I am well into the second week of the Camino at the time of writing. Every morning I have been excited to start the day… until today. Today I woke up to bloody oozing blisters. I was in so much pain and didn’t know what to do. I went ahead and got ready to go about another day of walking, but my feet were telling me no! A day of walking was just not an option. After seeing a doctor, he recommended staying off them for at least two days. Well, of course I listened because, well…. the pain. It was a disappointment. However, it was then that I realized that it was actually a blessing in disguise. I had been trying to keep up with some of our Veteran group, not by speed but rather by meeting up at night in the same town. It was causing me a lot of anxiety. I realized that by doing this, I was making this Camino journey stressful on myself. While this was my own doing, it was not the way I had hoped my Camino would go.
Much of what I have or have not done in my life has been based in fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of people. Fear. So many fears that would take too long mention. The Camino is helping me face situations that I would normally have either run from or found a way to avoid. In the past I have been scared to the point of almost freezing-up, but this journey is making me face my fears. I do not know what the rest of my time on this journey will bring, but my greatest hope is that I am on my way to conquering this way of being. This way that has hurt me and hurt the people I love.
They say the Camino provides. I have noticed that I am running into many women my mom’s age. They are so caring and compassionate. This is something I need in my life, especially here. It brings me to tears thinking about it. Yes, the Camino provides. It is bringing me what I need!
Update: I took two days off, as the doctor advised, and am back on the trail feeling much better!
3 thoughts on “Suzanne’s Camino”
Hello, I wanted to write and say how Veterans on the Camino helped change my life. As you have read above, I was tired of being afraid of people, places, unfamiliarity, and life. Since my hike, I have become a certified meditation teacher; I decided to continue my education; I’m working on my BA in psychology because I want to help Veterans. I am no longer just surviving; I am thriving. I am so grateful for this opportunity. I would love to do it again! Thank you, Brad, for all the support of this program; it works.
Suzanne, many blessings for your continuing Camino. I echo Roger’s comments above. Walked my first from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de C in 2010, again in 2015; from Seville in 2017 and these Camino’s are still speaking to me. Ultreia!!!
Suzanne, So sorry to hear about your blisters, they can really be an impact on your Camino as I found out on my first. But the important part is what you have discovered about yourself and your determination to continue on. The Camino offers so many lessons that it will take you a long time even after you return home to understand them. Remember that Santiago will not be the end of your pilgrimage, it is only the end of your beginning on a longer pilgrimage. Buen Camino