Day 8: You Can’t Stop the Rain by Complaining

Today it rained. And rained and rained and rained. Not the warm kind of rain that makes you feel sluggish and soupy, but the cool and refreshing kind of rain that adds ever so slightly to a growing fog with every drop that touches the ground. In the morning, after tying the last lace on my hiking boots and finagling my suitcase into the unofficial game of luggage Jenga at the bottom of the stairs for the travel company, I took my seat at the end of the table for breakfast. As I spread some sort of cheese and jam onto my toast, we were reminded to pack an extra layer and our rain gear. My rain gear consisted of a backpack cover and a rain jacket which quickly revealed itself to be water-resistant as opposed to water-proof. A dutch braid from Michelle, two deep thoughts, and a sluggish group count-off later, we strapped into our backpacks and headed down the stony path for another day on the Camino.

About 10 minutes into the walk, the path went from flat to intimidatingly sleep. As a native Floridian, I am not used to basically any altitude above sea level, and the height at which we were hiking was especially challenging for me in terms of getting enough oxygen and breathing steadily in the mountain air. I trudged up the steep incline with much help from Ben. As a runner, Ben has a lot of tips for the group with regard to breathing and pacing yourself as well as just general tips he’s learned as a runner. For me, the best advice he gave was to keep breathing, which seems like it would be obvious for most people in almost all situations, but I personally tend to forget to take deep breaths when I’m faced with steep inclines. I was able to speed up a little on the flat parts of the path, and this gave me just enough time to recover before it was time for the next uphill portion of the trail.

Lexi Krigger, Psychology