El Camino: Mansilla de las Mulas to Leon

Todays trek: Mansilla de las Mulas to LEON!

How do we conquer our mind?

For some reason I had it in my head for the last few days that we would be walking many miles on the day we got into Leon.

I worried about it a bit but didn’t make any extra effort to look in the guidebook and check it out.

Judy confirmed that we had to walk 12 miles and I continued to worry. She showed me a map indicating the elevation profile and I noted what looked like just one hill. I still worried.

As per routine, as soon as we finished breakfast we headed out on the trail. This morning was brisk and I actually saw my breath a couple of times.

We walked and I realized I wasn’t wearing my fit bit probably having left it in the pocket of my dirty shirt. I figured that it would continue to record my steps since I was wearing my pack. Then I forgot about it.

Normally, if I get hot or uncomfortable I check the distance on my Fitbit to see if relief will come soon. This day I couldn’t.

All I could do was walk and sing and take pictures. I laughed at peacocks screaming at me causing a flock of six enormous gray geese to run out flapping their wings. I think they thought I might have food for them.

I stopped to read wall art and to look at very old fountains for washing pilgrim’s feet.

The hill came and as I turned the corner I saw two younger women taking a picture of a city below. As they turned to return to the trail I asked them, “Do you know the name of the city?”

They replied, “Leon!” And I said, “Shut up!” I’ve got to stop saying that.

The steep downhill went well and before I knew it I was accepting a lolly pop from the volunteer greeting pilgrims and handing out city maps.

It wasn’t until I started writing this that I decided to look for my Fitbit. I found it in the shirt pocket and it read 12.44 miles.

Imagine that.

When given nothing to do except walk and focus on not falling the mind settles. The voice quiets and says things like “Step there. Use your stick to step down. Get that rock out of your sandal. Look at that cloud. What was the first line to that song?”

And then you look up and you’re there.

Go outside and walk. It’s good for you.


Siempre pa’ adelante!


About Caro

I am a social worker by training and a peace officer by profession having worked with California’s delinquent youth and young adults for 28 years. I firmly believe that our development as humans depends on our environment and that sometimes we get stuck. As such, I write about those things we sometimes ignore or fail to see until we are forced to pay attention.
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