Everything is within walking distance if you have enough time.Steven Wright
While packing lists, route planners, accommodation etc. are given a lot of time and thought, there’s an all-together different ‘to-do-list’, that I’ve been compiling for my journey ahead.
I call it my ‘to-me-list’.
Note: not my ‘for-me-list’, but my ‘to-me-list‘!
First and foremost on the list (of things to be done to myself before I take on the Camino) is my wish to conquer my tobacco addiction.
I’m a heavy smoker, if ever you’ve seen one, and I don’t smoke any kind of light crap.
My beloved Rembrandt van Rijn’s are my most loyal companions, and I feel lost without cigarettes (been smoking since the age of 14). I simply do not know myself as a non-smoker.
I have always said that I’m scared to quit – what if I don’t like myself as a non-smoker? – but I now find myself in the fortunate situation that my self-esteem isn’t exactly sky high, so, while I’m down there, I may as well attempt to quit.
To be honest: I’m fed-up with smoking.
But, to be even more honest: I’m so completely addicted that giving up is an enormous mountain in ahead of me. But try, I will – I do not want to be the wanker who stops for a smoke break every so often on the Camino!
We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest, is the most progressive.C.S. Lewis
It’s nearly three weeks since I started to incorporate a ‘little’ exercise into my regime – as suggested by my friend Lloyd, who’s advice had something to do with good endorphins that is supposedly released during exercise.
To be honest: I won’t say that Lloyd talked a load of rubbish as, considering the number of years that I put mostly rubbish into my body, I can’t expect anything good (endorphins or otherwise) to be released from it in such a short space of time.
My almost daily morning jog down here at the coast (I have skipped a day or two, since I started) has, however, provided a slight (albeit temporary) boost to my self-esteem.
After a few days of jogging past the same group of ladies runners, I picked up on their vibe (so to speak), and became aware that I (I’ll have you know!) have become one of the topics of their conversation.
Naturally, one cannot blame them, I thought.
My athletic physique and well-toned body (not as if they can see what I look like under the tights!) are not unimpressive, if I say so myself, and they ought to be forgiven for noticing the young stud now sharing their mourning route with them.
Then, last night at the pub, a lady walks over to me in the smoking area, and introduces herself as Jane. She’s somewhere, I reckon, in her mid fifties, but in near ‘showroom’ condition.
So, she says, you are the crazy one?
Crazy? I ask. Why?
Turns out Jane is part of the group of ladies runners that I pass every morning, and my exercise routine has evoked quite a bit of discussion amongst the group.
While they have, amongst them, a mutual admiration for the daily routine I maintain (Jane says), the exact extent of my routine (in distance) have become a bit of an argument amongst them.
So, she says, how much is it? How many k’s do you do every morning?
Suffice to say, I immediately realised the predicament I was in.
It was not so much my physique that impressed the ladies, but more so the condition I was in by the time I passed them in the morning. From the looks of me, they had concluded that I must be doing a helluva distance every morning.
Jane, as I mentioned, is an attractive lady (mid fifties, whatever), and I was not about to tell her that the state they saw me in every morning, was the result of a 4km run (and that it’s taken me nearly three weeks to get to the 4km mark – the first few days I think I collapsed after 100m’s).
So, in an effort to shield myself from any further knocks to my self-esteem, but also attempting to stay (ever so slightly) within the bounds of truthfulness, I replied: ‘Jane, it varies. I’ve learnt to allow my body to tell me when it’s done enough’.
I think my response got me off the hook, if it did not actually impress!
This morning the ladies greeted even friendlier than before, and, when at lunch time, I bumped into Jane again at the pub, she invited me to join them for coffee tomorrow morning after my run.
I’m getting there.
All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.Friedrich Nietzsche
PS. For the first time ever in my life, I suffer from insomnia. I have (without taking a single afternoon nap) not been able to fall asleep before 02:30 once on this holiday.
Tomorrow’s my last day. I miss my boys.