Thursday Tidbits

Posted on June 13, 2019 under Thursday Tidbits with one comment

Here’s a toast to walking!


“A vigorous five mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.” Paul D. White

“Oh no,” you’re probably saying. “Is this guy going to talk again about the benefits of walking?”


For a very long time, I have espoused the benefits of walking in this space. I will try my hardest not to be preachy but the longer I live and the more I walk, I happen to feel that it is the perfect form of exercise. You don’t need a personal trainer or a gym pass. You don’t need high tech gear. You just need to have the ability to put one foot in front of the other.

Do you want to lose 10 pounds in a month without starving yourself? It is not only possible but quite likely. There’s a small catch. You have to walk 700 kilometers. Part way through my Camino walk, I had to go down a notch on my belt. I found this rather surprising. Long distance walking requires an incredible amount of fuel. Solids and liquids.

I ate sensibly part of the time but I can’t remember a time when I shoved more garbage into my mouth than the Camino. I was eating Mars bars at 8:00 in the morning and beer late morning. When you walk 6-8 hours a day, you can’t seem to get enough food into your body. I did drink gallons of water which is crucial even on days when it wasn’t hot.

So, all of this sort of makes sense but something happened over 25 days which has left me shaking my head. I am aging (not very graciously) and am the proud owner of two fairly annoying arthritic conditions, back and neck. So ponder this. Does it make any sense for someone with a bad back to walk in excess of 700 kilometers carrying a 15 pound backpack to finish the journey with no back pain?

Over the past 7 years I have seen every conceivable medical practitioner. I have been poked and prodded. I have had acupuncture and cortisone shots. I have tried any number of medical marijuana and legal marijuana products and none have given me much relief.

I don’t have a plausible answer but somehow I think that being upright and moving the body regularly during the day has somehow changed the dynamics of my spine. Could it be that my core got stronger? Is it possible that other back sufferers could benefit from more walking and less drugs? I also think that with a backpack that is so perfectly designed, it actually forced me into better posture.

It’s all a great mystery but I plan to test my theory by increasing my daily mileage and avoid sitting for long periods of time.

Like anyone else who has experienced a big high, I am feeling the aftermath of the Camino. Reality is not nearly as fascinating as fantasy. I wouldn’t say that I feel low but the adrenaline has returned to normal levels. My one saving grace is that I now get to relive my great adventure by writing a book about it. I have started and normally that’s the hardest step.

I have also decided to learn Spanish so that if I decide to return to Spain next year (a distinct possibility), I will be able to communicate with Spanish speaking people who don’t speak English.

I’m a big fan of lifelong learning. And walking.

Arriba. Abajo. Al centro. Y para dentro!

Have a great weekend.

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