I’ve had some time to reflect on some of my more recent experiences on this journey. If there is one thing that The Camino teaches you, it’s that the deep lessons don’t really begin until you’ve been pushed to the limit.
Or to sum up, blisters suck, but they do heal.
I had the fortune of getting an excellent pair of boots long before the flight to Spain. They were excellent quality, capable of standing up to heat and cold, shuck off rain, with a wide toe box that won’t crunch my toes going down a steep hill. I wear liner socks, and proper wool socks that still keep warm when wet, and are excellent cushions. My core is strong, my back is steady, and I trained with a very capable and experienced crew.
Blisters still came.
And they came hard. And in unusual places.
To date, I have had five blisters. The one on my right heel I count twice, because it not only came back twice, it brought a friend, big as my thumb. The strangest is the one between the big toe and middle toe on my left foot, right where my sandal thong lies. That one is taking the longest to heal.
For more than a few days, those blisters (and more) sapped my strength, retarded my speed, and made the gravel trails feel worse than anything I have ever experienced. And I walked through a bed of hot coals at a Tony Robbins event! I felt broken. Humbled. Weak.
And seemingly, all my prayers to get me off this trail came to naught. Because at times, it just never seemed to end. The heat and the rocks and the weight of my pack drove me into depths of despair.
But you know what the interesting thing about blisters is?
They wil heal.
Moreover, a properly healed blister leaves a callus on the spot of your former weakness. It comes back harder, tougher, and able to withstand the pain and the heat. Sometimes, the former blister site may not even look like it was ever hurt at all.
Take care of yourselves, all. The Camino isn’t even halfway done, and there are more stories to tell.