Things you think about when you’re walking

Things you think about when you’re walking 18 kilometers in one day:

Sounds: I can hear my friends’ poles ticking in the gravel, my feet crunching there too, birdsong, and distant church bells.

Sights: Is this too much sun? Should I put on more sunblock? I can see how far we’ve come. I think I can see the next town. I look at flowers along the path and try to idenitfy them. I scan the sky for clouds.
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April 16, 2013 (Tue) Chicago Airport

Why am I doing this pilgrimage?

That’s the question that all the books suggest answering before commencing a pilgrimage.

Is it Santiago? The burial place of the relics of a supposed saint? I’m skeptical of the Church’s motivations for reoccupying Spain in the Middle Ages. The appearance of his relics was too politically convenient to ignore. I especially resist the later image of Saint James the Moorslayer — a murderer on horseback, leading the charge against an intelligent and mostly peaceful people. Yet celebrating bloodshed is not unique to Spain (or the Church for that matter).

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The shade at my right hand

Miles walked today: 0mi /0km
Total training miles to date: 137.97mi /222.04km
Days left ’til I leave: 2

I’ve been visited by friends and received calls and letters the last 2 days — and feel so touched to be on peoples’ minds in the midst of their *own* busy lives. Prayers are being said for me, candles lit, good vibes coming my way… It’s so helpful and generous and appreciated.

I’m feeling pretty good. The trip to the chiropractor yesterday helped with the back tweak from last week (hey, that rhymes!). I felt great during the killer walk around Silver Falls State Park with Carol with my real, full backpack. Until the next day when my calves were so sore I had trouble walking. Wow. That’s what so much flat ground training will do. The park was gorgeous though and all 10 waterfalls were supremely beautiful and full. It was magical!

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Losing my cool

Miles walked today:0mi /0km
Total training miles to date: 125.37mi /201.76km
Days left ’til I leave: 5

When I was in junior high school right before a concert performance, I’d get so worked up and nervous I’d break out into hives and snap at anyone within a 20-foot radius. I’d like to say I manage stress better today, but I really don’t.

If I told you just how much I’ve accomplished this week in preparation to leave my business, it might shock you. It has shocked me. It’s also stressed me out.

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A bank full of strangers

Miles walked today: 8.16mi /?km
Total training miles to date: 125.37mi /?km
Days left ’til I leave: 8

Had a lovely walk this morning with Elaine and a new friend around Staats Lake in Keizer. It was loaded with ducks and geese and beautiful plantings all around — I don’t know why I haven’t been walking there before. The cloudy sunrise looked lovely reflected in the water and it was soooo quiet except for birdsongs echoing off the buildings that surround the lake.

We had a great talk about walking in ancestral lands and those that call our spirits. It was my first time saying an official goodbye — to Elaine — that when they left (and I continued for another turn around the lake) I felt moved and teary. Reminded that I’ll be walking alone, I think. And that I’m loved. That too.

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On receiving unexpected gifts

Miles walked today: 0mi /0km
Total training miles to date: 106.9mi / 172.0km
Days left ’til I leave: 12

As I release myself from each of my duties and train others to do them this week, something astonishing is arriving in their place: gifts.

I hold to the theory that one life can only hold so much. I believe that the practice of releasing, simplifying, decluttering makes room for new opportunities to come in that just couldn’t otherwise.

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Milestones and thick-headed insights

Miles walked today: 8.28mi / 13.3km
Total training miles to date: 99.26mi / 159.7km
Days left ’til I leave: 15

Longest walk yet today — lasted just over 3 hours and I walked over eight miles. Woohoo!!

The numbness I’ve been feeling in my feet went away after I loosened my shoelaces. (whew!)

When Carol and I walked through and around Keizer on Friday, I got a crash course in how insufficient sleep and lousy eating equals NO fuel . I was dragging pitifully by the end. I also learned that carrying water with you on long walks is generally a good idea.

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