My wife and I started walking at the end of 2014 to increase our level of fitness and to start trying out gear in preparation for walking the Camino de Santiago.
We started with 5 km (50 minutes) walks on the flat which was enough for us at the time. Soon we upped it to 7 km twice a week. After a few months we were doing 12 km twice a week.
Over the 2014 Christmas holidays we walked every day. This was very useful to find out my boots gave me blisters, my wife developed shin splints and I developed plantar fasciitis. We figured it is much better to find out now and be able to do something about it than to find out while walking the Camino de Santiago.
I had never been to a podiatrist before. I was given stretching exercises to do and my wife was given orthotics. These really helped and by the middle of 2015 we were both regularly walking 17 km two to three times a week.
We had tried out another pair of trainers before finding the Gortex boots we both find very comfortable.
Don’t stop walking
I began to notice how walking had gone from being a bit of an effort to a lot of a joy!
Not only was it getting easier physically, I didn’t need to lie down on the floor after completing a 17 km walk around the bay, but walking was reducing the stress of work, walking was a meditation and I realised that it was helping me feel happy.
I found new meaning in the expression “walk it off“! My wife commented that she had found a new sense of confidence and the trepidation of walking 800-900 km across the top of Spain was fading. She had started walking most of the way to and from her job in the city and through winter was clocking up 10 to 15 km a day! I started to go to work early so I could finish early and meet her on the way home. I was enjoying the end of each day with a 6 to 8 km walk and a feeling of joy that we had already begun our journey.
Scientists do their best to explain the physical world we live in and artists do their best to explain what is beyond that. There is more to be found than improving physical fitness through walking but it is transcendental, so I will leave it to a poet…
Start walking toward Shams…
Your legs will get heavy and tired.
Then comes a moment of feeling the wings you’ve grown, lifting.