Welcome to Walk Sit!
Thanks for being interested in my journey to push the boundaries of my body and mind through walking and meditation.
7 quick facts about me:
- I am in my 50s
- I have been a teacher and educator since 1986
- I currently coach kids in numeracy and literacy
- I have travelled to plenty of places around the world as a solo female
- In 2014 I walked nearly 1000 kms on the Camino in Spain and fulfilled a 40 year old dream
- I am gutsy and willing to make mistakes
- Resilience is my constant companion
I have begun to realise that people my age often resign themselves to forgoing their dreams, and I would really like to do something to change that.
When I first started the Camino, in Seville, I was nervous as to whether I was up for it. Could I actually walk nearly one thousand kilometres at the age of 56?
The answer is YES! and the other answer is that I was one of the youngest pilgrims out there in rural Spain. Even though my steps were small and my pace was slow as a wet week, I made it. And so can YOU!
I returned to Oz with the revelation that we baby boomers are like old trees – our bodies get stronger with age, not weaker. That the media’s perception of ageing and our youth-obsessed culture is a hoax.
We are strong – our bodies are strong. In fact, they are work-horses! And they thrive with movement, action, travelling, working, a destination, a journey… not being sedentary.
Starting with myself.
I consider myself to be an ordinary person, but I found that I am capable of fantastic things once I am able to push through the fear and just get on with it. Lately my experiences have shown me what an ageing human body is really capable of! And how to getting older actively, strongly and confidently.
And if I can do it, so can you!
The Camino is a number of pilgrimage routes that originate from many countries but they all end up in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain.
I have always wanted to do a Camino since the early 80s and in August 2014 I finally took the plunge and withdrew a bunch of my savings and bought a ticket to Spain, (even though I was pretty unfit and didn’t have the motivation to practice walking much).
Before I went on the Camino, I had a pretty low opinion of my own capabilities. Would I be able to walk the distance? Would I be able to survive by myself?
Over those 850 kms of walking (& 150 ks in taxis) I learnt that my body is a tough nut and my mind coped well with all the various demands made on it – including the solitude from day 1. I learnt that we baby boomers are strong and vital as we age – this goes against the pervasive youth culture that western society sells.
I figure we earned all of our wrinkles (and blisters) – it’s time to be proud of them.
My story was featured on http://chrisguillebeau.com/.
In 2001 and in my early 40s, I was finally diagnosed with depression. I am certain that if I had had an earlier diagnosis and had had the benefit of anti-depressants back then and accompanying counselling, my life may well have turned out differently.
As it is, I had blundered around the emotional field of dreams in great big boots, ripping up the ground and leaving a lot of mud behind.
I found that the prognosis was helpful, as were the tablets. Neither worked miracles but my moods levelled out and life began to take on some form of stability. I began to function again professionally and even emotionally. I rallied and have been doing so ever since.
Depression, in Western society, is called a mental illness. But if you ask me, depression seems like a pretty sound response to the very odd values of modern society where money is King, youth is Queen, consumerism is a religion and so on.
In any case, it’s the ocean we all swim in and some of us flail about in it less successfully than others.
It’s a well-known fact that exercise helps to dispel a depressive mood and it’s another well-known fact that meditation is a winner in fighting depression. The only trouble with having 2 such wonderful resources at hand, is our/your/my lack of self-discipline to get out of bed and do both of these things.
As you may know, sometimes getting out of bed or off the couch is a monumental challenge for someone with depression. Some days it’s just not going to happen. Some days are better spent in bed.
But on a stronger day, both exercise (walking) and meditation (sitting) are the most beautiful and free activities we can do to alleviate the condition.
We are capable of so much more than we realise. This is my new campaign – to encourage baby boomers not to get sucked in by the ageist culture we live in – get out and about! The oldest pilgrim I met on the Camino was 86!
There is much to see and do!!
Here are some places to start – and don’t be shy – I would love to hear from you by email, in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter!
- Free Coaching with yours truly! For Baby Boomers & Aspiring Camino Walkers
- Book me to speak a your next event – I love to inspire baby boomers to age more adventurously.
- My Camino 1000 km Walk Diary – join me on the highs and lows of my incredible journey
- Resources for Depression – the wonderful tools and organisations that I have found invaluable.
- Resources for Meditation – the places where you can start your own journey of meditation and peace of mind.
- Resources for Walking – the tools, websites and gear you will need to enjoy your own amazing Camino!
- Free Gifts! Including two inspiring eBooks for your reading pleasure!
Love and peace,
Special thanks to Jon Liddell for the video production and musical score in this video.