Any trip short or long involves some sort of anxiety, and being an accomplished procrastinator especially hightens the sensation. Checklists are made, gear is organized, prepared and/or purchased. Contingency plans are developed. Responsibilities are transferred. Life, oddly enough, seems to get more complicated. Planning for a month and a half away from home on another continent is no less daunting than our planning for the PCT. In some ways there is more uncertainity. Money, phone, food, health issues, communication, clothing, footwear, transportation and electrical outlets will require some level of adaptation and probably trial and most certainly error. With less than one week before we shove off, our Camino passports have yet to arrive and based on the scale in my garage, I have waaay too much crap in my pack. Not sure how that happens, seeing we will have nearly instant access to just about everything we will need or want, be it creature comforts or necessities. I’d like to have my pack weigh no more than 12 lbs with lunch, but it is currently 15lbs without. With that said, I will now ditch my iPad and go “old school” using my thumbs to pen this blog (once we leave), and I may also trade my Keen sandals (“camp shoes”) for another pair of Crocs…thus reducing my pack weight by nearly 3lbs. It is supremely necessary that I get my pack weight as low as possible considering my recent shoulder injury, as in 4 months ago. I thought it would be healed by now, but it isn’t and two weeks ago I finally went to the doctor about it. Seems that landing with all of ones mass on ones shoulder is not a good idea prior to a backpacking trip. I wish I could say it was an accident, but it was just pure idiocy. When executing a break fall/roll during Aikido (martial art of bone/joint twisting with awesome throws) I failed to fully commit and come completely around while throwing myself into what should have been a perfectly executed roll. It resembled more of a splat, followed by embarassment and accompanined by pain. Since then I have layed off Aikido (after another month of training of course) and swimming, yet the pain persisted. Six xrays and two sessions of physical therapy, I am sort of pain free. The diagnosis, no breaks, just some mad arthritis and an out of place collar bone (not broken, just out of place…sticks out from my sternum) and a seriously droopy left shoulder. When my PT asked what I wanted to get out of my sessions. I told her that I wanted to be able to swim pain free and to go on a backpacking trip. She told me that backpacking was out of the question for a while; that my shoulder could not support that kind of weight. I told her that this time it would only be 10-15lbs. She asked me when my trip was. Next week, of course, I replied. I was met with a look of “Are you shitting me?!” ‘I shit you not,’ I said out loud, responding to her look. It appears that I have completely misplaced my verbal filters since retirement. “Do you have a hip belt?”, she asked. ‘Yes’, I replied. “Okay, you can go if you cinch up your hip belt and carry the rest of the weight on your right shoulder. For heaven’s sake we’re trying to stop your shoulder from drooping, and this backpacking is NOT going to help.” I understand, but I’m leaving on Saturday, was my response. “Let me see if I can tape it”, she says. ‘Tape it up and give me some exercises and I’ll be good to go’, I tell her. She furrows her brow, shakes her head, looks at her intern with a “see what you have to look forward to” smile and fetches the KT tape. I can honestly say that my pain has gone from a constant 5-7 to a 1-3 now. KT tape is awesome, and so were the manipulations she did. I have one more session on Friday, and a few exercises that I will do on our trip each day. I will carry extra strips of KT tape that I will replace every 3-5 days to hold everything in place as best I can. What’s an adventure without a pre-existing injury that is contrary to the adventure one is embarking on?
Adding to my anxiouness is the fact that I am concerned that the Spanish I have been studying will more likely resemble, Espandeutschlish (a horrible and mutanous combination of recently learned Spanish, deeply buried German and a decent command of the English language). I guess we won’t know till we get there. Add to it, cleaning the house, setting up bill pay, getting in walks, getting (buying) Euros, setting up a travel account, signing loan docs, squeezing a car into the garage, preparing a things to NOT let die list for our son who will be holding down the fort, working on pack weight, and continuing to hone my espanol, while my husband the serial killer of language mocks me playfully rounds out the ‘worry-go-round’. T-minus 4 days and counting. I think my stomach hurts.