I blame the farming revolution..you know..the one that happened around 12,000 years ago. Up until then we were essentially nomads; people who walked. Yep. That was the very instant that eventually lead to me…sitting in front of this computer. The point at which the seed of our sedentary lives took root…when we decided to sit down and watch the wheat grow, and then save some to plant again next year. But our bodies are just not built for the rigours of sitting down. And of course we’ve made things infinitely worse with labour-saving gadgets like washing machines, vacuum cleaners, cars, plus indoor water supplies…stuff that helps us not move so much…when moving is what we were designed for. Damn those clever inventors and superb technologists!
I’m not taking this lying down. Oh no. I will not be beaten by some clever dickie who thought it might be an idea to tame some wild plants. 12,000 years of working towards…not working…will be overthrown. I have set myself a challenge and I am going to walk. About 160 kilometers (100 miles), over about a week, on the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) in Galicia, northern Spain. It’s a pilgrimage on a well travelled path, but I’m no hiker. So I’m hardly telling anyone in case I mess up and have to take a taxi. Apparently it will be wet. I hate being wet ‘cos I can’t see out of my glasses. Anyone who knows me will tell you that this is just not my thing.
I once met a 75 year old woman and her 85 year old husband who walked at least 10 miles a week – they looked just great. So I’ve been training in Greenwich park (once) and I’ve walked the 4 mile return trip to the gym a couple of times. I have no idea how to use hiking sticks but, since I’m going it alone, I guess they’ll be useful for batting away any wolves or bears. I’ve found out what zinc oxide tape is and my feet will be getting a considerable amount of care on this trip..’cos if they go down……no!…scratch that image. It’s an iffy situation ‘cos I busted my Achilles tendon a while back and there’s always a risk. But I’ve got my Salomon boots and a poncho. No… I don’t know what I’m doing…except getting out of my comfort zone (i.e chair) and hopefully re-jigging my brain’s neurons into fully embracing a walking mode as the norm…. Tally-ho folks!