Sunday... It was a really tough day for me. Expectations. I expected that it would be an easier day after resting and taking a day off. I wanted to be rearin' to go. Instead, it started out hard and only got harder. It was like we hadn't had any time off at all. My feet were killing me. I had to switch to my hiking sandals early in the day. The day started out with a long walk in the city...not my favorite. Concrete walking is really tough on your feet and legs.
Sometimes, these towns decide to "help the Pilgrims" by paving the trail...which is terrible. Today we did 13 kilometers on "improved trail", which means 13 km of foot beating and leg torture. To top it off, the trail follows alongside the highway. Not really lovely and not really pleasant. And it was hot. And that was just the first 13km.
It was slow going. Physically and mentally tough. I still hate being passed up every day, all day. Still hate feeling like I'm last or that I am less than everyone else. Seems like everyone else is doing it easily. I wanted to walk the Camino as a ministry to listen to others, but that is hard to do when people keep passing you. I also wanted to walk to prove to myself that I could do this, which I am seriously doubting right now. I don't want to complain. I don't want to share my pains and doubts, but it is obvious how hard this is for me. Billy is super patient, but I can't get past feeling like I am holding him back. I'm frustrated with myself and I'm afraid he will get frustrated with me, too.
Somewhere between Navarette and Ventosa, I broke down. I lost it. I just started crying like a baby. I was physically hurting. I was exhausted. I was an emotional wreck. I lost it.
To add insult to injury, I started getting cramps in my foot and my back and shoulder. Dehydration was going to play a factor in this day. No water equals guaranteed cramps. Billy tried to massage the cramp out of my shoulder and back and it was excruciating! So, of course, I cried again.
When we got to Ventosa (11 km short of our goal), we called it quits for the day. We got a place to stay, to try to regain composure, and to debrief what is going on with me and this journey.
We had a good, long talk. I cried a lot. It is really hard for me to confront something that I can't figure put. It's equally terrible to be face to face with something that I might not be able to conquer or be successful at. I've always been able to find a way to succeed at everything I really put my mind in to. But the Camino is another animal. ..I'm not sure I can win this battle, and that is tough to deal with.
I'm giving my 100% best every day. I'm giving it all I've got. I've got nothing more to give. The reserves are gone. Yet I fall short every day. I can't meet my own goals. I fail at my own expectations all the time. I feel like I'm letting Billy down and holding him back.
Really, at 2pm today, I just wanted to go home and admit that The Camino had won this battle. This is the hardest thing I have ever done. I'm not sure I can do it. I don't know how to deal with failure in this. I'm a mess. Something has to change. I can't walk all the way to Santiago like this.
(Adendum. ..After crying and talking to Billy and debriefing and resetting expectations, I feel ready to continue. He's a great coach! We'll see what tomorrow brings.)