When I decided to walk The Camino, it was my intent to have no plans. I wanted to let each day unfold as my stride and rhythm asked. Then, on day three I injured my knee going too fast on a steep downhill. This has slowed me down and required a couple of shorter days and a couple of rest days. The good news is I am sure it is a ligament/muscle strain and not the knee joint its self. I am fine walking flat or uphill but downhill is quite painful. I have been managing by carefully giving it my attention and I have learned how to ‘walk around’ it.
A few days ago, after about a 10 mile day, I hobbled into Vilamayor de Monjardin and knew it was time to do something different. The next 2 days I shipped my pack ahead and then ended up in the large city of Logrono where I decided to rest my knee for a day, do laundry and make a decision on how I would proceed. Walking without my pack for 2 days felt physically great but it also felt strange to not have it for the things I use it for during the day. In Logrono I reached a choice point.
So yesterday in Logrono I sat with all my options: Continue to carry my pack and walk shorter days. Ship my pack. Or…. Lighten my pack. I started with 17 pounds and added one pair of running pants and one cotton t-shirt that I have been sleeping in.
I spread everything out and felt what my Heart and body wanted. The answer was clear. I do not want to plan ahead each day any more than a general idea or intent. That left only one option. Let go of some weight. I looked at each thing and considered how or if I had used it up to that point. My desire to carry my own pack and the flexibility it gave me made the ‘get rid of’ easier. The ‘let go of’ pile grew. While I do not have the place to weigh it… I think I eliminated a third or more of the weight.
What do I have left? (My original list)
2 Patagonia Neo-puff jackets (one makes a great pillow one can be a blanket)
2 pair running pants
light quick dry skirt
Ibuprofen, Zycam, Amoxicillin (all loose in a small ziplock)
A few bandaids, breathe-right strips
3 pair socks
2 pair underwear
extra pair of running shoes (these will probably go soon)
Dr Bronners soap, toothbrush, paste, small tube sunscreen
Hair brush and a few hair ties
Collapsable cup, spork, knife (titanium, very light)
3 stuff bags
Tilly hat, sunglasses
Soft knee brace
Much of this I am wearing while I walk!
Today I walked 10 miles with my new lighter pack and while my knee still talks downhill, it does so quietly and I feel great!
Rearrange… Shift… Respond…
Shedding…. Shedding… Shedding…
And The Way Continues…