Camino minus 30 Days – Am I Bigfoot?

I spent an hour and a half on the phone with my mother, catching up on news. It’s not surprising how much you miss when you’re 3,000 miles from home. She has heard about my Camino trip from the children. She doesn’t know much about it, but she has always been my most fervent supporter of any adventurous inclination I have displayed, justified or not. My Camino is no exception.

Tell me all about it, she asks enthusiastically. But how can I tell her about an adventure I haven’t been on yet? I struggle to describe what I’ve heard of other people’s experiences, but I know I’m being false and I quickly surrender.

Go to the library and get this movie, “The Way,” I tell her. We’ll talk about it next week.  That way, I commit myself to calling next week, which I want to do but too often get caught up in other things. Really, what’s more important than talking to your mother????

I ordered new boots last night. My old faithful ones, the ones I had planned on using for the Camino, had suddenly, inexplicably, given me the dreaded “black toe” last week while on a routine 11 km hike. I was totally dumbfounded. This was a walk I have done, same boots, same socks, same backpacks, numerous times in the past two months. Yet, this time, I found myself consciously pulling my right foot back at each footfall in order to not have the toe press against the front of the boot. What’s going on here?

I’ve had the Black Toe before from shoes that didn’t fit correctly and even from simple overuse in fairly well-fitting shoes, but I thought I had these boots well broken in. Now, with only 30 days to go, I have to hope and pray that the shoes I ordered would a) arrive on time, and b) fit.

For days before hitting the “submit order” button on the Zappos website, I had spent time in local sporting goods stores trying the shoes of my choice, based on internet recommendations – a pair of Merrell Moab Ventilators. My feet had perversely decided to change sizes on me at the last minute, just to mess with my mind, so I couldn’t just order shoes of the same size as I had worn for the past year. I never wear the same size twice.

I’m glad I did because it turns out that I don’t wear a size 41, the size I have been wearing – comfortably – until last week. Now, I need a size 43.


Until I tried on these new shoes and enjoyed the comfort, I had been feeling so good about my physical condition. Weight holding steady, blood pressure down dramatically, able to climb gentle hills without huffing and puffing, no longer dreading the uphill walk to the apartment and the accompanying three flights of stairs. But now, realizing the delight my toes are signalling to my brain in these new shoes at the store, I suspect that blood, bone, and excess fat had simply slithered down to my feet, providing a false sense of cushy, soft, marshmallowy security. Now, I realize where all the weight has shifted to – into my big, fat, magically-mutated-into-a-man’s foot.

Only one foot, though, the right one. The left one still feels feminine at a dainty size 41.

*Sigh* I’m so not ready for this trip. In so many ways.



2 responses to “Camino minus 30 Days – Am I Bigfoot?

    • What a sweet thing to say! The new boots fit so well that, about a month ago, I bought another pair, this time low ones (not mid-high). They fit like a glove and I wear them EVERYWHERE.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s