In the spring of 2018, at the age of 57, Kathy Elkind walked the Grande Randonnée Cinq (GR5) with her husband of 27 years. The 2,286K (1,400-mile) journey starts at the North Sea in The Netherlands and goes through Belgium, Luxembourg, and the whole length of France through the Alps to end at the warm Mediterranean in Nice.
Kathy always longed for an epic adventure, but the time was never right.
Finally, her children had flown the nest, and she had shifted from a fertile body to a not fertile body – What could this new body do?
It was the perfect time for a quest: to pause, reflect and explore. Could her marriage sustain and thrive on a long walk?
After two months on the GR5, they entered the mighty Alps—five weeks of alpine views, mountain refuges, and exertion. Her walking became more than meditative; she fell into an ethereal pace where she became the air and the landscape. In her own words: “Life was not about me. It was about the beauty of the world. This truth was what I had longed for but did not know.”
At home, she stepped into the last third of her Life, more in love with her husband, accepting the unknown, knowing her power, and brave enough to write a book one step at a time (she has dyslexia and did not learn to read until I was in 7th grade).
Kathy has come to believe it’s necessary for women entering the last third of their life to experience a quest or challenge. It can be anything they love – going to 25 art museums, swimming or dancing 50 days in a row. There is a unique challenge for every woman.
Kathy is an Eating Psychology Coach, a Teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion, and owner of Elkind Nourishment.
Kathy helps women feel their emotions instead of eating their emotions and feel comfortable in their bodies. She is writing a memoir about her adventure.
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Who is Kathy and what she does
Wanting to go on a big adventure
Finding the right time to go travelling
Wanting to take a pause in life
Being married for 27 years
Stepping into the next phase of her life
Being exposed to the outdoors from an early age
Never having the guts or the time to do a big thru hike
Struggling with overeating
Having trouble with reading and struggling in school
Using food to numb emotions and to calm her nerves
Struggling with shame and food
Becoming a teacher and raising her kids
Becoming an eating psychology coach
Paying attention to the emotions underneath and learning to be with them
Studying self compassion
Placing your hand on your heart and chaining your voice
The power of speaking to yourself and being gentle to yourself
Learning how to be compassionate to yourself
Making the decision to go on the hike
Going through menopause
Moving from running to walking
Planning and preparation before the trip
Making the adventure your own
Deciding to bike the 1st week in the Netherland
Starting the GR5 at the end of April, beginning of May
Doing a preamble in Italy for a few weeks before
Wanting to slow down
Listening to her body and using her intuition
Learning how to sleep in a different bed every night
Being concerned about hiking in the Alps and dealing with the elevation
Staying mindful and being in the present
Connecting the rhythm of your breath to your walking pace
The magical moment and the beauty of the walks
The lessons learned from walking the GR5
Ready to do some backpacking and camping
Feeling strong and powerful
Writing a book about her experience
The impact of the walk on her marriage
Knowing each others strengths and weaknesses
Daily Routine on the walk
Top tips for taking on the GR5
Adjusting back to normal life in America
Final words of advice for other women who want to go on an adventure
Why it’s never too late
The power of brainstorming
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