Tomorrow I will be 74. Yes, I know that it’s only a number. But it is a number that a lot of people will look at and then dismiss everything else about me because I am OLD. Frankly, it is a bit of a surprise. It shouldn’t be; I have had 73 years to get used to this.
A week ago, as part of my training for the French part of the Camino de Santiago (properly Le Chemin de Saint Jacques in France) I walked from Carp to Kanata, about 13 kilometers. Not a long walk but it was bitterly cold. The wind was strong and biting, but always from my back or a rear quarter. I walked for the first 45 minutes with cold hands, but they eventually warmed up. A few days later I walked 18 kilometers in a big loop from my house. Both walks were with my backpack loaded with enough weight to simulate the real load. Then I walked another three kilometers that evening, for a daily total of 21 km. That is the farthest that I have walked in a single day since 24 May 2007, when I walked the last leg of the journey into Santiago. It feels to me as if I am ready to go.
Another six weeks and it will be real. I am getting anxious about it. I have to be careful not to overextend myself in training. How much is enough, how much is too much, how much is too little? Will I be able to do this? Will the body hold out? What unexpected curves will the journey throw at me? Still, it IS an adventure and I want it to unfold in whatever way it chooses to unfold. All I have to do is be there.