23 April 2016
Last May I walked the Camino Norte/Primitivo. It was my first Camino and my first ever long hiking experience. One of the biggest mistakes I made was not having a bit of energy throughout the day...that and not regularly drinking water. I can now see what a HUGE difference that would have made. The most difficult day of the Camino was a continuous all day up and down overall climb from sea level to 337 meters of more than 28 kilometers.
We started too late missing out on our morning energy and fresh legs. We did not take any long breaks except for a sandwich and cake lunch (note serious lack of complex nutrients in that lunch!) and I did not drink enough water continuously. By the end of the day we were dragging the last dregs of energy on the last hilly 6 kilometers to our dinner of mushy microwaved pasta and magnum ice cream bar (again note the lack of complex nutrients!)
So with the gained knowledge and the known hilliness of the Le Puy route, I am better preparing for my Camino this year. I have energy powder to add to my morning water bottle and healthy nutrient packed snacks. Nathan gave me the recipe for the peanut butter bars:
20 April 2016
When I was a "coach" for my daughter's soccer team and we encountered a messy, muddy field on game days, I immediately would insist that they go jump in the big holes full of water and mud before the game started. Our incredible leader Jen N always said that kids need to get in the mud in soccer. It is a messy physical game and they need to not be afraid to jump in the mud! Of course, I got some sour looks from parents who had to clean them up after the game, but Jen had a very valid point. Soccer as in life is a muddy messy game!
So fast forward more than a few years and here I am about to hit the Camino on Monday from Le Puy. No doubt there will be mud and it will get messy. It is Spring in the Auvergne...it rains in the Spring in the Auvergne. There will be mud! Rather than let it freak me out and make me nervous which will not lead to good, I need to find that puddle full of water and mud and jump in it! Get it over even if it is figuratively in my head! It is just rain...it is just mud. I have been in both before and it can be fun or it can be miserable. Most depends on my outlook and not reality.
So on that note, I did as I always do when I am challenged by something...I google it! So here are the results:
07 April 2016
- To leave my anxieties floating outside of myself as they are just proof that I am pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.
- To not over think and over plan as it feeds those anxieties rather than assuaging them. And it is a grand waste of time!
- To bring only the absolute essentials in order to focus more on the walk than the burden I carry. I was so surprised to find that I needed so little. The rest truly became extra weight and useless.
- To be open to all experiences and people that I will encounter. Challenging or joyful, they are all part of the journey and teach me something about myself.
17 May 2015
The Mass was such an incredible experience and finale to my Camino. There is an immense and beautiful incense vessel (thurbinger ??) that took 3 or 4 men to tend to the rope and cause it to swing in grand sweeping arcs over the worshippers and almost to the top of the volume of the Cathedral all the while spewing clouds of incense. Amazing!!!
I swear it is to cover the human smell of us pilgrims who have not washed properly in many days!!! My shoes alone are more pungent than the incense!!
The number of each nationality of Pilgrim that arrived yesterday was announced (40 Americans) and a very warm welcome in many languages was said.
The organ music, chanting, and choir hymns filled the Cathedral with joy. Much emotion on the part of the pilgrims around us.
Whew...drained physically and emotionally, but in a peaceful and joyous way. Thankful for all of the love and support from my family and friends. What an amazingly beautiful experience!!
I am sure it will take a while to transition from the daily routine of the Camino, but for now I will enjoy it. Woke up early and wandered through a still sleeping Santiago. Empty and peaceful streets... Fresh cool morning air.
Wandered into a coffee shop on the outskirts of the old city only to meet up with the three Spanish men that we had leapfrogged for about half of the Camino.
We encountered some really nice souls. While you don't get to know many people as everyone is on their own Camino, your trajectories touch and intersect on the journey.
I am so grateful for this experience and it has changed how I see myself and what I am capable of. Also I am certain that I will return to the Camino.