When I was a mere child of 30, I worked in New York City for one of the local television stations – it was a great job, perhaps my favorite, and it prepared me well for this 500 mile hike across Spain.
The newsroom was full of daily drama and bigger than life personalities – on and off air. Drugs and booze were rampant, sex and love affairs were common place. Those of us who worked there during that time felt invincible – on top of the world! It was New York Fucking City – and we owned it!
I remember talking with one of the news editors – he was from Brooklyn before Brooklyn was Brooklyn – and he told me his car had been broken into – THIRTY times – 30fucking times!!!????
Freddie, I said, “what the fuck?!” Can’t the police / mayor / anyone do anything?””
I mean what the fucking fuck! I was beyond outraged. I was a girl from Colorado and we believe in law and order. It was time to call in the sheriffs and fucking hang those sonofabitches – I mean c’mon!
“Whatchagonnado!!?,” he said with a shrug and he changed the subject.
Whatchagonnado is fucking brilliant. I love that phrase. I mean really Whatchagonnado. Life is too short, too precious to worry about shit that regularly happens. Save the anger, the fights for something that’s really worthy of a fight.
And that’s how I felt this morning when I woke up with two enormous blisters on my feet.
Whatchagonnado! I’ll tell you Whatchagonnado – I’m gonna walk – I’m not going to let these blisters prevent me from doing what I want to do!
Any sane person would have called a doctor, a cab, or taken a rest day … but not moi!
So out the door I went, joining the other pilgrims who got up at the friggin’ crack of dawn to continue our march to Santiago de Compostella.
As we snaked our way out of Castrojeriz, we were greeted with a treat from Mother Nature – fog was rolling in and it was trapped below the hills-it was ethereal and a cruel joke. Because just as we got bored by the magnificent view – there on the horizon was today’s challenge; a gravity defying climb that went up, up, up, and UP!
The signs were not for the timid! Twelve percent incline – 12 fucking %! The steepest interstate in Colorado maxes out at eight percent and the warning signs along I-70 for drivers are legendary.
Eight percent – psssh, child’s play.
I climbed. I put one foot in front of the other. And then I repeated it until I was on top looking down!
And once there I was looking around for someone-anyone-to chest bump! I felt like I had just caught the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl! It was exhilarating- I was beyond pumped, surely my fellow pilgrims felt the same – surely they were into a little chest bumping action – but I was surrounded by the stoic Scots, the wise Welsh, the Germans, Swedes and the Korean gang – no one shared my American celebratory spirit.
So I took a selfie and set off for the descent.
Hold the fucking phone!
The incline to go down was 18% – that’ll blow out any flip flops even the expensive Tommy Bahama ones!
I slalomed my way down – shooshing down as if I were riding the bumps of a ski resort. One crazy Korean walked backwards – the entire way.
Walking downhill is much, much worse for me than climbing up. My knees were screaming and swearing at me, threatening to give out with every step.
But they didn’t.
My knees, legs and feet made it up and down today’s killer challenge.
Before I knew it I was once again walking along the farm fields, the empty fields, the endless fields, and rocking out to The Boss, enjoying my own “Badlands” and grateful for not letting two blisters, each the size of a half dollar – stop me!
I guess blisters, thieves and other hiccups will happen in life but Whatchagonnado, right!!? I choose to walk!
Here are my stats
11.87 Miles Marched Today
(Castrojeriz – Boadilla del Camino)
216.30 Miles Traveled So Far
289.5 Miles Left To Go
505.8 Total Miles to walk from St Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago, Spain
Tomorrow: Still on the “Meseta” – Destination: Carrion de los Condes