Waymarker showing 72 kilometers to Santiago
When I first started to think about walking El Camino de Santiago in Spain, I could only walk 2 blocks to the ocean bluff before fatigue due to illness forced me to rest on a bench. The ocean pulled me to see her everyday and I couldn’t resist. I had the idea that walking would heal me as I was not in a good state. From that point on, I spent every waking moment thinking about El Camino, walking as much as I could in order to be physically ready and eating well to regain my strength.
Getting ready for El Camino is a little like getting ready for athletic events and I have prepared for those many times. I understood this part well and worked as hard as I could on it. The effort of my walks left me drenched in sweat – as if I had been running. One week before leaving for El Camino I knew I had not reached the physical level of strength necessary to walk 20 miles per day, every day. But after so many years of athletics, one just knows if one is ready or not. I was more than a little upset to see all my effort be for nothing.
However, even though I was not physically ready to walk El Camino, the path itself seems to energize you. While walking I continually felt like I should have been more tired or have had more pain, considering the long distances. This is not to say it was pain free but that for the amount of effort expended, it should have hurt more. The energy from being on The Way was pulling me beyond what I could physically do. The end result was effecting me rather than me effecting the result.
Miracles happen on El Camino.