Yes, it was symbolic. Easter Sunday, the first steps of a pilgrimage. I suppose that once I have made the mental commitment, I felt I had to do something physical, if only a bit. So, I tied on my walking sneaks, and walked around the block. Not much, and fairly quick (about 10 minutes) but I had to start.

So, it’s after Easter now. I’m doing a self-evaluation. I’m 62, very overweight. I have bad knees and hips (arthritis), I’ve had back surgery, and frozen shoulder, and Hashimotos thyroiditis. The orthopedist looked at my knee x-rays and immediately started telling me what a good candidate for a knee replacement I am. OK. That’s the bad.

But, I have the support of family and friends. I’m not doing this alone. Of course, my husband says, “It’s just walking. Put one foot in front of the other”. He said the same thing when we did the 60 mile Avon walk for breast cancer a few years ago. And to him, that’s all it is.

My first goal is to walk at least 5k, 3 times a week, and to participate in water aerobics classes twice a week. I'm starting quite slowly, with about 1k as my goal for the first two days. Knees are going to be a little tender, but that's to be expected.

As well, I've started investigating the things I'll need to carry with me on the trek. It's recommended that you not carry more than 10% of your body weight on the walk. Just a few days ago, I tried to carry 20 pounds of rice. I ended up dragging it. Upper body strength has to go back on the planning calender. I was hoping for just aerobic and core. As well, I'll be doing a lot of research on how to pack light!

I've started looking at packing lists and websites that talk about what you need. Obviously, decent shoes/hiking boots to start. And, for me, my trekking poles. Traditionally, pilgrims carry a wooden staff, but the trekking poles seem more logical for my needs. Leki poles looked good, and have the best ratings. I bought a pair a couple of years ago, but I may pass them on to either my son or husband, as there is now a women's set that has a smaller hand grip.

My husband, son and cousin have decided to come with me on this trek. Ought to be interesting.