I was beginning to wonder if all the walking would ever make me feel physically stronger. There's been no doubt it's working my mental and spiritual muscles, making them stronger, but I haven't felt much difference in the physical part. Today I finally had the opportunity to witness the vast amount of improvement I've made in that area.
On the first day of my Camino, I walked about 8 km uphill from St. Jean to Orisson. I had sent my backpack ahead by courier and only carried a small daypack. It took me almost 7 hours. Today I walked about 7 km uphill from Rabanal to Foncebadon, carrying my full backpack, on much more difficult terrain. It took me only 3-1/2 hours. What a difference! I may still be slow, but at least no one is mistaking me for dead anymore.
When I arrived at my albergue, I had some time to lay on my bunk and think quietly about tomorrow. It occurred to me that today would be my last day to carry the stone I brought from home, symbolizing whatever it is I no longer wish to carry around in my life. It made me a little sad. I've gotten used to having those things in my life. They're who I am. Or at least who I was. Am I willing to leave them behind? What if I leave them behind only to find I've somehow picked them up again? Does that mean I failed?
The actof leaving the stone and all it carries with it implies a commitment to real and visible change in my life. That's a lot of responsibility. Am I ready for it? I guess we'll see.