Smells Like Motivation

When I first met Lukas, he smelled to high heaven.

Obviously. We all did. When you walk twenty to thirty kilometers a day, you tend to sweat. Deodorant can only go so far.

In all actuality, I met Lukas just as I arrived late to a gite. We ate dinner severely late, I drank a lot of wine, and then I apologized profusely when I saw him laying in bed with his headphones in his ears, giving him full permission to tell us to shut up if we were too loud.

Thankfully, Lukas sleeps like the dead. We weren’t a problem.

I was lucky enough to travel with him for several days from that point forth.

I started the Camino because I was determined to give myself a little more credit to my capabilities as a writer (shameless plug for my I’d quit my job after saving up enough money to be overseas for six months. Three of them are dedicated to the Camino, walking for the peace of mind most of us can only imagine while working the normal jobs.

As I’ve continued to walk, I’ve found that whatever reason we’ve told ourselves to motivate us to walk is actually a bit more complicated.

Or maybe it is a bit more simple.

It has come down to that everyone walking this path is in all reality searching for a way to love themselves more.

Confidence, trust, health, spirit…all of these things add up to people sincerely wanting to be the best that they want to be.

We often ask ourselves these questions, about who we want to be in life. But we never seem to get the time between our jobs and social lives to dig deeper into these questions. Perhaps it is that we attempt, but by the time we begin, we are forced to stop in order to focus on something else.

There isn’t much to distract you while walking to Santiago.

Instead, you visit yourself. You see things you want to see, what you don’t want to see.

You visit with other people you meet on the trail. You see things you want to see, what you don’t want to see.

With each step, you become more vulnerable with yourself, with others. You begin to see that your vulnerabilities are what make you strong. Each story shared is another muscle added to the heart, pumping toward your goal.

When I met Lukas, we didn’t talk that much in the beginning. In fact, my leg had been hurting, so I’d limp behind the group in my own pace while they sailed to the next stopping point. But we’d danced to my music while brushing our teeth. He’d made me a salami and cheese sandwich after knowing me less than twenty-four hours.

And that stink he had. Well, it binds anyone who has the pleasure of smelling it.

We may part and see each other on the trail later. The way of the Camino seems to do that, bringing an ebb and flow of friendships as one walks. And when you think of everyone you have seen, of yourself, it’s easy to smile at the love created.

That’s enough motivation for me.

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