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54years old 17st female (BMI 41) unfit (walks max 6 miles) scared stiff

Discussion in 'Camino Via de la Plata - The Silver Route' started by backiej, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. backiej

    backiej Member

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    I want to walk the camino frances but I am scared off walking down steep descents esp when the ground is loose. I want to walk the via de la plata but I am scared of fording rivers and streams. My husband says I'll never do it so I want to set off next week from Seville, (I've told him I'm staying with a friend in a caravan in Benidorm)
    I feel the call, am I a fool?

    Thanks

    Jackie
     
  2. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    Hi Jackie ~

    Congrats on your commitment to walk the Camino! It's the experience of a lifetime and if you plan well there's no real reason why you can't do this. I recently walked with a family member whose weight and age are about the same as yours. She did have some special challenges.

    First, you should be aware that the Via de la Plata begins fairly flat, but either option once you enter Northern Spain contains some serious hills. The Astorga route takes you through the Montañas de León, while the Sanabres route has its own mountain passes to traverse. However, if you start at Sevilla you have several weeks to get your legs under you.

    Second, your weight does put extra stress on your joints and especially on your feet. The family member I walked with had worse than usual blisters and also is now concerned she has a stress fracture in one of her feet. Ultimately she walked about half of the Camino Frances with us so she could recover from her blisters and foot soreness. The rest of the time she kept up with us by taking the bus, train or taxi.

    So, I would recommend that you plan on short days, at least for the first couple of weeks. Perhaps a 10k (6 mile) daily average would be best -- it's trying to rush along that seems to set a person up for injuries. Make certain your boots fit you very well and that you're taking all precautions possible against blisters. Plan on walking sticks to help you with downhills. Make absolutely certain you have the least possible weight in your pack. If your pack, including water, is more than 20 lbs (approx 9 kilos), you're traveling too heavy and are setting yourself up for injuries. Don't try to convince yourself you can walk with a heavier pack -- you'll regret it! I'm a 185 lb (13 stone), 53 year old and my pack for last month's camino was 7 kilos (plus water). This was my third camino and experience has taught me to get my pack down to the least weight possible.

    Just be wise, take your time and you can do this. Buen camino!
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  3. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Thank you so much for your very encouraging reply. I am doing the via de la plata and I will have to walk about an average of 20km a day to get to the next point but I do have all day and I often walk 5 or 6 miles in a couple of hours so I'm hoping 20km won't be too bad.
     
  4. Lipka149

    Lipka149 Active Member

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    Jackie -

    Sandy gives excellent advice and I might add only one thing. Learn how to use the walking sticks before you leave. If you already know, that's great, but if not, get some coaching from an experienced hiker so you understand how they work and how you can use them to relieve the stresses you are likely to encounter.

    Ohh ... and be careful of the fresh water sharks when crossing the rivers and streams. I hear they are more vicious than the Iberian wolves ... ;)

    :D :rolleyes: :eek:

    Be sure to let us know how you feel when you finish !
     
  5. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Hi Alan

    thanks for your reply. You have the same name as my husband who is at this moment shaving and blissfully unaware of anything that is going on in my head. I have confided in my 21 year old son (he will tell my husband if I don't come back within a fortnight). I have persuaded my husband that it is better for me to get a single to Benidorm so that I can return from seeing my friend when I am ready and he is quite happy to have the break.
    I have sticks but it's a bit late to find someone to teach me how to use them. I wouldn't really know where to look. Can I find out on the net?

    Thanks for all your good wishes and of course I'll let you know at the end

    Jackie
     
  6. Sam Shearer

    Sam Shearer Guest

    Hi Jackie

    for learning to use poles on the web go to YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. and in search type in" how to use trekking poles" or similar and several choices will come up

    this is my 1st post but i have been lurking and researching for a little while and wanted to say good luck. I am also a lovely larger woman and I'm planning on walking the Frances starting in October,
     
  7. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Hi again

    should I take boots and trail shoes or trail shoes and trainers? I would prefer to take the latter as they are lighter and more comfortable in warmer weather but would it be silly to leave my boots at home?
    Thanks again
    JAckie
     
  8. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Thank you Sam

    I hope your walk goes really well. I didn't think I'd ever do this because although I'm married to a lovely man (for the last 26 years), he is adamant that I couldn't do it physically.We always dream and then put things off. I've been under stress lately and I'm hugging the thought of him not knowing to myself with great glee. I was out walking yesterday and I thought I could do this even if he doesn't want to. I didn't like lying andf telling him I am in Benidorm but if I make it then perhaps I will let him join me in the later stages I have written him a letter and he won't even know what I am doing until 2 weeks after I have started and it's such a lark.
    I'll look at You tube now
    Thanks again Jackie
     
  9. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    I don't think there's any one answer to your question. You're starting the Via de la Plata during its hottest season -- July/August -- so heavy boots may indeed be too hot. I did the northern portion of the VdlP last year in heavy boots and had no problems, but it's the southern portion that's the hottest. Whichever choice you make you'll want to be certain that your foot gear is well broken in. Buen camino!
     
  10. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Thanks again Sandy. You're a great moderator. I have been reading all the posts and getting excited. Yesterday I walked to work and back (about 10 - 11 miles. roads) and I'm planning to do it again in a mo but I'm really tired and that's after a night in my own bed. Actually, I only slept for about 4 and a half hours because I am so excited but I have to wait until my beloved goes to sleep to pack and repack my rucksack which is only 25 litres so maybe too small esp with the water bladder full up but very comfortable (I've been weearing it to work for years)
    I'm so frightened that Alan will 'guess' what I'm up to. We've been married for 26 years and still in love so we are pretty good at reading each other's minds. I just have to keep reminding myself that he would never think I could do this and even if I did he 'knows' that I wouldn't even consider it without him so even if he's suspicious when I ask where the old walking poles are he won't get it.
    Here's to Tuesday then.

    Jackie
    PS Can I get by with a debit card OK?
    PPS Is there a hostal near the Taberna Miami where you get the credencial?
     
  11. freedom13

    freedom13 Member

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    Haha I'm loving this ....the intrigue continues .
    You go for it Jackie, just remember take your time and you will get there eventually, walk at a pace that suits you and stop occasionally to top up on water and take in the scenery.
    You can do it ......
     
  12. Precious1

    Precious1 New Member

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    Hi Jackie,

    I would say it depends on how much support you want. Good boots, I swear by Timberline, will give super support and really spare your ankles, and even when its piping hot, as long as you have light shorts and tank top, the boots will not be any hotter than anything else, save for sandals. I only had minor discomfort in my feet the first day out from Sarria to Portomarin, but not enough to take the bounce out of my step. lol It is my knees (complements of a tick bite on Nantucket island) that gave me discomfort and pain that kinda crept up on me as I was trying to get to sleep and would come an go in waves..after years of not taking Tylenol...I was designated to take some and would not have brought any along but for a friend who'd done it before recommending I should. Glad I took up his advice. :]
    As far as "learning" to use poles...it just seems to come as second nature once you experiment with them. I love how you could actually push yourself ahead with them, and maneuver rocky downhills and creeks..like having four legs kinda. lol And lean into them as you go uphill...kinda like when you were a kid and some adult held your hand and gave you that something to lean into and pull you ahead.
    Buen Camino!!!
     
  13. zzotte

    zzotte Member

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    Jackei you are 54 correct? Married for 26 right? And you are very scare of your husband right? And you are 54 right? Ok just checking

    Zo
     
  14. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    Hi Jackie ~
    Sounds like you're planning a big surprise for your husband. Good luck with that! I've always brought along both a debit card and a credit card. I use the debit card for getting cash and the credit card for backup in case somehow my debit card doesn't work or gets lost. As far as credenciales, it's too late to get it the normal way (i.e. through your local confraternity) so you'll find that most albergues will sell you a credencial for a very small price, may 1 or 2€. Your guidebook will help you locate albergues. What guidebook or web guide are you using?
     
  15. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Hi Zo

    I'm not at all scared of my husband (Alan). I love him very much but he tries to keep me safe and happy. He doesn't want me to have dreams which he thinks I won't be able to fulfil because I will get disappointed. Also we have no secrets from each other.

    I've been dreaming of walking the Camino for about 3 years and I've always 'put it off' until I get fitter, have more money etc etc. I was out walking by myself last Sunday and I thought what am I going to do without any work all summer long, I'm going to be bored etc etc. All at once I thought, hmmmm I could walk the Camino, ha ha. And then I got excited and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I tried to tell myself that I should stop thinking about it because I wouldn't do it but I couldn't stop.
    So when I got home I said to Alan that I might like to go to Benidorm (planting the seed) as it would give me a break and he agreed that I should go for a week (whoops, a whole week to walk 1000kms). I said "don't you think it would be better to have a single ticket as I could buy another in Alicante." I said maybe I could stay for a couple of days or maybe for a couple of weeks in the caravan which belongs to my mother ( I think I put that the caravan belongs to a friend by mistake in another post) and he agreed (lol he wants the whole bed to himself for a while).
    I still didn't think I would do it but I discussed it with my son (Jamie) who is at home from
    uni and he agreed to keep my thoughts a secret. I found this forum and when Sandy replied to my post so encouragingly I was almost ready but still a bit scared because I've always had Alan to lean on.

    It was when Alan replied about the white water sharks that I made up my mind (and I thought this might be a sign because his name is Alan). I just thought this is ridiculous it is only a walk after all. So great big thank yous go to Sandy and Alan.

    Jamie booked the flight to 'Benidorm' for me yesterday and I leave Gatwick at 6.05am BST on Tuesday 19th July so the whole thing has taken just over a week to arrange.

    Alan's birthday is August 6th and I had arranged for us both to have a day at a brewery and a 3 course lunch but Jamie will take him now. Alan wil really enjoy that so I hope when he finds out all the money I am spending he will be compensated.

    I was scared about doing something on my own, scared whether I could make it physically and scared of the fresh water sharks (well actuall falling over in the stream, my big fear is falling which is why I don't like going downhill) but now I am so excited that I can't sleep. I had to do all this organising quickly because otherwise I would have backed out or told Alan which would have been the same as backing out, but now I'm committed and I can't wait.
    The thing is that Alan wants to know why I want things like hiking sticks out of the loft because he says you don't need them in Benidorm and I keep having to tell lies which I don't like. He can usually read my mind as well. I think he knows something is up but I'm confident he won't guess what it is.

    Jamie is going to give him a letter from me when he gets restless about not having me around or on his birthday whichever is soooner (unless of course I don't make it and I come home by then) and I have been practicing walking for about 10 - 11 miles for the last 2 days without him knowing and I am so tired already. I'm going to do 8 miles today.

    Sorry for this rambling reply but I just wanted to make it clear that I love Alan dearly and if I manage to complete the Camino I think he will be very proud of me and for myself I will have realised my dream which is fantastic.
    best wishes
    Jackie
     
  16. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Hi Sandy

    I have a very old guide book (2001) by Alison Raju (Cicerone). It's good because its small and light. It says that the Amigos in Seville give talks about the VdlP on Tuesdays (which is why I chose to go on Tuesday) and that you can pick up your credencial in Taberna Miami in Triana. Is this information out of date do you think?

     
  17. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Me too!! It's brilliant. This forum is brilliant too, so much encouragement. I feel alive again and I hope that I will be able to update the thread every so often while I'm walking on the Camino. Right now I feel like I'm 24 not 54.

     
  18. mic

    mic New Member

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    Jackie,
    I have very good friends, one of which works with hospice patients. She's always reminding me, to make sure we live our lives with out regrets. She's seeing first hand people at the end of their lives, and the last thing any of us should have at that point in time is should have's. At times this requires taking a risk into the unknown, for something we have a desire to do and need to on our own. The sense of accomplishment, will give you strength and self confidence into the future for taking on an enormous challenge and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

    Best of luck with your adventure!
    M
    M
     
  19. zzotte

    zzotte Member

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    Well Jackie you could not find a better place to get advice this forum it’s great, you will do just fine, start by replacing the fearful thoughts you have (since fear and worry thoughts are destructive) bundle all up in a burlap bag and drop it somewhere before you get to the airport and replace it with more powerful thoughts, happy thoughts, see yourself already at the end of your happy journey with your love ones. Be prepared, good boots, walking poles, light backpack, water and a little extra food. Remember its mind over matter just paint one solid picture in your mind about your success as you walk keep looking at that picture and repeat aloud as many times you would like "I can do all things thru God who strengths me". I guarantee you will have a great camino.:)

    All the best, Zo
     
  20. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Hi M

    thanks for your lovely mesage and your kind support.

    Jackie
     
  21. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Thank you Zo
     
  22. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Hi everyone

    this is to let you know that I have chickened out of going alone, I was so worried about the heat and the solitude that I had to tell Alan and ask him to accompany me. To be honest, and I know this sounds 'corny' I couldn't bear to be away from him for what might have been a long time. So we're both off to Seville on Tuesday. I'm sorry to spoil the fun for those who liked the intrigue.
    I will try to let you know how we get on whenever I can find a computer.
    In the meantime, I want to thank everyone for all their advice and support, you guys are great.

    best wishes

    JAckie
     
  23. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    Guess who will be carrying the larger pack!!

    Jackie, when you start off each morning, just say to yourself "I can do this" and you will.

    I don't suppose there was the remotest chance that the love of your life had actually worked out that something was up!! Walking poles for Benidorm!! Most of us become attuned to our partners thoughts. If she mentions something once, best pay attention. Mention it twice and it has become an edict. Mention it three times and you are in trouble for ignoring her reasonable demands!!!

    Have fun, remember it is not a race, look up and enjoy all that is around you!!
     
  24. Maur

    Maur New Member

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    Hi Jackie - I was rooting for you going alone!!! And now I just read that your husband is along for the trip - Good luck, either way. I too will be travelling alone, beginning Aug. 23. My husband and family know and are supportive to varying degrees. Most are a little or a lot worried about me. As it gets closer, I'm getting very nervous, too. Excited and determined, but nervous. I'm 57 and in OK shape, but I have afew hip, leg issues that I hope will not prohibit me from finishing. I plan on taking my time, especially in the beginning. Looking forward to hearing more about your now "joint" adventure.
     
  25. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Hi Maur

    I'm sorry to disappoint you and actually I would have loved to say to Alan "look what I did (alone)" but my mother was so worried that I was going alone and her stress was contagious and in the cold light of day I have counted Alan for 26 years. Lastly,it is so nice to have someone to massage your feet at the end of a hard day's walking.

    Is it the VdlP that you are going to do on 23rd August? I really hope everything goes well for you and for us too.

    I will try to keep a log that I can share on the forum because I have read other people's and they are so interesting and so helpful.

    Jackie
     
  26. backiej

    backiej Member

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  27. zzotte

    zzotte Member

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    SCARED stiff, SCARED off walking down steep descents esp when the ground is loose. SCARED of fording rivers and streams My husband says I'll never do it I'm so FRIGHTENED that Alan will 'guess' what I'm up to. We've been married for 26 years and still in love so we are pretty good at reading each other's minds I was SCARED about doing something on my own, SCARED whether I could actual make it physically and SCARED of the fresh water sharks (well actual falling over in the stream, my big FEAR is falling which is why I don't like going downhill)
    I was so WORRIED about the heat and the solitude that I had to tell Alan and ask him to accompany me. but my MOTHER WAS SO WORRIED mother that I was going alone and her stress was contagious.


    Congratulation Jackie you did girl! You talk yourself into it and talk yourself out of it, and its not over over yet leave it open your return ticket you never make it. You husband knows you better then yourself. Look at the above, count how many times you said to your self you could not do it with a mind full of negative thoughts like that I would be surprised if go at all. Now imagine if you replaced it with POSITIVE thoughts what you could accomplish? (Don't be offended just my observation).


    I sincerely wish you all the best
    Zo
     
  28. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    Ahhh............the poor husband, carrying the larger pack, and now he has to massage your feet!!! Is there no end to his servitude? However, having survived 26 years he is hardly walking into the unknown.

    Maybe we should start a support group called Husbands of the Camino dedicated to those poor baggage mules who struggle under the weight of large packs and hair driers. Just when they should be enjoying a life of rest and gentle relaxation they find themselves marching through foreign lands trying to look as though they are really pleased to be there with a pack the weight of a London bus on their back!!

    Allan, our thoughts are with you. Just remember that Pilgrims through the ages have sought pleasure in a glass or three of wine after their days toil.

    You will have earned it!!!

    Buen Camino to you both.
     
  29. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Thank you Zo

    what you say is so true and a helpful gift. I really appreciate your observation and will try to repeat positive thoughts to myself at the beginning and end of each day.

     
  30. Treasa

    Treasa New Member

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    Jacki I am wondering how your Camino went???

    Treasa
     

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