At the age of 50 I was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease. I decided to do everything I could to combat the progression of this neurological disorder. Shooting baskets and playing guitar were some activities from my youth that I returned to. I added tai chi, riding rode bikes, boxing and kayaking to the list of traditional and non traditional treatments for Parkinsons. I took my medicine and suffered the side effects which made me feel like I was going crazy. Some job changes, medication adjustments and alot of heart searching resulted in the peaceful coexistence I share with the wrotten roomate in my body, Mr. Parkinson. Parkinson tries to steal my facial expression, my voice, my ability to swallow, my handwriting. He made it difficult to pull myself up on the horse or swing my leg over the bike seat to go for a ride. Although I have Parkinson’s, he can’t have me. I will not let my voice and my mobility be taken away by this uninvited guest. I am moving on…
On June 1, 2013 I stepped out the door the last time. I had worked for that employer for 32 years. I got in my car. We drove to the airport on got on a plane to Paris. Adding two more to our C-Team group, we made our way to St. Jean Pied de Port France. We began walking the Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela. 32 days later we were sitting in front of the Cathedral. Amazed.
Now I return, The first Camino left me blistered and bruised and I had some amazing bus and taxi experiences, but did not walk the entire 500 miles as I planned.
So I go back to walk. This blog is named hop skip and jump because I will be traveling across Spain by foot, by bus, by taxi, by train, by bike and if I can swing it even by horse. I will meet my traveing companions, my fellow pilgrims along the WAY.