They say your journey to the Camino de Santiago (The Ways of St. James) starts as soon as you decide to go and start planning the trip. Still, I didn’t know what that meant when I signed up to join my cousin Irisaida on her 50th birthday pilgrimage.
My Camino started on October 27th, 2021, when I received the invitation to join Irisaida and four of her friends on the Camino Frances. Of course, I immediately said yes because this had been on my bucket list for some time, so the planning began. I quickly purchased my flights to take advantage of reasonable airfare and had planned to do some research for training and packing over the holidays. Still, as life would have it, I came down with the Omicron variant of Covid on December 23rd and spent my holidays in bed. “No problem,” I thought, “I will start planning in January once I am over this terrible virus.”
January 10th was the first day I was 100% well. It was my first day back in the office since December 17th, and I was excited to get to work and prepare for my next Crushing Mental Fitness 6-week program. Shadow, my 15yr old chocolate labrador, had to go to the bathroom at about noon. I ran to open the kitchen door to let him out, but I was a little too late, and my poor baby had an accident in the kitchen on his way out to the yard. I started cleaning and wanted to hose down the kitchen stairs, but my husband had not replaced the broken hose. I had to improvise while being highly annoyed at my husband as I’ve been asking him to replace the hose for a few weeks. When I saw Shadow trying to get back inside, I quickly grabbed him by the collar to bring him in by the side door so that he wouldn’t drag the poop back in, but when we went to the door, it was locked. “The door that my husband had kept open for weeks is locked just when I need it to be opened,” I thought. I became even more annoyed, and as I turned around, I fell on the concrete stairs and floor. Ouch, the pain! I twisted my ankle and could barely walk when I got up. I first thought of my trip, the Camino, my ankle. “Oh no, this happened to my sister and spiritual mentor Liz when she was going on her Camino. If she could get well and still travel weeks or months after her injury, I should be fine too.” And so my pain and suffering began, and the last 70+ days have been unpredictable.
I utilized the RICE method for a couple of weeks before realizing that I may need medical attention. I made an appointment with my fabulous Podiatrist Dr. Marizeli Olacio founder of Omega Group. Fifteen days later, I got the medical attention I needed for a torn ligament and contusion. I had to wear a walking boot for four (4) weeks. I then transitioned to a heavy-duty brace while doing therapy three times a week with Max Wolters DPT, CSCS, all in hopes that I could still make the Camino.
If that wasn’t enough, a week after I fell on January 17th, my husband had fallen asleep in the living room. When he went to get up to come to the bedroom, he fell on our living room floor. He is not sure how but his hand was super swollen. He, too, waited a week or so before getting medical attention, and when he did, they told him he fractured a bone.
As humans, we were never promised that life would be perfect. If you are reading this, I bet you too have had your share of pain and suffering. Pain and suffering are necessary for us humans to appreciate the gifts that life brings us. Maybe your pain and suffering have not been as intense as some of the people you know or the stories you’ve heard. Still, I bet you’ve experienced an accident, betrayal, or life disappointment at one point or another. We all have, and the worst part is that we never know when it will come. We can plan and set goals, but life often turns out differently, and it’s up to us to see the gift and opportunities (Sage Powers).
As my husband and I were getting into the routine and on our way to healing a couple of weeks later, on February 2nd, we got the terrible news that my husband’s uncle passed away in a car accident and that his little cousin who was in the car with her grandfather was in ICU. So as if our physical pain was not enough, we now have this emotional pain and grief. Three days later, my maternal grandfather, Abuelo Alberto, passed away.
When it rains, it pours, they say, ” Boy, did we get a storm in our way. I had planned for 2022 to be the year I would unleash the power within me and the power within my clients. Still, on February 5th, I had no idea if I would be able to do anything. But this is life. As Forest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get.”
As the weeks went by, my physical body was healing, and my heart was recovering. But before I could celebrate and start packing for my March 24th trip, I got my last test and challenge on my way to the Camino.
In February, I noticed that my monthly menstrual cycle was late. I didn’t pay much mind to it because I realized all of the stress and emotional pain could have an effect on our hormones. I did find it strange as I am very regular but didn’t pay much mind to it. Almost 14 days later, the flood gates opened on March 3rd, and on Monday, March 14th, I started to get nervous. I was only 10 days from my trip, and how could I travel this way? I am now hijacked by my saboteurs and on edge because of what I’ve experienced over the past three months. I think of the worst and make an emergency appointment with the Gynecologist. I went in the next day, and the first thing the doctor says is, “you may need to cancel your trip.”
My heart started beating fast, and I wanted to cry. After all of this, no way…why? I did some of my PQ reps and took some nice breaths, and we continued the conversation. He rushed me to get a ton of blood work done and a couple of sonograms and gave me a prescription to stop the bleeding. The results started to appear in the portal on Friday, and the blood work showed that I was anemic. I didn’t understand the other results, so I patiently and nervously waited the weekend with all of my Camino packing items on top of my living room table because I was too nervous to pack. Finally, Monday comes along, and I get a message in the portal from my doctor’s office that he wants to see me ASAP. You can probably imagine how I felt. I nervously called to make an appointment, wondering what news I would receive and now basically getting mentally ready to possibly have to cancel my trip. They squeezed me in to see the doctor on Tuesday afternoon. I drive there doing PQs, breathing, and praying. I finally get to see the doctor, and he goes over the results with me and gives me the okay to travel along with some instructions. I took a deep breath and could almost cry from the excitement and relief that it wasn’t anything life-threatening or urgent.
The roller coaster is over for now, and I can pack to go on my Way to St. James. 🤗 “Thank you, Lord,” I thought! 🙏
Amid this pain and suffering, I’ve received many lessons and gifts thanks to my way of looking at life and my mental fitness practice. At 45, I am on my way and still learning! 🧠 💪
(Image provided by Positive Intelligence)
I want to share a few of my Sage lessons:
🧠 Because of my fall, I’ve been alcohol-free (no vino) since December 17th, and I feel fantastic! More on that in the future.
🧠 I am now more empathetic to physical pain.
🧠 I am now more aware and empathetic to the aging process with my dog, my grandfather, and my own body. I’ve realized that our body is our temple, and we need to take care of it.
🧠 I’ve really learned that I must let go of control. (This is one of my top saboteurs, and I must continue working on them.)
🧠 I’ve come to appreciate the importance of sleep and recovery.
🧠 I’ve been building new habits and allowing others to help me.
🧠 I thoroughly appreciate the importance of having a good team (husband, doctors, physical therapist, and coaches)
I am off to the Camino! We depart tomorrow, March 24th. If you want to follow our walk, sign up to receive notifications of our “Seis Caminos – Women Empowerment” Blog. This post will be there, and you’ll get to meet my cousin Irisaida and the other four women walking with us. Here is the full link: https://browslasheshope.org/camino-blog
Until April – I’ll be on my way!
(Image taken from REI – https://www.rei.com/blog/travel/how-to-hike-the-camino-de-santiago)
About Be Productive:
Founder, Vimari Roman helps professionals get out of paralysis analysis, gain confidence, and take massive action to succeed in the career that moves them.
Vimari began her career in Hospitality and after over 20 years, she found herself bored, frustrated and discouraged. She realized that she had outgrown her career and in 2013 transitioned her skillset, earned her CMM (Certificate in Meeting Management), and started her first company, Be Productive Meetings & Events. After a great start, she felt that something was still missing. She went inward and discovered that she missed the coaching and leadership component of her teams. A year later in 2014, she received her Global Leadership Certified Coach designation, and Be Productive Coaching was born.
Vimari serves clients from all over the world working virtually. With over twenty years of experience in leadership, she has successfully mentored and coached 100’s of high-performing professionals in various industries assisting their transition to living exciting lives, filled with purpose, greater career satisfaction, and higher pay. 🍎Check out how she can help you at www.beproductivecoaching.com