I have been wondering if everything I have done in my life up until now has been leading up to this adventure. But no, that cant’ be – I doubt there is anything in life (at least not in mine) that can have prepared me for what I am about to undertake – a 12 to 20 mile per day walk for a total of more than 500 miles over 45 days – with no material possessions except what can fit in a small backpack (hopefully no more than 12 lbs). I cannot recall anything that I have done that can have prepared me for this – not even in the past year and a half that I have had the Fitbit to keep track of my steps – I think there was only one single day (in Japan) where I even managed to walk 12 miles. I cannot even imagine walking this distance for so many consecutive days.
Not sure what I am thinking but there is no backing out now. the airline tickets are confirmed and today I even bought some pants and shirts that supposedly will make my walk comfortable- that is, if there is anything that can make walking such distances comfortable – let alone pleasurable – but we will see once we are on the Camino. I am sure there will be surprises, pleasant as well as unpleasant but in undertaking this, we have all agreed to complete surrender to whatever will be – there is really no other way to undertake a journey like this. There is consolation of course – in the bus rides that might be available and tempting – wonder if that will feel like cheating and take away from the glorious feeling of achievement that hopefully will come with completion of this journey.
I remember as a kid when my dad used to make us walk the 10~ miles to Patanga beach in Chittagong and we would be so worn out and unable to take another step and he would say, ‘oh it’s right there – we are almost there. I can even see the ocean’ and we would trudge along – what other choice was there. Years later, this training would help me complete the marathon and I am hopeful will keep me going on the Camino.
I started to read Enayet’s write-up about the camino and he talks about the 3 sections – first with the body, then the mind and then the soul. I think it is funny that my title of this post also refers to the same – I started out thinking this was a challenge for my body, then realized my mind had to be the driver if I was going to make it; but as we get closer, I think ultimately, it will be my soul that benefits – at least that is what I can hope and pray for, the rest will be up to God’s Grace. Since this past weekend, I do already feel detached from my worldly possessions – maybe I am ready for the Camino?