I walked half the day with Didier. He had to stay on the highway because the regular trail was too rough. We walked most of the time in silence, just thinking. We separated in a town where I was supposed to meet the Aggie group. It turns out that I somehow passed them by accident there, and I stayed ahead the entire day. I was an hour and a half ahead of the group.
That is kind of ironic since I wanted to blog on hurrying on the Camino. I have heard quite a few stories of people who are literally running down the Camino. Eve, my friend from Switzerland, told me about a guy that started the Camino in Geneva when he did. The guy was averaging about 40km per day. Eve heard from him the other day - the guy had to stop in Leon with a torn muscle. He won't be able to finish this time... maybe not until September.
We met another guy from South Carolina that was doing about the same route. When we tried to talk with him on the Camino, he literally turned around backwards as he passed us, talking without ever changing his pace.
Then there is the banker that walks a full segment every day, and at the end of the day he pulls out his laptop and works into the evening.
Of course, there are those people that their goal every day is to be the first to arrive in the albergue so they can get the choice rooms or bunks, showers, and laundry facilities. You never see them or talk to them, either on the Camino or in the albergue.
Today I met a couple from Alamo, Texas. I was talking with them when the husband suddenly said, "Well, we ain't gettin' it done here." And off they went. I guess that is a matter of opinion, since I think the thing to "get done" is building relationships.
The great things that I have seen happen here on the Camino have all been related to the journey, not where you get at the end of the day. It all boils down to relationships - both between people and with God. People that are not living in the moment or who are focused on the end place and time miss out on so much that they could experience every day. I know this happens to me sometimes, both on and off the Camino, and it takes a conscious effort to a avoid this. Intentionality. It takes being intentional about slowing down and focusing on relationship. At times on this journey I feel that I am doing well with this, but I also sometimes find myself not focused on people or places but on getting the weight off my back, getting off my feet, and getting into a shower. I think that is when exhaustion kicks in and I need to rest and refuel. I am trying to change this and be aware - stay focused and intentional and relational - but I know it will take time. The Camino is a process and a transformation and a relationship.