Camino de Santiago Research

62357827_2045340345594890_5679775467897356288_n64204073_2045340135594911_4900619154307940352_n 64479588_2045340048928253_4584887501264519168_nBeing able to experience firsthand what I have been studying for years has deepened my understanding of my research as there are many aspects of El Camino de Santiago that can not be studies or learned in books, must be experienced. As my research looks at not only the physiology aspects of wellness but rather takes a holistic health approach. This gained perspective will be integrated in my research conclusions. The initial objective of traveling to do my research was to obtain more data which has been obtained through an online survey that I carefully designed regarding a variety of questions about native pilgrims’ experiences in their journey. However through conversations during my pilgrimage I’ve learned a lot of valuable and inspiring  knowledge about people’s motivators and overall experiences en El Camino. I’ve learned a lot that I didn’t ask in my survey, which will definetly be integrated into my data analysis and conclusions. Throughout the entire pilgrimage I also was able to experience the pain in my body, injury as well as having a reason to hold into that pain and fight through adversity. Through my experience and others I found that pain only has the meaning that you give it. El Camino de Santiago is deeply rooted in spirituality, as it follows its way, route, to a holy city and Santiago de Compostela’s Cathedral. Through faith as a main motivator, I experienced that pain was often considered positive. That the negatives associated with pain would fade away, as pilgrims would get desintezided to it. And honored the pain by viewing it as strength and therapy. There is so much I found about my research throughout this trip that truly opened my eyes to the endless perspectives and possibilities there are, not only in research but in life. I am very excited to analyze the data I collected and integrated this gained perspectives into my research, health sciences and life.

Camino de Santiago Research Reflections

62388440_2045339535594971_8053135208385347584_n 62616699_2045339235595001_6837145338852147200_nMy grant has truly played a crucial role to complete my Camino de Santiago Research. I have been doing independent research in William & Mary’s molecular and cardiovascular laboratory with Professor Harris. For the last couple of years I have been looking at native spanish pilgrims doing el Camino de Santiago, an ancient 800 km pilgrimage  to Santiago de Compostela, and their motivators for doing such a physically demanding journey. I’ve been researching the impact that spirituality has on incidence of injury as well as injury recovery from these pilgrims and their experiences en el Camino the Santiago. I am an advocate for holistic health and truly believe that integrating this research into Kinesiology & health Science is essential for advances in this field. Being able to not only research but complete the pilgrimage and obtain data to later on analyze for my research has been life changing and truly crucial to finish the last stages of my research.