We left this morning with an aire of excitement and expectations. I had prepared, trained, and waited for the big day. finally, it was here.
The first day of the Camino was a lot like my first childbirth. I was excited and anxious. I was prepared and ready. And then labor began! Pain. Confusion. Wanting relief.
"What do you mean I'm only at 2!?! I have to get to 10 before I can be finished?! Oh no...This is not going to be pretty. Call the doctor. Get me some painkillers. I'll never make it to 10!"
It didn't quite work out like that, in the end. The doctor was in no big hurry to give me relief. Billy stayed by my side, helping me focus and breathe and push through the pain.
Fast forward to today. At 2 hours in to today's trek, my calves were screaming. In 2 hours we had only gone 4 kilometers, completely uphill. I knew it would be tough. I knew it was an entire day of uphill, from 500ft to 4600ft altitude. But having head knowledge and actually being there are two entirely different things.
"What do you an were only at 4?! We have to go to 25 km today? Uphill? We've only been walking for 2 hours and we've only covered 4km. My calves feel like they are full of fire rocks. I have to stop every 20 yards to stretch and rub and beg for mercy. I can't do this..."
Again, Billy was there. Encouraging. Telling me to focus. Telling me to breathe. Telling me to push through the pain.
I admit to a fair share of complaining and begging for relief. But, like every good coach, he kept up the gentle but firm pushing me forward and showing confidence that I could do it. Even when I was pretty sure that I couldn't.
Today was many things. Muddy, wet, cold, windy, foggy, difficult, painful. But it was also beautiful and wonderful and I learned a lot about myself. And I got to do it all with a great coach and my best friend by my side...encouraging me and challenging me and instilling in me the confidence that I could do it.