I should be more organised. I should have trained more. I should be packing rather than using the gasman’s presence in my home as an excuse to message friends instead. I should be slimmer, fitter and with flawless skin for the inevitable photos along the Camino. My legs are pearly white, should I pack fake tan in case the weather requires shorts? Should I rummage around for a second inhaler lest the Pyrenees wreak havoc with my lungs?
I could take a short moment instead to look out the window at this cold, damp day and think about how darn fortunate I am to be able to take six weeks out to fulfil a long held dream. Fortunate also that I have a son who I don’t need to worry about, fortunate to have a loving, supportive family watching my back, fortunate to be self-employed and able to negotiate extended leave with my fabulous boss. Fortunate to have a body that, despite its various challenges, is game enough to have a go at walking 800km. Fortunate to have my fabulous friend Exploradora coming with me to share this amazing adventure.
I tell my coaching clients that ‘should’ is an unwelcome visitor in the coaching room. So I shall be taking my own counsel and will be leaving him behind. My Camino, my Way. My Way will probably be at a moderate pace and will most likely be with straighteners in my bag (I’ll pack fewer toiletries). This middle aged, modern day pilgrim isn’t focussed on being the fastest finisher each day, the most fluent speaker of Spanish or the most authentic, ‘worthy’ pilgrim, denying all creature comforts. Besides comfortable clothing, essential toiletries, medication and a ridiculous amount of blister plasters I’m bringing with me an open mind, a feeling of immense gratitude and a sprinkling of fear and excitement.
Three days to St Jean!