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Evolving My Identity to Walk 800km Camino

I’m overweight and over 60. And in 9 weeks I’ll be walking the 800km of the Camino Frances across Spain.

Have you ever done it? Considering doing it? Got top tips for me?

Even though it has never been true, I’ve always identified as ‘the fat lass at the back’ when it comes to fitness. I hate hill walking. The panting is embarrasing and the heart-pounding scary. Clearly I need to recontextualise these as markers of process achievement and identity confirmation.

The first two days take me over the Pyrenees. If you know Sydney, the gradient is the equivalent to 8 hours of walking up (and then down) Awaba St in Balmoral. Followed by relentless 20km days – with hills, plains (rioja and jamon).

My fitness journey is going quite well. I’ve finally said goodbye to the high blood pressure I’ve had for decades and my apps tell me I’m getting fitter – thank goodness as my aim is to keep crying to a minimum on the trail and do the whole journey without recourse to taxis or ambulances.

Because identity drives behaviour and hence outcomes, I’m practicing what I preach (walking the walk, if you will hahaha), and evolving my identity.

I am naturally rebellious in nature so ‘being good’ with my training is not something that motivates me.

Instead I’m keeping motivated by thinking of daily exercise as an act of defiance. I am determined to release my inner fit woman to enable her to have bigger and better adventures in the world.

I believe I am a strong fit woman for whom exercise, including panting and heart-pounding are proof of my rebellion against the ‘fat lass at the back’ and which will deliver me greater freedom than ever before.

If you have any tips please let me know! I’ll keep you posted on my progress because for me the Camino has already begun.

sara garcia blog intro image

Sara Garcia

I’m a women’s leadership coach working with mid/senior professionals to help them develop the skills and mindsets they need to create the professional life they want.

I use proven psychological and business techniques to empower women, help them overcome challenges, grab opportunity and thrive.