The difference 500 miles make

Stage 13: Burgos to Hontanas
Official: 31.37 km // iPhone Step Count: 30.3 km

Stage 14: Hontanas to Boadilla del Camino
Official: 28.39 km // iPhone Step Count: 30.97 km

 “I have walked 500 miles,” so why am I walking 500 more?

With over a third of the Camino behind me, it’s incredible to notice the difference between these 500+ miles and the miles walked in 2016.  It was at this point on my first Camino that I felt inundated by pain, now the physical pain is minimal and rather it is the internal journey that pains me. 

When I walked the Camino in 2016, the experience was incredibly physically demanding. Blisters on the fist day contributed to a slew of muscle aches and pains. Daily my body attempted to compensate one pain with another. Each day felt like a new physical test of my pain tolerance. 

Beyond the pain, the daily excitement of the Camino flooded me with surprising moments as I discovered new towns, sceneries, and cultures. With each step, my mind was barraged with new opportunities to learn. Juggling different languages, new surroundings, and making friends I felt like I was back in Kindergarten learning and growing 24/7. 

Now with my first Camino behind me, the doubt of completion, the newness of pain, and the confusion of the path are all numb. Frequently I laugh as I jog past a particular point along the path that I remember pausing to massage my feet and adjust my blisters. Each time I trot past those insecure memories of the past, I feel a new swell of confidence. 

Anytime someone walks the Camino, the guidebooks detail that there are several inward stages to the Camino experience. The first is physical, the next are emotional and spiritual. 

Having once conquered the physical challenge of the Camino, the inward challenge now seems all the more daunting. With over 300 kilometers traveled behind me, it feels as if I’ve walked there and back internally. Trudging through memories of the past, lingering on moments of joy, and relishing the love that has brought me through life. These fourteen days have already provided what the 30+ days of my first Camino gifted.

2 Comments

  1. Reading your entries is a learning experience for me, both intellectually and spiritually. Looking through your eyes is so enlightening. Keep walking, keep blogging. ❤️🚶🏻‍♂️➡️❤️
    Love,
    Mom

    Like

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