Okay, maybe I overdid it. Overdoing it physically still wasn't good enough. My daily quota has not yet been met. I was pulling my knee braces out of their brand new packages. The black one that was more expensive seemed to do the trick. Fourteen kilometers was clearly a stretch. I was supposed to be averaging twenty kilometers a day. What does this portend pray tell? Suddenly the image of hobbling came to mind. My thoughts drift. I imagine my future. I hobbled to Santiago. It is occurring to me I could potentially not be able to manage. The bookings. The conversations. The dream. My left knee was clearly inflamed. I was at home now. I could rest. On the Camino though? I had to make certain places by certain times for certain reasons. My mind drifts as I try to sleep. So, I think, if I have to get help with transport, that is the way it goes. If I have to come home without finishing then that is the way it goes. So be it.
It is the continuous physical assault that is the worry, the repeated physical abuse. I remember a conversation with a sweet friend who had walked the Camino and was dealing with a terrifying medical diagnosis with a great deal of courage. I said to him during a visit, "I can't manage a pack." He smiled gently at me. "To each their own Camino. It does not matter. Just go." He continued softly, "Next to my wife and family, it was the best experience of my life." He seemed beatific. Such a lovely man.
Hmmm, I thought.
I am thinking now of this friend who passed away so soon after we spoke - a huge loss to so many. He gives me courage now to not falter. Yes, terrible things can happen yet I need to try. It doesn't matter if I cannot finish. I will at least have taken a run at it. During a recent visit with my family I had a long and encouraging talk with my daughter, who is a doctor. I was asking her about my knees. I expressed my fears. It wasn't too late to change my mind, I said. She and her husband patiently listened. They both helped me to feel I could do this. Sometimes a little encouragement is all that we need.