Thinking back over the last four months ever since I committed to walking the Camino, I am astounded by my resolve, which flew in the face of what in retrospect might seem reasonable.
Two days after buying my transatlantic air ticket, I started having bad left knee pain. The cause is unknown. Perhaps it was a repetitive strain injury from practicing seventeen years of shiatsu therapy on a mat. I was more inclined to think that this ailment was sent to test me. Walking was painful and, after one disastrous trial 15 kilometer walk along Toronto's lake front, not something which I wished to repeat. My back and other leg went into protective spasm. I was advised that for now I should limit physical activity to strengthening my quads and developing cardio vascular capability.
Friends advised me to postpone my walk for a year or, at least, to wait until I had some degree of comfort and could walk without a pronounced limp. By the time I reached London, just six days prior to the start of my camino, I could still barely walk for more than a mile without pronounced discomfort. My brother suggested that for my first day I, at least, choose an alternative to the more arduous Napoleonic route over the Pyrenees.
During all this time, never did I doubt my ability to undertake this journey. Never did I consider a more gentle route over the first mountain range. This was to be my camino and I would succeed.