Mother’s Day self-induced punishment (to Brea)

My husband wished me a happy Mother’s Day and hoped I was enjoying my self-induced punishment. When I got the message at 3:30, I thought I still had five miles to go (turns out I had more than that left) and my calves were cramping up from the hills. I was pretty grumpy…

…but now that I’ve thought about it, he is exactly right.

This is self-induced. No one is making me walk the Camino, no one is paying me (though I was overjoyed to raise some money for SCLS), this isn’t helping my career, and I’m not getting any degree or educational credit. This is purely self-induced.

But is it punishment?

The negative side of me would say “yes, today and many days.”

But am I punishing myself or is it just a punishing trail to walk?

This was a beautiful day, a wonderful day walking with Georgia from Florida, and fantastic Seattle weather of rain showers/drizzle/mist/cool temps.

I think the problem is that my body starts to get cranky and break down at about 17-18 kms. Dr. Felix told me to not walk more than 20 km per day to be kind to my feet and ankles. Before I turned off the RouteTracker app at the last village where Georgia is staying, it tracked us at 27.5 km for the day:

So today was punishing (I can barely walk and just took 600 ml of ibuprofen), and this journey is self-inflicted, but I need to remind myself more often that this is not punishment.

On the other hand, I now realize why the days I listen to music are the best days. I loved talking with Georgia all day, but I started getting very negative at the end. Everything that came out of my mouth was a compliant about how much everything hurt and I felt like I was drunk walking: my feet, arches, and calves. What the heck was going on with me? I hadn’t been that vocally negative the whole journey, even on the absolute worst days (and we had a fantastic day before our bodies said “ENOUGH!”).

It dawned on me that my longest days were solo, and I had been avoiding walking with people for entire days to stay solo. Why? Because when I walk with my earbuds in and music on, I’m outside of my head and distracted from the aches and pains. Music was keeping me sane and preventing me from concentrating too much on the physical toll.

Today as we simultaneously crumpled, we both got very quiet trying to concentrate… and that’s when my brain started cursing at me. We also probably did something stupid: neither of us sat down for the last few hours because we were certain neither of us would be able to get up and walk again. We probably should have sat down for a few minutes at least. We’re old! (46 and 49) 😉

We are going to walk separate for most of tomorrow so we can each listen to our own music and get our grooves back. Tomorrow is the very last full day of walking and there is a huge hill to get over. It’s ok because we’re in the same hotel tomorrow night; we will meet for drinks and dinner if we don’t see each other on the trail.

Thank you for walking with me today, Georgia! It was a really special second to last day of walking to share with you.

Georgia walking down one of the 50 beautiful sections:

This little crick scene really reminded me of home. I stood there watching it for a few minutes and poor G had to double back and ask if I was ok. Carkeek Park maybe? Or perhaps Cowen Park?

Another Camino memorial:

Lovely little place to stop where three young American friends are restoring an ancient building and living in it. They hope to open it as a bar/cafe in the future. Right now it’s just a pilgrim refuge/potty stop.

The graffiti on the way markers is outrageously obnoxious now. It seems every single marker is defaced. C’mon kids, get it together!

Thank you for sharing today with me, G!

(Courtesy of Brook back home.)

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