How the Camino De Santiago Changed My Life

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Some people decide something, take drastic measures and bam, everything has changed permanently. I've never been that way. Everything is a process for me, a slow, often times drawn out process. Life changes don't happen for me over night.

I don't have a day, time, alter call that made me a follower of Jesus. I can tell you different events, prayers, thoughts, and time spans that gradually changed my heart but there was no "bam, your saved" moment.

Same with my political views, It took over 6-8 years for me to go from being a hardcore-bingeing on Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter-Republican to being a liberal independent who watches Rachel Maddow, voted for Obama once and then Hillary.

Life in the Shire goes on very much as it has this past age with its own comings and goings and change coming slowly if it comes at all. Bilbo Baggins

When I came back from walking the Camino my boss asked me if I had any life changing moments.  I read stories from others talking about spiritual awakenings while they were there, and how joyous and wonderful the entire walk was (I only did 9 days, the glorious folks did all 35). Every time I read those stories or was asked about life changing moments I felt like the Kate McKinnen Character in this skit (watch it, it's hilarious) cuz' I didn't have some glorious spiritual awakening and most of the time I just thought it was hard as hell and bullshit.


Two years ago I started walking every morning on the treadmill. At first doing 30 minutes would almost kill me. I hated it. I hated making time to go to the gym at all. But I knew I had to get ready for this walk.

Over time I increased my walking time, right before I went to Spain I was up to 2 hours of walking each morning. But I had not done any other working out, no weights or strength training. I did do planks, I knew I had to strengthen my core.

Everyone told me I needed to strength train, but I'm stubborn and a slow learner. I regretted not listening to them when I was walking the Camino. My legs were not ready, that's why the walking was bullshit.

While I was there I got off my Metformin, the Contrave, and only took my Claritin. That's a big change for me. I've been on Metformin for years, thinking it would help but it hasn't. I was on Metformin when I shot back up to 175 last year. The Contrave was a diet pill, I had been on a very low dose of it since last April, it helped with appetite. Getting off it completely was very scary for me. I am still afraid that getting off these two medications will cause me to gain my weight back.

But, I've never felt better physically. The walk solidified my new habit of exercising. It showed me I had to take it up a notch. I was already accustomed to getting up at 5am and being at the gym for 2 hours so now I would transition to working out with weights and on the machines as well as still training on the treadmill only now I do the mountain climbing setting cuz' you know, I done climbed a real mountain.

It's taken a lot to get here, mostly a lot of time, a slow process of gradually building up over two years to this time where I enjoy going to work out, I enjoy the sweating, the burn, the work of it. I NEVER thought I'd say that and mean it. It's a habit now that makes me very happy and healthy.

I'm 50 and yes, I'm late to the game but I'm all in now.

Sure I want to look great, I want to firm up, look better in my clothes but even if that doesn't happen, I will still go and still work out. It's just what I do now.

The Camino was that time span where this fitness journey was verified, realized, set in stone. No matter what anyone told me, I had to learn the hard way, I had to know first hand how valuable being in shape was. No light bulb moment, my light switch is on a dimmer, the knob is always slowly being turned brighter and brighter.

And now I have another year and a half to get ready to go back and finish that damn walk, cuz' yes, we (entire family) are planning on going Summer of 2019 to walk it.

THAT is how the Camino changed my life.

Glorious.

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