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Learning to Walk

August 12, 2022

Getting Ready, August 12, 2022

My original plan was to walk around the Park this morning for at least 6 miles. But alternate side parking intervened, and I sat in the car from 9 to 10:30. Then I thought I’d pack a lunch and quickly get out. Then I took care of a couple of work items. Then decided to get my train ticket from Paris to Le Puy taken care of. By the time I left it was 1:40. This is not a schedule anyone walking the Chemin/Camino keeps! When you are on “The Way” you start walking early in the morning—some people get up before dawn to start—and finish by early to mid-afternoon, avoiding the warmest part of the day. This has been especially important for those who have been walking through the horrible heat in France and Spain this summer. Many have been getting up as early as 4 am to avoid the heat, finishing by late morning to collapse in whatever shade they can find before their Gites or Albergues open (Gites d’etape in France, Albergues in Spain—guest houses especially intended for pilgrims). I am earnestly praying that by the time I begin walking on August 28 the extreme heat will be over.

Walking this afternoon was hot in the sun, but thanks be to God it was only about 80 and not 90 to 100. I think using Central Park for training is actually a good simulation of the walks along the Chemin and Camino—without the strenuous ascents and descents I’ll face on some days. But I can find pavement or gravel/dirt to walk on, there are toilets available along the way, and even places to refill your water or stop for a snack or coffee. That is what most of the days will be like on the pilgrimage—a few will not have many services, but most are a matter of walking from village to village, not hiking as we think of it in this country. Now I just need to find some hills to climb. The first few days out of Le Puy have some significant climbs and descents. But I may have to settle for walking up and down the stairs in the building.

I did manage to walk today without being plugged in, apart from one phone call. However, I have had the hymn “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” in my head for days now. Weeks even. Over and over and over. I hope my brain finds another ear worm soon. Though I should be careful what I wish for. I love that hymn, but enough is enough. I may have to give in and listen to a podcast or book, or other music for part of my walk tomorrow. There is a limit to how many times I can listen to, “I bind unto myself today.”

I plan to get out tomorrow morning and hope to do 8 miles. I managed 6.25 this afternoon. Then Sunday morning I plan to do an hour before church with my fully-loaded pack. And now that I’ve shared those plans, you can hold me accountable! Oh—and I have done this post on my phone with my very light-weight portable keyboard! It’s going to work. Now, a question for those of you who keep blogs and know WordPress better than I do: is it better to create a new post each day, or I should I just be adding to the same original “Learning to Walk” post? Blog help is very welcome!

Somewhere in the North Woods section of the Park. An area I really haven’t explored. That will change over the next week, I hope!
Lots of algae, but lovely colors.
I sat on a bench and watched the tennis players while I ate my late lunch. NYC tennis players are really good!
Carousel. Otherwise known as barf-mobile. I know, a carousel is as tame as it gets, but not if you can’t handle going in circles!
Waterfall in the North Woods.

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