SHANNON REED PORTRAIT

Training Day Four | Greenland Open Space

Shannon Reed

This was going to be a shorter hike - and it was; only about 7 miles. The heat was relentless {no shade} and a couple of miles in, I suggested we walk to Palmer Lake instead to go visit my dad. I'm glad we did. There's not a time when I shoulder my pack that I don't think of my dad. He's always with me; he's the reason I'm able to do this, really, because of what I learned from him growing up camping/hiking/fishing.

It turns out he's been to Malaga {where I will do the Camino del Rey}; he showed me a souvenir he picked up from a field while he was there - what, over 20 years ago now?! - and he has friends there with whom I might be able to stay. I feel like these serendipitous moments are reinforcing my decisions and letting me know I'm on the right path. Huzzah!

In thinking about this hike {which was yesterday}, I feel a little cranky and agitated. I'm so sick of the heat and the sun. I'm sick of getting that damn rash on my legs. I'm bummed that my toenail is going to fall off. I'm sick of sweating. I'm sick of my body being so inflamed and full of fluid that my skin actually hurts. I'm PMSing - I'm grouchy - nothing is going to make me happy right now. It would be easy to sit here and pretend that everything is hunky dory and awesome, but I'm just going to allow myself the time to sit and feel these things because I know they'll pass and my endorphins will kick in again. ")

Each day, I read a little bit from the American Pilgrims of the Camino Facebook page. I love reading their stories and the questions they ask fellow pilgrims. It's fun to see who likes to sleep and eat where and learn of potentially helpful tips.  Someone shared this wonderful animated map of the 490 mile route from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compestela and on to Finisterre, so I thought I'd post it here for my own future reference and to remind myself to keep moving, keep training, keep going - it's really all about moving forward and pushing through the difficult and not fun parts. It's not supposed to be easy; the important and meaningful things rarely are.

Tomorrow will be our second to last training day before the Camino del Norte de Chimayo {which starts a week from today} - another long hike at Elk Range Trail. 

A dear friend of mine shared this with me yesterday {thank you, Shelby}

For a New Beginning
John O'Donohue

In out of the way places of the heart
Where your thoughts never think to wander
This beginning has been quietly forming
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire
Feeling the emptiness grow inside you
Noticing how you willed yourself on
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the grey promises that sameness whispered
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life's desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.