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Why I Quit

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by UnkleHammy, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    This year I made a second try at hiking the full Camino. I failed and it is unlikly that I will try again.

    My problem is that I allowed my 75 year old body to talk to my 25 year old brain. The results were that this isn't as much fun as I wanted it to be.

    I was walking solo and decided to try a mixture of hiking, busing and training. I found that when I hiked, the other hikers that I met were great and friendly when I got into town. However when I came by bus, I felt that I was precieved to be an outsider and there was almost none of the "Camino friendship" that was formed when I was hiking and I was used to having. It was somewhat worse when I traveled by train. If I was in the same situation as the "real" hikers I would always give priority to those that be walking, however briefley, with me.

    Looking out the window of either the bus or the train at the real hikers, what they were doing always seemed to lack interest. In trainig, here in Fresno, I spent hours alone thinking of many differnt things. The training walking got rid of almost all of my speritual (I know its mispelt, autocorrect didn't help here) questions and attitudes.

    After a couple of weeks or so, I decided that it would be best for me to go home and spend time with my wife. (She has knee problems and was unable to accompny me.) So during late May I returned. There is an additional problem in that I don't have enough saved up to support a home in California and myself in Spain, so I had another painful decision to make. After being home for over a month, I believe that I have done that correctly.

    Depening on many factors, this may be my last post. I will go through what I have missed and I may make comments when I think that they are needed.

    Buen Camino to ALL
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey UnkleHammy - I am so sorry your Camino didn't end as you had hoped it would. I'm sure that upon reflection, you will take away a great deal from the experience. I suppose my only real advice to you is to focus on the positive aspects of your journey. Just being part of the process is a success in itself.

    A key function of this forum is to help others. To the extent that your wisdom and guidance can assist others as they prepare for their Caminos, I'd certainly encourage you to share your ideas, perspectives, and experiences. Your thoughts last year on the reality of dehydration were invaluable.

    Take care and Buen Camino.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  3. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    UnkleHammy – I think that you forgot the Golden Rule – That we ALL walk Our Own Camino’s and If others had a problem with how you chose to walk yours then it was Their Problem and Certainly Not Yours !!! :)

    Just my own opinion of course ;-)



    I also think it will be a Huge Shame If this is your last post as I believe that you have a lot to add to this forum – We appear to be losing several of our regular posters and therefore the forum is becoming less interesting / informative and no longer has a balance of differing opinions that it once had – I have my own theories why this is, I wonder what other people think ???



    Anyway UnkleHammy – I hope that you will change your mind and continue posting

    Best Regards

    Rob
     
  4. Maya Grandmother

    Maya Grandmother Active Member

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    Hello UncleHammy, you took yourself outside of your comfort zone and I congratulate you for doing that and giving it another try. I am positive that the experience has strengthened and inspired you. We all know that life is full of challenges and you did something great and gave it your all and you should be proud. You were smart to listen to your body and soul. I am sure that you recorded your journey and have lovely pictures to enjoy. Take care, Maya
     
  5. fluffkitten

    fluffkitten Member

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    Doesn't sound like you failed to me.

    Thank you for taking your time to say why the pilgrimage didn't work for you, its a very useful thing for people to read. I'd miss your posts if you stop posting but can understand if that is what you choose.

    Whatever happens I wish you the best.
     
  6. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi UncleHammy

    Like the others I am sorry your Camino experience wasn't what you hoped but I'm sure that when you have time to reflect on it you will remember the positives and let the disappointments lie where they should in the past. Like our packs and the gear we carry it all comes down to choices. You can choose not to carry that disappointment and realise just how far you got in the time you had and the good people you met and the beautiful things you saw.

    I for one would be disappointed if you decide not to post anymore but obviously I respect your decision. The wonderful thing about this forum and the Camino is that the door is always open.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  7. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Thank all of you that have responded so nicely. I will probably post more, but not as often as I did when planning on hiking the Camino once more. If I get a chance to return it will probably be with my wife and maybe one or two of our three children in a rented car. My next trip is to go to Oregon for the eclipse and that will be done all by car. (One of the kids I grew up with has a cabin in the path of totallaty.)

    There are a couple of reasons that I started this thread is that I have enjoyed interacting with the various hikers on this board and I don't want to go "cold turkey" and abandon the convefsations that I have been having. Another reason is that many more people start at Saint Jean than get to to the end and I haven't heard of why they didn't succeed. So I thought that by posting why I quit I may be able to give others a hint of what unexpected problems they might encounter.

    Even though I didn't get as far as I had planned to, I do feel as though I "Have walked MY Camino".
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  8. stevelm1

    stevelm1 The Happy Peregrino Donating Member

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    UnkleHammy it is sad that some think they know how you should walk your Camino. This is a generalization but it was my experience that there was a bit of a role reversal in the trail. The older you are the more you accept the conditions of the trail and others approach to the adventure. The younger you are the more they felt like others must do it the right way, their way, what ever that is. I too felt some of what you felt when arriving by taxi, but not to the extent you mention. As was mentioned above and in many other places, it is your Camino and you get to walk, or bus it, or have your pack carried or not, or take extra time off or not. This is up to no one but yourself. I will be walking a second Camino next year (I will be 64) and plan to ignore any judgmental negativity from others about my approach which will no doubt include taxi's on occasion again. Buen Camino to all.
     
  9. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Now that I AM pleased to hear :)



    Last month myself and a friend went on a road trip to Ireland – Exactly 20 years ago we walked a 391 mile route from the coast at Dublin to the Old Marconi Tower (Where the first Trans Atlantic telegraph cable came ashore) on Valencia Island, County Kerry.

    Now these days I aren’t as fit as I used to be and could no longer tackle a route or that magnitude – So we decided to retrace the route by car.

    Now I have to be 100% honest and say that I enjoyed the walk more than I enjoyed the road trip – But at the same time, the road trip was a Lot better than not doing anything at all



    So – By the same logic, I would encourage you to hire a car out and retrace the parts of the walk you did do and also the parts that you didn’t – It might not be quite as good as walking the route yourself, but it won’t be a half bad consolation prize :)



    Keep on Trekking – Or Driving ;-)



    Rob
     
  10. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    UnkleHammy, very good to hear from you. Failed? Oh my gosh, of course not! This is our life, just traveling through. Do you know that the majority of people have dreams, goals or aspirations that they voice, but NEVER even attempt any of them? After enough attempts at things....we can start to sense whether or not we should continue to pursue and push through something, or take another route. And for the most part, we aren't sure until some time has passed. You had several decisions to make, and after being home for over a month, it was clear to you that you made the correct decision. Voila! I hope, along with the rest of us that you would continue to add your wisdom to this forum. But, utmost respect to you if you decide otherwise. I know that some amazing things can happen after our greatest disappointments. Don't stop searching for that. I bet that your dear wife was thrilled to see you! Until we meet again my friend!
     
  11. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    UncleHammy, how many 75 year olds take even a step on the camino? You have inspired many of us and I hope to follow your lead by taking some steps on the camino 15 years from now ! Bob
     
  12. Martin (Ozzy) Osborne

    Martin (Ozzy) Osborne New Member

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    I to plan on hiking 1st time at age 64 and hopefully turning 65 years old at the end. Starting late May 2018 and finish about my b day on June 30th. This guys post of not finishing twice is very did heartening to me. But I am secure in my partial retirement and my wife will be with me. I feel his anguish leaving his wife at home. I did a backpack of the Sequoia Kings Canyon National park was supposed to be for 12 days. I made it 6 days 5 nights. With the 6 bears and a challenge by a bear and I was with a younger guy who just wanted to keep breaking camp after each day and go further in I gave up and we turned around. I was missing my wife on it but she will not backpack like that. That is why she will do the Camino because we can stay in the Aberques spelling or a nice room each night. So more power to him and to you for your age and keep hiking or walking.
     
  13. Kim Federici

    Kim Federici Active Member

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    I think the realism of your post and your reasoning is as supportive of all the posts about completing and keeping on. Thanks for your humility and honesty. Entering the Camino is not an irrevocable contract...it seems like something we simply learn from with our real experience and embracing it. Thanks UncleHammy
     
  14. El Condor 2014

    El Condor 2014 Active Member Donating Member

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    @UnkleHammy . I will make this nice and short.
    " THE ONLY PEOPLE THAT FAIL ARE THE ONES THAT NEVER START"

    With your experience, we need your input in this forum to help new pilgrims !
     
  15. Kim Federici

    Kim Federici Active Member

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    You have hit it perfectly!!!!! I llove you for posting this one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  16. Kim Federici

    Kim Federici Active Member

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    I am using the camino as my 75th birthday party. Time for reflections and perspective and the chance to join a wonderful part of the human species...the one that chooses to take their bodies and spirits out for a walk now and then. I look forward to letting you know how the idea works out...and my thanks to everyone who puts in their thoughts, questions and ideas for the sharing of both the prep and the experience and finally the outcomes of all of it. This forum helps so many find encouragement as they head into the process.
     
  17. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Martin and welcome to the forum

    I think you've made a couple of important points that will stand to you and others in the future. Firstly walking at your own pace. Trying to keep up with someone who is going faster than a pace you are comfortable with quickly leads to disappointment on the Camino. Far better to walk at your own pace and for as long as you like to ensure you enjoy your Camino.

    Secondly and this is something UncleHammy referred to, there may be times on the Camino when you have to take a break and take a bus or taxi. I experienced this on my first Camino. One of my friends was wearing leather hiking boots more suited to hill walking at home in Ireland. After three days from St Jean her feet were in a bad way coming into Pamplona. At the gates of Pamplona I decided we should hail a taxi. We woke the following morning and all three of us had aches and pains and her feet were still very bad. We all agreed on taking the morning off and at lunchtime we got a bus to Obanos (skipping the Alto de Perdon). My friend felt bad that we might be "cheating" but I insisted and convinced her that to try to walk a full day was not possible but I could see where someone walking on their own might feel pressured about jumping the bus or taxi. I definitely believe that walking on your own is more challenging than doing it as a couple or group as you bring your own support.

    Anyway it all comes down to listening to your body and remembering that the Camino is not a punishment and doesn't have to be an endurance test. There are many people walking the Camino and each of theirs is a unique and valid experience for them.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  18. stella1226

    stella1226 New Member

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    UnkleHammy - thank you for your well thought and heartfelt words. They resonated with me as I too, worry if I will be able to finish and how I will feel about it if I cannot. I am a planner (almost to a fault) and it is easy to get caught up in this part of the experience. But what if things don't go as planned? Then what?? If I want to be true to the Camino then I need to trust in the Way and know that everything will work out how it's supposed to. But here's the tricky part - that may mean that I take longer than expected, ride a few taxis, or even not finish. And that's okay. Looking back I think I learn more when things haven't gone according to plan.

    Truly letting go is tough for me but I'm realizing that this is also part of the learning process for me. So thank you UnkleHammy. Thank you for reminding me that it's more than just picking the right pack, shoes vs boots, and travel arrangements. It's about gaining fresh perspective and you helped me do that today.
     
  19. Ginamarie

    Ginamarie Member

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    Dear UnkleHammy. Since I discovered this forum I have always enjoyed seeing your posts; your thoughts and ideas really add to our forum. You did walk your Camino no matter how long or short. YOU made the tedious planning, the packing, traveled far and experienced the disorienting diversity of another culture. That alone is a lot to be proud of. I hope you will return with your way wife and kids. They will be very impressed with your accomplishment and so should you.
     
  20. Mary

    Mary Member

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    Hey Unklehammy I for one so completely enjoyed you wisdom and many contributions to this forum. It was so helpful to me when I was preparing for my Camino. My daughter and I decided after the first week that we would only walk a maximum of 23-24 K per day and that's what we did. We took cabs to travel the last 3-5 km on several days and didn't feel the least bit like we were cheating. We saw many people around us severely injured and unable to continue. We were not going home...we were going to make it to Santiago and we did!! As people have already said, Everyone does their own Camino and you should be very proud of yourself :)
     
  21. dalebob

    dalebob Member

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    I will try to be concise with this post but I sense it may go wrong ? Firstly UncleHammy I want to applaud your total openness and honesty it takes a big person with much humility to come back and share your experiences. From you post it appears you feel like your heads down and you've got pain like when someone kicks you where it hurts ?
    I like many others want to say something that will make you feel better but want to share something that I have held onto throughout my life that my Grandmother instilled in me as a youngster. She used to say often there is "good in everyone" regardless of what happens and more importantly "some good always comes out of something that's not too good" I think she meant it's always there but sometimes we struggle to see it?
    Secondly I understand the perceptional feelings one gets from Pilgrims on the Way and even sometimes on this and other Camino Forums about real "Pilgrimness" and we have amongst us fundamentalist Caminoists !! (search Call yourself a Pilgrim?) They by their view only offer the pure way of the meaning and method of any Camino and what the experience should be . I say ignore them and their self righteousness and who gave them the right to pass a judgement on any of us for what we try to do!
    Finally I have often thought someone should start a thread about "Why I didn't complete my Camino ?" I have been advised by others this would get such negative comments from the groups mentioned above. And that it would loose it's intended purpose of learning from those who walked before and their experiences to assist future Pilgrims. This is not intended to be a firecracker in the empty room comment. I think their is general concern at times that says anyone who offers a view other than anyone can walk a Camino is a doubter and risks the Roth of Real Caminoists and maybe a kick where it hurts.
    Keep posting ?
    dalebob
     
  22. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I got home in late May and it took me over two months of thinking and reflecting before I could start this thread. Having written what I have cleans up all of my problems with non-walk completion.

    I have always been able to "tell it as I see it" which my wife and children (and co-workers) sometimes have problems with. So I see nothing embarrassing about saying what I think about myself. I assume that you have read much of this thread and didn't see too many negative comments. This is a good forum.

    I will keep posting, but I will slow down. I have a major problem in that I haven't walked the majority of the Camino. If things work out I might be able to drive it some day.
     
  23. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Well UncleHammy I haven't reached half way yet and I think I can still give good advice and I remember well your advice about hydration.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  24. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Unklehammy - Not walking the majority of the Camino is NOT a problem on this Forum. You know as well as I do that many folks have some very specific questions that you do have experience with. How do I get to SJPP from Madrid? What's the pilgrim's credential? Do I need to train for a Camino? etc. And, that's where any one of us might offer ideas or guidance based on what we know or did. Or, more general information that simply comes from our other life experiences can be helpful to folks planning their Camino. If you've had good luck with a pair of shoes/boots it doesn't matter if those shoes were on the Camino or the AT or the West Highland Way. People are looking for recommendations. I certainly enjoyed your thoughts on breaking a foot parachuting. Never thought that that might alter foot size. My hope would be for you to post where and when you think you can make a contribution. You have a lot to add to the conversation. In fact, even more so now that you've done two Caminos. Take care and Buen Camino.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  25. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I actually broke my ankle and had two steel pins in it for a year and a half. It still causes me problems, but the VA doesn't think that is as serious as I do.
     
    Wily and Greg Canning like this.
  26. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Active Member

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    [QUOTE="UnkleHammy, post: , I believe that I have done that correctly. Buen Camino to ALL[/QUOTE]
    Unklehammy, I am saddened to find that you were unable to complete the camino you were so looking forward to and at the same time reading your prose made me second guess my own camino - as 10 weeks ago I had major surgery which really was excruiatingly painful and has knocked my confidence in trusting my body in a huge way. I am grateful that I have already been gifted my own Camino Angel Linda who contacted me nearly 12mths ago from the forum and asked to walk with me - you see Linda is a Counsellor (thank you Camino Gods) and I just got diagnosed last week as suffering from Post-Surgery Trauma so I found myself in tears, anxious and I didn't want to even leave the house but Linda has been talking me through this process in preparation for my own Camino starting in 3 weeks.

    I am concerned to find that others may treat me with the same indifference if I have to taxi or bus it whilst I regain back fitness and strength - (heck 5 weeks ago I couldn't even stand on my own and still not training as I need these last three weeks to help with the healing) and so now I find my Camino becomes about being able to find TRUST not only in myself but now in others....

    My mother always told me "You cannot tell what someone is suffering from by always looking at them!"
     
  27. Kim Federici

    Kim Federici Active Member

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    Unklehammy, I am saddened to find that you were unable to complete the camino you were so looking forward to and at the same time reading your prose made me second guess my own camino - as 10 weeks ago I had major surgery which really was excruiatingly painful and has knocked my confidence in trusting my body in a huge way. I am grateful that I have already been gifted my own Camino Angel Linda who contacted me nearly 12mths ago from the forum and asked to walk with me - you see Linda is a Counsellor (thank you Camino Gods) and I just got diagnosed last week as suffering from Post-Surgery Trauma so I found myself in tears, anxious and I didn't want to even leave the house but Linda has been talking me through this process in preparation for my own Camino starting in 3 weeks.

    I am concerned to find that others may treat me with the same indifference if I have to taxi or bus it whilst I regain back fitness and strength - (heck 5 weeks ago I couldn't even stand on my own and still not training as I need these last three weeks to help with the healing) and so now I find my Camino becomes about being able to find TRUST not only in myself but now in others....

    My mother always told me "You cannot tell what someone is suffering from by always looking at them!"[/QUOTE]

    Tina, your words and aspirations are so touching and I hope to meet you along the way. Your angel seems to be counseling you beautifully and I believe those participating in this thread will certainly be taking along a deeper dose of loving-kindness and empathy on our journey. Thankfully it will add no weight to our packs. And we have UnkleHammy to thank for this call to attention. My love to you and your courage...and to the same in every one of the pilgrims.
     
  28. Ginamarie

    Ginamarie Member

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    Unklehammy, I am saddened to find that you were unable to complete the camino you were so looking forward to and at the same time reading your prose made me second guess my own camino - as 10 weeks ago I had major surgery which really was excruiatingly painful and has knocked my confidence in trusting my body in a huge way. I am grateful that I have already been gifted my own Camino Angel Linda who contacted me nearly 12mths ago from the forum and asked to walk with me - you see Linda is a Counsellor (thank you Camino Gods) and I just got diagnosed last week as suffering from Post-Surgery Trauma so I found myself in tears, anxious and I didn't want to even leave the house but Linda has been talking me through this process in preparation for my own Camino starting in 3 weeks.

    I am concerned to find that others may treat me with the same indifference if I have to taxi or bus it whilst I regain back fitness and strength - (heck 5 weeks ago I couldn't even stand on my own and still not training as I need these last three weeks to help with the healing) and so now I find my Camino becomes about being able to find TRUST not only in myself but now in others....

    My mother always told me "You cannot tell what someone is suffering from by always looking at them!"[/QUOTE]
    Tina-Marie I am happy I arrive the same day as you. We can walk slow together! See you in SJPP...
     
  29. Ginamarie

    Ginamarie Member

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    Tina-Marie I am happy I arrive the same day as you. We can walk slow together! See you in SJPP...[/QUOTE]
     
  30. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    Tina-Marie, you sound like an amazing woman to me! Your true fitness and strength starts at your inner-most parts. You've got that covered. Now, you just listen to your body and do what is necessary to enjoy your Camino. How blessed to have such a selfless friend as Linda, to encourage, help prepare you, and then walk with you. I am sure that she will be blessed as well. And then to top it off....it sounds like you will be meeting Ginamarie along the way! Looking forward to hearing about all of your adventures.
    You know, it seems to me....that from little on, we suffer when we start to compare ourselves with others. And even though, we think that we are OVER that kind of imbalanced thinking, it rears its ugly head somewhere along the way. I admit, I have adamantly stated "I don't care what anyone thinks", but it still affects me in some strange way at times. I guess that is just our human nature. Wanting to be accepted, not looked down upon, and to be valuable. My wish for you is to completely savor and enjoy YOUR Camino....the struggles, the pain, the friendships, the laughs, the beauty, the bedbugs....(just kidding!)...the wine and living in the moment. Buen Camino!
     
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