Alex reflects on his first day

I have realized in a couple of days what I struggled with for months, actually for years.

Yesterday I was faced with an uphill battle.  The first day of the French Camino involves hiking up and over the mountains that straddle the border of France and Spain.  It’s a 26 kilometer hike that features 90% inclines.  This day taught me a lesson in humility.

I thought I was well prepared and in good physical condition so I was confident.  Overly confident.  And yet I struggled.  And I couldn’t help but notice an elderly lady pass me by like I was standing still.

The next lesson came when I felt pain in my knees.  I began to get upset and I felt the complaints surge inside of my head.  I finally sat down to rest my knee and looked around noticing for the first time the breathtaking scenery.  Sometimes in life we focus on the negative and what’s wrong.  If we just breathe and take a moment to look around we can begin to appreciate the positive – amazing scenery and family for example.

Today I learned that I can push through the pain and drive on by realizing the good things in front of me, and in my life.  I am resilient and if I believe it, I can achieve it.  Sometimes you just have to push through the discomfort in order to get to the next stage of life.  

In just a short time on this journey I have already made great strides, on the trail and within myself, my perspectives, and my priorities.

Alex on the Camino de Santiago

4 thoughts on “Alex reflects on his first day

  1. Alex! Just found this. We met on the top at Laguna, after the grueling snowy day. I sat next to you and heard your story, and felt a deep sense of gratitude to you and your courageous service. I saw you only once more in Sarria. I have your photo on my phone, and added you and your story to my polarsteps, so all my friends and family read it too. Thank you for everything you have done. God Bless You


  2. Alex,
    Just saw your post and I am so excited for you. Sounds like your journey is fruitful in spirit. I plan to start the Frances in September. I hope to run across some other veterans while there. Buen Camino.


  3. Keep up that drive, it is the lessons learned along the way that make a difference in your life (they sure made a massive impact in Brad’s life!)


  4. BUEN CAMINO, the first day is really a challenge physically and mentally. The beauty of those mountains are uncomparable. Have fun and drink it all in. The Camino really helped me and I am very grateful. Thanks brad for making that possible.
    Tyler Watson
    VOC # 1

    Liked by 1 person

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