By , May 13, 2012 11:20 pm

Today we begin walking the Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James Essentially, it is a long walk to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.  It has been well travelled for thousands of years.  While there are many paths to take, the most popular (and the one we’re doing) is the Camino Frances.

Our journey begins in St. Jean Pied de Port, France and continues for some 778 km (this number varies depending on the source) over the Pyrenees mountains and through the north of Spain.

Camino Frances

Our path – 778km!

Our reasons behind choosing the Camino are simple.  Despite its history, we are not walking it for religious reasons.  Rather, we want the challenge and simplicity of travelling solely by foot.

Second, we want to raise awareness and perhaps some money for a good cause.  We are firm believers that big changes are necessary in the North American lifestyle.

Thus, we have a challenge for you.  As we walk approximately 20-25 kilometres a day for the next 35 or so days, we want you to make a diet or fitness improvement in your life.  Start going out for walks. Limit the refined sugars in your diet.  Switch from white bread to whole wheat bread.  Try to eat a more whole foods, plant-based diet (we’re not suggesting you turn vegetarian here, just add more plants and whole grains).  Watch a documentary or two about where your food comes from.  Join a recreational sports team.  Grab and a friend and sign up for a half-marathon.  Whatever you do, make it personal, make it count and stick to it.  We guarantee you’ll feel better!

In conjunction with this personal challenge to you, we’re going to try to raise $800 for the Canadian Diabetes Association – about one dollar for every kilometre we will walk.  Type 2 diabetes is very much a lifestyle disease, and we have a very personal connection to diabetes… several of our family members are diabetic.  We have already donated $80 to kick-start the fundraiser… now we need your help to reach our goal.  If you are interested in donating a few dollars or even quite a few, you can do so here:

Our Diabetes Fundraiser Page – $800 in 800 km or more!

We hope you take us up on our challenges.  We’ll be tracking our progress (both distance and money raised) with weekly updates on the Camino.  We’d love to hear about your efforts too!

Want to read more about our Camino?  Check it out…

Our Camino, Your Camino… Our Challenge to You
Camino de Santiago Week 1 – Beautiful Landscapes & Unexpected Challenges
Camino de Santiago Week 2 – Getting Past the Pain
Camino de Santiago Week 3 – Feels a Lot Like Home
Camino de Santiago Week 4 – Easy Walking
Camino de Santiago – We Made It to Santiago, But We’re Not Finished Yet!
Camino de Santiago by the Numbers – Our Budget and Stats
Guide to the Camino de Santiago


10 Responses to “Our Camino, Your Camino… Our Challenge to You”

  1. Ange says:

    Excellent challenge guys. I wish you both well on your walk, I hope you two take it easy and do what you can without over extending yourselves. I especially appreciate the challenge as I have a few baby weight pounds to lose 🙂 Time to start doing more walking. I’m not allowed to start jogging until July because of the surgery but I can still get into shape with walking and yoga til then. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey (I almost said walk, but you guys are going for much more than a walk!). Miss you guys!

    • Ashley Lenzen says:

      So cool that you’re going to take the challenge Ange! Hope everything is well post-surgery and I bet the baby keeps you busy! We’d love to hear updates from you when we share ours, or more often if you like. We’re looking forward to the day when we get to meet your beautiful daughter! Miss you too!

  2. Rhonda says:

    So exciting to hear you’re doing the Camino. We just watched the movie The Way, with Martin Sheen, about walking the trail and it looks absolutely stunning.
    Good job on trying to make your health the best you can be. We did a 15day juicing/ vegan diet the beginning of the year (and plan to re-do it again soon) mainly to detox our systems and, while we have no intention of fully giving up meat (and I must have my cheese!), it is amazing how wonderful we felt.
    Best of luck and keep us all posted. I can’t wait to do that walk myself one day!

    • Ashley Lenzen says:

      Cheese is one of our sticking points too… we love it too much to give up. The cows here look happy enough as we walk past, so we’ve been indulging lately (they might not be the milking cows, but we don’t want to know because we don’t want to give up our cheese). We’re 6 days into the Camino and so far it has been incredible. Hope you get the chance to experience it one day!

      • Rhonda says:

        Hey, as long as the cows are wandering a field, grazing fresh grass and look happy I think it’s all good! Can’t wait to see your future posts on the Camino.

  3. This sounds incredible! We are healthy travelers, but this inspires me to kick it up a notch over the next few weeks. Good luck!

    • Ashley Lenzen says:

      Thanks, Josh! We’d love to hear what you do to kick it up. We’ve learned firsthand after a week of white bread and pastries in Paris how important it is to be healthy travelers, in activities and food… you can feel the difference immediately!

      • It’s much too hot in Southeast Asia right now to exercise outside, except for the massive amount of walking we do. But we have been doing body weight exercises (in the air-conditioned guesthouse). Pushups, ab work, jump rope, etc. It’s hard to stay away from carbs here as everything is rice, noodles or bread, but we don’t eat too much!

  4. Erica says:

    Good luck guys!

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