Home » Uncategorized » As I took my final step on my Camino walk…I broke down and cried!

As I took my final step on my Camino walk…I broke down and cried!

After walking over 800k (500 miles) in 56 days from France to Spain, I fell apart when I walked up to the beautiful Santiago Cathedral.

This 68-year-old was broken, psychically. My one year of training in Thailand did pay off; I would have never had made it without it.  However, my decision to walk with almost no money for food had its consequences. That said; I would have not changed one thing about my walk. I had to go through the pain to learn how to choose to be at peace!

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THIS WAS THE MOMENT…. I TOOK MY FINAL STEP!

56 days of being hungry ….

Not just for food, but for what has been missing in my life!

When I arrived in Santiago, it was Spain’s annual celebration of St. James day. Thousands of people surrounded the Cathedral, including many volunteers from the Jesuits. They were looking for tired pilgrims like me. I did not want to talk (very unusual for me) a young man invited me into the church for a special prayer service for Pilgrims. I said “yes.”

My journey created laughter and tears;

a growling stomach took me to places I have never been,

I now know what it’s like to go to bed hungry! 

Upon entering this spectacular historic structure, he escorted me to a chapel. The room was filled with an energy saying, “We understand.”

There was a girl playing a guitar, and it added serenity to the room.  No words were being spoken, four pilgrims and I were reflecting on our journey and the many lessons that were learned. We were all in tears, but they were tears of gratitude. The leader shared some words, which said, “WE are never alone!”

Walking the Camino is “not” about walking!

It’s so much more….

This is a small part of my Camino experience, everyone has their own.

A few of the many experiences with people I meet during my journey, of which will become my next book.•

  • The C.E.O. of a large multi-million dollar company that walked with a janitor of a school, they taught each other, life lessons!

    A huge “THANK YOU” to all of you who sent your support to the kids in Kenya, because of you they are not hungry today! My walk was easy compared to the challenges they face!

    A huge “THANK YOU” to all of you who sent your support to the kids in Kenya, because of you they are not hungry today! My walk was easy compared to the challenges they face!

• The prostitute who asked, “Do you think God will forgive me?”

• The Professor from Harvard, a mathematician, who said, “I just figured out “Life is not all about ones and zeros.”

• The student who discovered his first job will be about passion not money!

• The lady whose father just died who told me, “You are my father!”…I was speechless.

• The husband-wife history teachers who said, “I will teach my students about the history of the Camino, but the true lesson is about self-discovery!”

• The lady who bought a gun to kill the person who took the life of her son in an accident.

• The resent divorcee who feared; she will spend the rest of her life by herself. Her Camino lesson; she will “never” be alone!

• The alcoholic, who hid in a bottle his whole life, discovered he was not a bad person but his behavior was. He learned how to get rid of all his guilt and shame from his past.

• The atheist who said, “There is no God!” But there is something?

• The family of eight, from 4 to 62 years old, grandma, grandpa, son, daughter and grandchildren, said, “This journey will always be in our hearts even after we finish.”

These and many other stories will be coming soon!

REFLECTION; ”CAN I BE AT PEACE & PAIN….AT THE SAME TIME?”
My Camino lesson was, “YES!”

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Since I had a reputation of being such a slow walker, I created “THE SNAIL GANG” for us slow-pokes. Click HERE to check it out. 

My friend Susan R Mann made this video of me during my walk, sharing a few things that were going on in my head?

I did make one final un-planded walk from Fisterra to Muxia,  It was truly magical. I then went to my new friend, author, Tracy Saunders home for a Pilgrims Retreat called “The Little Fox House” to re-adjust back to the “other” life. It was great! Check out her video…HERE. 

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13 Comments

  1. Craig says:

    Jim, that is so awesome. I am so happy for you. I know you did it for your charity and I wish I could help, but..you know… 3rd world income leaves little for donations. I give you major points for what you did. Hope to see you back in Thailand and hear about it first hand.

  2. Gilles says:

    Jim, you can be proud of what you learned and now bring with your life and share with others; much more than what you did.

  3. seeker says:

    Jim, Thank you for passing on how wonderful life is all about. I am glad you have done the walk. This is a great inspiration. Blessings. Seeker.

  4. Buzz Gray says:

    Thank you for sharing! It was great meeting you at the end of the world!

  5. Laurice Haney says:

    I met you in Villafranca, and we talked for about a half-hour. I thought I might catch up to you, but never did. I finished the Camino a few days ahead of you. My only regret is that I didn’t know you were walking with little money for food. I would have been glad to share. Thank you for sharing your experience. I find it is often difficult to put into words what the walk means.

  6. Kim Zacher says:

    Jim,
    Every time I read something about your journey it just makes me want to get there sooner. You had so much to share with others before your journey and now those lessons have multiplied greatly. I thank you for all your contributions to my life and the lives of others. I know how peaceful we get through service work and I was wondering if you are in a coma yet from too much peace and serenity?

    Hugs,
    Kim

  7. Is Congratulations appropriate? It is admirable what you’ve done. Here’s to self discovery and endless happy walking, cheers!

  8. Sounds like you had quite the experience! One thing though, were you in time for the noon mass, and did they bring out the big ol’ incense censer?

  9. Jim this is Kristin and Janeen just set me a CC of her email to you. I just watched your youtube video and your final interview…FANTASTIC!! You have captured so many diverse aspect of one’s experience that is almost impossible (and often diminishes) the Camino experience. I applaud what you have done and how you have made it fresh, organic, and compelling for others. EXCELLENT work and keep up the creativity!!! Loved being with you!
    Love
    Kristin

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