Three months ago, Camino for Good launched the Walk for Good challenge where people from around the world took on the commitment of completing the Virtual Camino in either 3, 6, or 12 months. Today, April 15th, our three month challenge comes to an end. In celebration of all of the people who have already finished and everyone who is still walking, we are featuring Sue Pritzker. Sue completed her Camino just last week, meeting her goal of finishing in less than three months. Way to go Sue! Read her story here:
After retiring in July of 2020 I had planned for a Santiago walk with my best friend and fellow Montessori educator. Well, by the time September rolled around it didn’t seem like we were going anywhere soon. I was tired of my own house, even though I was looking forward to it after working at the same place for 33 years.
I run, bike, cross country ski and hike and have always tried to stay in good shape to enjoy the outdoors. I discovered the Camino for Good by accident, looking for other ways to track some winter workouts. I told my friend and we both signed up and paid the $60, originally planning on the six-month challenge. Every day I was excited to do my run/walk (depending on the size of the hills). At night I read about and stamped each destination.
I should say that I had a former parent from my school who had been a member of a team who did a documentary about the Camino walk so my interest was piqued whenever something about the walk popped up. The challenge created a happy rhythm to my days. I teach courses and do consulting so I had a “work-at-home” life but my walks helped offer me the structure I needed to survive. The walks were in my neighborhood, in Portland’s Washington Park, in the beautiful Columbia Gorge,and I discovered that my local grocery was a 7 mile round trip and the Target store 4.5 miles.
Walks with friends, my dog Minerva, family and grandchildren but more importantly with myself. And sometimes audiobooks. I soon realized the three months was a doable stretch and my competitive nature took over. My first 4-5 mile outings extended to 5-6 and then 7-8.
Well, the weather was horrible: rain more days than I could count. I watched my weather app to time my walk, created about five versions of clothing to prevent being too warm or too cold. The only day that I didn’t walk was when I was iced-in at my house. Only needed one new pair of running shoes. And each evening came my history lessons. I was fascinated with the history of Spain along the way and I loved the traveler’s tales. Talk about a “sense of place”. I found hidden churches, new routes to avoid traffic, and special dog friends along the way who seemed happy to see me most days! And boy did I love those 100 mile markers popping up– I took screen shots of each of them. I got problems solved, poems memorized, and I got really fast at pulling up my Covid mask when I was passing people on the path or trail.
Thank you Camino team. I hope you keep the virutal experience alive even when we are all back to normal. What next? I am already in the process of doing the John Muir Way walk across Scotland.
Never enough of a good thing!
Congratulations Sue for accomplishing your goal, and thank you for sharing your story with the Camino for Good community. Buen Camino!