90 Day Fitness Challenge: Preparation for the Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago is a trip I have wanted to take for several years and is about 800 kilometres or 500 miles. Being prepared emotionally and physically is important to me so that I can enjoy and get the most out of the journey. From everything I've read, people say that after leaving St Jean Pied de Port, France and up through the Pyrenees, they did not even know if they would be able to complete the first day. "OMG... who do I think I am. No way I can do this", I thought!
Originally, my plan was to walk it alone, however I have a friend who would love to do it as well. We are in preparation mode for the next few months. Never having owned a backpack or hiking boots, I must say this trip is a huge stretch for me. My kids have always teased me about my lack of athletic ability. In fact, my son forbade me to attend any of his footy games because he knew I would show up in a skirt and heels. Poor child was embarrassed because I did not look or behave like all the other moms!
In a few days, my friend Tracey and I will do the Buntzen Lake Trail which is a fairly easy training hike. By loading my backpack with 12 to 15 pounds I will get a sense of what it feels like and how much weight I will comfortably be able to carry. Every guide book for the Camino tells the story of abandoned pack gear along the route.
Tracey insists that she will be wearing makeup on our Camino, although she has decided to leave the blow dryer behind. Being an "M Word" consultant and because I can't wear my heels, I just have to have a few of my favourite things along with me too; moisturizer, eyeliner, mascara and lip gloss! The reason, we have to take a few selfies along the way so our kids know that we are still alive. My son's insisted I get a GPS chip implanted but I convinced him the occasional photo would suffice.
Planning to walk 28 kilometres a day and finish in about 30 days scares me a bit. Extremely gruelling, days of desolation and tears are a few of the descriptors about the Camino that I have come across. Therefore I am determined to improve my fitness level with a 90-day fitness challenge. The Camino, in addition to being a possible spiritual awakening, will be fun! When we reach Sarria, my eldest daughter and my mother (83 years young) will join us for the final 110 km of the journey.
There are a few must see attractions along the way which may require adding in a couple of extra days; the Burgos Cathedral, the Vineyards of La Rioja. Then at 455 km into the trip, the San Marcos Hostal in Leon, a well deserved luxury with soft beds, a large soaker tub, and a glass of Tinto Fino!