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Portugal Camino Pilgrimage: Training with Disabilities. Fun.

By April 3, 2022December 6th, 2023ePatient, Family man, Podcasts, Video
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Not about walking miles & managing shoes. My training includes mobility and audiovisual prep. Bear with my experiment. Podcast, YouTube, & article. A bit rough.

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Episode Notes

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Find FULL TRANSCRIPT at the end of the other show notes or download the printable transcript here

Contents with Time-Stamped Headings

to listen where you want to listen or read where you want to read (heading. time on podcast xx:xx. page # on the transcript)

Proem.. 1

Training Day 1: Cold 01:21. 1

Walking, pushing my chair 05:46. 2

Day 1 Training Debrief 06:37. 2

Crossing a busy street. 07:35. 2

Reflection 08:31. 2

Please comment and ask questions


Music by permission from Joey van Leeuwen, Drummer, Composer, Arranger

Web and Social Media Coach Kayla Nelson @lifeoflesion

The views and opinions presented in this podcast and publication are solely my responsibility and do not necessarily represent the views of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute®  (PCORI®), its Board of Governors or Methodology Committee. Danny van Leeuwen (Health Hats)

Sponsored by Abridge

Inspired by and grateful to Linda and Mike DeRosa, Kate Higgins, Mary Lawler, Ann Boland, Ed Lomotan, Carole Blueweiss, David Bourne


The video version of this episode

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Camino de Santiago, Spain. Pilgrimage of sounds. #20 & 156

Sound and Noise. Senses and Voice. A Reprise. #19 & 154

Days 6-12 Camino de Santiago. Rejuvenated, inspired, not yet peaked

About the Show

Welcome to Health Hats, learning on the journey toward best health. I am Danny van Leeuwen, a two-legged, old, cisgender, white man with privilege, living in a food oasis, who can afford many hats and knows a little about a lot of healthcare and a lot about very little. Most people wear hats one at a time, but I wear them all at once.  I’m the Rosetta Stone of Healthcare. We will listen and learn about what it takes to adjust to life’s realities in the awesome circus of healthcare.  Let’s make some sense of all this.

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The Show


In the background, you hear my wheelchair as I train for our 200-kilometer Portugal’s north coast to western Spain hike coming up soon. I feel 10-years-old and 70.  Ten, because I’m jumping up and down in my head and want to sleep in the car till we go. Seventy because I am a two-legged, cisgender old white man of privilege who gets around with his Forcemech electric wheelchair and Ergobaum forearm crutches. My training is not about walking miles and managing my shoes but includes mobility and audiovisual prep. So, bear with me as I experiment with both. You’ll be hearing about my mobility training during the podcast and video and watching the results of my audio-video experimentation. It’s all a bit rough. And fun, fun, fun. I’ll take you through a couple of training days in varied weather and on different paths. I’ll post show notes with a transcript for you readers and a link to my YouTube channel for you watchers.

Training Day 1: Cold

Hey, there. I’m doing my training. Believe it or not, I’m doing my training to go on to the Portugal Camino. That’s a pilgrimage that we’ll go along the coast, on north up the coast from Porto, Portugal to Spain, which is an ancient pilgrimage. And I’m my training, unlike hikers, to see how many miles they can walk. For me, it’s more Since I’m a wheelchair and two cane fellow, I need to build up my endurance to be able to go. I’m hoping five to seven miles a day on an assessable part of the trail. And to do that, I need to get some more stamina and figure out how much sitting I can do, how much pushing my wheelchair what kind of stretches I need to do. And so today is about a month and a half before we go. And I’m going to. My goal today is to tool five miles on a bike path. I’m crossing a road, and they don’t stop even though they’re supposed to. And I’m going to go on a bike path, and what I know so far, it’s cold today. First, you could see me. I bundled up. When you ride in the chair, it’s a little less. When you walk you’re generating a bit of heat, but in a chair, not so much. Figuring out layers. Today it’s probably 25. I’m hoping it’ll be warmer in Portugal. I’m pretty sure it will be, but this is what I have here in Boston and what I’m doing. So, my routine is to see how long I can ride in the chair because my chair is built for portability and foldability, not for ergonomics. And I’m not a person who lives in their chair. I am a person who can walk. I could walk about 2000 steps unencumbered. So not sure how much I could walk pushing a chair here in Boston in the cold, but we’ll see. But I can’t sit for too long. The key is how long can I sit? I need to change position, stretch, and walk a little. And I’m also trying out this selfie stick. I’m still figuring out how to attach that to my chair. And so, there are all these things like cushions. I bought a different cushion, but because I need lumbar support.

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Walking, pushing my chair

Okay. Now I’m walking, pushing my chair. I’ve gone about 1.1 miles in a chair. Now I’m going to walk a little bit. I saw this car go by where in the passenger seat, somebody had tied up a mask onto the headrest. Looking at it, then I think, why do you do that? And I felt that they wanted to drive out on the highway. You can use the lane to the lane when you have more than one passenger. Anyway, silly.

Day 1 Training Debrief

Hi there. A little follow-up after my escapades today, training. I learned that you need to screw the top of the drinking bladder bag properly, so you don’t spill water all over the backpack, which I did. The selfie broke after about an hour of using it. My chair ran out of juice after four hours. And I’m not sure if it’s because I hadn’t charged it, or it was cold or whatever. The layers were okay but a little restrictive. And now that I’m several hours out, I’m sore in my back, and my neck is tired, so that’s all interesting.

Crossing a busy street.

Here we go.


A disjointed narrative and video, but as I said initially, I’m training. You a get a taste of what it’s like. It’s a hoot and a half.

Time. One hour 42 minutes, 17 seconds. Total distance, 5.0 miles. Average speed 2.9 miles per hour. Split speed, 2.9 miles per hour.





Danny van Leeuwen

Patient/Caregiver activist: learn on the journey toward best health

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