This day, The Camino left trails
and the last couple km's to Castrojeriz
were on a road.
When even walking flat, on a road
was incredibly painful for me,
it was at this point... At this gate...
I first thought:
This may be the end of my Camino.
I hobbled to a hotel and told myself:
Rest 3 days until Monday
Today is Monday...
I have remarkable friends, and when yesterday I asked for help with my knee problem, they poured information, thoughts and love my Way. Several days back a physical therapist from London did a thorough assessment and gave me her thoughts. A couple mornings ago a physician from Australia (who is dealing with shin splints) and I had a chat.
Blended with all of this information, I put on my RN assessment hat and systematically took a physiological journey through my knee and its symptoms. I put myself through assessment tests of all the common knee and leg injuries.
There was actually plenty of good news. I had no ‘positive’ tests on any of the major, seek immediate medical attention, injuries. I also didn’t get ‘positive’ tests with any ligaments.
The most likely injury is to the Extensor Digitorum Longus muscle (knee to foot) and its tendons. It makes the most sense both in the way I injured it, where the pain is and how it presents.
Now… Let me say I am quite clear that I am ‘arm chair quarter backing’. My 30 years in the medical field has mostly involved birthin’ babies and I have NO signs or symptoms of pregnancy.
The physical question to myself is simple:
Will continuing create more harm or is this a manageable injury?
The ultimate answer to that question would only come after a trip through an MRI machine. The injury came on day three and until the slipping, twisting and pulling up of walking through the mud, It was manageable. The damage/injury is done. This I can not change but I do not want to make it worse for the long run. I plan on many more miles on these legs.
Can I manage to continue within the limitations it presents? And do I feel comfortable with those choices? Beyond the physical… These questions are at a deeper core.
I know and embrace my Journey of ‘GreyWolff Walking The Way’ is a profound choice to be present with my own Being. As I began sharing in the prior post, this includes ‘Ghost Bridges’ and ‘Shadows’.
I am also aware that walking The Way becomes a metaphor for life. How I choose each step and my presence (or not) with each step is a raw reflection of the way I walk my life. We live in a holographic Universe. The smallest expression contains the Whole.
With all of the above held in my periphery, beyond the physical exploration, I did some reading as to the emotional or Spiritual issues surrounding the knee.
Let me first share my own personal leanings with this. I see and experience the Universe as information and energy. Always flowing. Nothing is separate or static and I understand the concepts of cause and effect. This said, I lean away from the ‘always’ and ‘never’ I sometimes read in looking at the emotional/spiritual messages in injury. I lean away from dogma wherever I find it.
Within a holistic view, my knee is physical, emotional, mental, Spiritual and part of the community that is called ‘my body’. A beautifully complex machine my knee is… And it carries the wisdom and information of Heart & Spirit. So…
My attention was drawn when I read a reference to the knee and the ego. The knee and pride. There were even some references to Bible verses and the concept of the transformative act of kneeling, bowing down. Hmmmmmmm….
I consider ‘ego’ the masks we wear. That part of us that is created within an image. Some say the ultimate Spiritual path is to transcend the ego. Perhaps, yet I find mine, my masks, quite handy at times. Walking in and sitting down in circle when I facilitate a group of people living with cancer over a 3 day retreat… Is done within my ‘mask’ of ‘facilitator’. I do it best when I allow Heart, Spirit and The Divine to move through that ego self ‘Leonie, group facilitator’. I am not at my best when I forget I am wearing/being a mask.
I began this Journey with an intent. Walk the entire Way, carry my own pack. I was strong, prepared, heathy. Again, a good ‘mask/ego’ to wear. As long as I respond rather than react to change.
And… What about that ‘pride’ thing?! I admit to looking at people who, from the beginning, were shipping their packs or not properly prepared… And feeling a bit more capable than they. Pride… Yes.
And while ‘the ego’ is how we move through our lives, wearing the ‘masks’ of our choosing… The danger is when we forget those masks are not who we really are.
And… (For me. Today.)
If I get attached. Create a mask and not understand that it also is part of the Universe of information and energy, constantly flowing. Yes, there be dragons here.
What have I remembered about myself, walking My Way?
I have a strong ‘Go’ drive.
I do not easily seek help.
I have a high pain tolerance.
I do not like to be ‘weak’.
Each of these things have a root within the Shadows or Ghost Bridges of my life. Each have aspects that translate into valuable attributes that serve me well (through response)… And each have aspects that are self-destructive and do not serve me at all (through reaction).
Understanding my Shadows and Ghost Bridges is how I lean to the former rather than the latter. This knowing, invites the value of discernment.
Today… I arrive at another Choice Point…
Again (and again and again) I surrender….
After reading, assessing, getting help (after I finally asked) from friends, talking with others and my own intuition…
While not ‘healed’ rest has greatly helped my knee. This seems to indicate strain over tear.
I feel reassured after exploring the physical symptoms.
I release attachment to anything, including that in a couple days from now I again may be unable to continue and be on a plane to home.
Between me and the next town (Fromista), is a long climb up and a steep climb down.
I am taking the bus to Fromista.
Fromista is the beginning of ‘The Meseta’, over 100km of flat walking all the Way to Leon.
I am also not wearing the brace anymore. I am sensing some of the muscles around my knee are actually getting weaker. I am hoping the flat of the Meseta will be a rehab of sorts.
Mind, body, Heart, Spirit… And inviting a clear responsive voice with ego.
GreyWolff Walking… My Way…
The Journey Continues…