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Old Guys Blog – Page 3

Meetup group

Hello again.
 
I’ve been slow on most of my projects this year but I have decided to get going on this. I am using “meetup” to arrange for people to join my adventure. What I have in mind is Sept 25 to Oct 5 this year to walk 100km to Santiago. This will give everyone who completes the walk all the requirements to be awarded a “Compostela”
 
All details not yet worked out. I have no idea how this will come together but I’m hoping for at least 20 adventurers..Peregrinas and Peregrinos. I am thinking only those “of a certain age” will be interested. 
 
If any of you want to go, or know of someone you think might want to go, please let me know. You can go to “meetup” or send me an email. The location of the first planning meeting on May 7th is open, and this may need to be a phone conference call if people from around the world are interested. 
 
This is my first foray into this kind of thing. I am hopeful that it will work and I will do everything in my power to make it work. For those who are not yet walking a lot, I will give help, training tips and encouragement. 
 
If there is enough interest, I will help put together a travel package to get everyone to northern Spain. The likely start point is Arzua which is close to the city of Leon. Also I am hoping that many will want to John me for a week of training and Spanish language immersion near Valencia for the week prior.
 
Fingers and toes crossed.
 
Allan
Old Guy Walking

Sent from my iPad

Begin forwarded message:

From: Meetup <info@meetup.com>
Date: April 20, 2016 at 12:48:26 PM PDT
To: albreese@aol.com
Subject: You’ve scheduled: Lets meetup and talk about the Camino

 
 
Meetup
 
YOU’RE CONFIRMED!
Your Meetup has been scheduled!
 
Al Breese

Walking a short Camino
 
 
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Questions and answers

Hello again,
I just received a message from Jose in Mexico today. He and his wife are planning to start a Camino walk in St. Jean in April. I thought his questions, and my responses might be of interest to others. 

Hello, your FB was sent to me by my wife. We are planning on going to do the Walk from St. jean PdP to Santiago, come mid April. We have been training steadily but just in Walking, mo rough terrain.
A week ago, I had a fall /%/%$$#//=… my speed was 7 km /hr and fell on my shoulder and hurt my face and shoulder arm… I went to a sports doc who checked me out and after verifying that all was ok, he just recommended I slow to 5.5 km /hr.  Am still a bit weary of falling but continue with the spirit.
How tough really is the CDS?
Would y have a shirt mage for the ladies “Old gal walking”, and have you thought of getting a TM… and possibly start a brand name?
We live in San carlos, Sonora, Mexico. Eastern side of the Gulf of California.

I replied as follows:
 
Hola Jose,
Several things:
1) 7km/hr is quite fast. I have seen some younger guys walking that fast, but not too many my age. I think slowing down a bit is a good idea. I usually walk between 5-6 km/hr. I can be comfortable doing this all day, and I think I see more as I walk.
2) A lot of the Camino is not too tough, but it is uneven terrain, and there are some quite steep places. One of the most difficult downhills is at the end of a very long first day with 5000 feet uphill. The downhill into Roncesvalles takes a lot of focus and strength. You might want to go back and look at a photo I posted that day. There are a few other tough places. When you come to them don’t worry about speed, only safety.
3) I recommend walking some hilly trails once or twice a week if you can do it. Also, please do a lot of your training walks with a pack on your back which weighs as much as you plan for your Camino. I didn’t, and I regretted it. I also strongly recommend using a walking staff or sticks on the Camino and while training on hiking trails.
4) April weather in the Pyrenees mountains can be changeable. Pay attention to the locals in St Jean. Better to lose a day than get stuck in the snow. You will likely get a lot of rain in that season but after the first day it’s not too hazardous.
5) I still have a lot of shirts left for Old Guys, but nothing yet for women of a certain age.
 
Good luck and Buen Camino. I hope you and your wife get as much joy as I did. If you can walk at 7 km, you should be able to do it, but be sure to stop and smell the roses now and then.
 
Adios
 

 


Sent from my iPad

Happy New Year

I’ve been struggling with a new computer since arriving at home from my walk. To bring everyone up-to-date, I’ve been walking quite a lot…12-20 km/day often down to the beach at Huntington Beach, I’ve also been working on Spanish with my Duolingo app, plus starting a small consulting business. I haven’t given up on writing a book about my trip, but I’m admittedly off to a slow start.

 

Here are a couple of declarations to start the New Year:

1) I will have my book written by the end of April.

2) I will create a short Camino group walk for this fall. This will be a walk of around 100 km which may take as long as 2 weeks to complete. I plan this walk for people who are either just starting to walk, or want some motivation to begin a walking routine, and people who would like to walk more, but need some motivation. This will be a walk for both men and women. I would like to make this a 3 week adventure with a week spent in southern Spain training and learning some Spanish prior to starting the Camino. 

 

I’ll post more on this later, but if you are what I have labeled an “Old Guy” or a woman of equivalent age…or if you know of someone who fits that definition, please consider making a Camino with me THIS YEAR. Walking in northern Spain is Great! If walking a Camino is not on your bucket list….it should be. I believe that if you can get yourself up to walking 4-5 miles a day, you can walk 7-10 km per day and complete a walk to Santiago. Not only will this be a great experience, but many people have found this discipline to make amazing changes to their overall health and happiness.

 

So, there it is! I have put it out there. There is a lot to do, and I will welcome feedback, offers to join me, or just encouragement.

 

 

Adios from California.

 

Blatant sales pitch

As some of you may know, in a fit of optimism I had a bunch of Old Guy Walking shirts and hats made up prior to leaving for Europe. I brought a few of them with me, and would like to see if I can find homes for these items before I head for California. I know that there are a lot of “Old Guys” that I met on my walk, and even if you aren’t an Old Guy, you probably know someone who you would like to see walk more. This could really be the thing that gets them moving. See photos and drawings below.

So, here’s what I propose for all shipments to an address in Europe before I fly home on 18 Nov:

€18 for a short sleeve T-shirt or a hat

€25 for a long sleeve T-shirt

€5 for shipping for any number of items.

For anyone in the US:

$20 for a short sleeve T or a hat

$25 for a long sleeve T

$5 for shipping any number of items to an address in North America. Once I get home all shipments  overseas will have to have a $15 shipping charge. I’m sorry, but that’s what it costs me.

So, if you want to order, send me an email at either albreese@aol.com orallan@oldguyswalking.com with the sizes and colors you want, and an address to send them to. I will send you a link to put funds in my paypal account, and when the money comes through I’ll ship them off.

Sorry for the convoluted process. I hope you like the shirts and hats.The shirts come in light blue or tan, S M L XL and XXL. The hats are only in tan. Those of you in Europe can save $10 by ordering this week.





 

Reflections Statistics and Exhortations

So, now my very long walk is over and I can start to look back and assess what took place. Right now I’m vacationing in Barcelona with Shelly, Sarah and Ron, so not much time to write, but I want to record a few things before my memory gets hazy. 

 

It’s my belief that most of the changes and effects of my walk are internal, but there are some things which can be measured. I recorded weekly statistics on this blog, which was at least interesting to me. When they are combined together the results are a little startling….even to me:

Steps: 

France 1,206,000

Spain   1,181,000

Total.    2,387,000

 

Miles: 

France  685

Spain    558

Total.    1243

 

Floors of stairs climbed (estimated 10’/floor)

France  4617

Spain    4316

Total.     8933

 

These totals were accumulated during 68 days of walking from Le Puy en Velay to St. Jean Pied de Port and then Santiago. They don’t count the walk from Finnester to Muxia, and don’t count my 2 days off. 

 

So, I averaged more than 35,000 steps a day, 18.3 miles a day, and 131 floors (1310 feet) of climbing a day. These were all recorded on my Fitbit. The miles are probably a little high but I think the rest of the readings are pretty accurate.

 

I’m posting this not so much to show off how wonderful I am (well maybe a little) but to demonstrate what an ordinary guy in his late 60s is capable of. I met guys older than me who were walking this much and more, so I am not by any means unique.

 

Almost everyone I know owns a smartphone which they carry around with them. I am asking that all of you who read this take a look at your step and distance totals every day for awhile, and think about the amount of walking that YOU are capable of….and what it might mean to your life and well-being to do a little more. It’s not necessary to walk 18 miles (27 km) or 35000 steps a day, but if it were possible to work yourself up to 4500 steps or 4 miles (6 km) a day your life could change for the better in ways you can only imagine.

 

It’s my intention to devote future posts and the book I am working on to show a path that’s possible for almost everyone reading this to achieve this level of walking and even more. I already know several people (old guys and women of no particular age) who have increased their walking and started to see improvements in fitness, attitude and hopefully health. It doesn’t matter so much what level you are at now, as long as you can still walk and your doctor says it’s okay, and (this is most important) you are willing to keep trying every day…I believe you will be amazed at what you can do.