Europe N to S: Break the Roads (2/13/17) 

Today’s Miles: 19.1
Total Miles: 4,341

Pamiers, France – February 13, 2017

The highway grinds down on me again. The bit of me that recovered overnight scrapes away and then I just feel beat up. I don’t even think it’s the pavement as much as it’s the constant threat of cars racing by. I stare at each, watching to make sure the driver sees me, hoping they’ll slide a bit over to give me room, readying to throw myself to the side if they drift too close.

By the time I reach Pamiers, I don’t have the will power to push on. I feel broken by the pavement. I waiver back and forth in the street then I go to a hotel. It’s only the second time on the trip, but it’s the second time in ten days.

It’s a dumpy roadside place. Nothing special, but I need to download maps and recharge batteries anyway, I tell myself. I wait in line to check in with a group of road workers, tired from their day, still wearing the bright neon colors of their uniforms, and a couple, a man and woman who don’t have luggage and she pays in cash.

In the room, I lay on the mattress and feel the exhaustion of the day. The trip is wearing on me. These thousands of miles are catching up. Every day I lose a bit more than I recover, I feel tired a step sooner. The thoughts sit there like a weight on my chest, laughing at me.

Then I laugh back.

It’s all true. Of course I am worn down, I’ve almost walked the length of Appalachian Trail twice, but it doesn’t matter. Underneath the cracks, under the bruises, below the asphalt-punched surface, I know I have more to give, so much more, more than these roads can ever take. It’s not bluster. It’s not bragging. I just know. I know they cannot win becaue I won’t let them.

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6 thoughts on “Europe N to S: Break the Roads (2/13/17) 

  1. I know it is in you D. It always has been even before you took your first step. It is not a sin to take a week off someplace to recharge the batteries — the human ones. Sometimes it takes more than a day to recharge those given your quest. And also to let Wally and the rest of the system heal.

  2. It’s the mental batteries that take longer to charge. You are giving more than you are getting so the constant thing is depletion. No one here will think you are weak for taking time to get back on track. If you don’t take the time to get mental/physical rest, things may break and the down time could be longer. You have gone so far mentally and physically. It would be a shame to not be able to see it thru do to a mental or physical breakdown. Rest-you deserve it! Were with U.

  3. Yes, you can do it! We’re with you and we know you can do it! You can also slow down, rest, recharge. It’s a journey, not a marathon, unless you want it to be! Remember, you decide the rules! We’re all rooting for you! Supporting you any way we can. 🙂

  4. A little vacation from the trail seems like a great idea — we all need a break from the daily routine, whatever it is! Your strength and resilience is an inspiration to all of us following your adventures and we want to see you meet your goals safely. Thanks for your transparency in sharing your feelings in the challenges you face. You make it look “easy” but it is a huge output of will to push through so many miles of rainy and cold terrain. INCREDIBLE! We are sending you good energy from here. Peace be with you on your path!

  5. Mental toughness D. You’ve got it. You’re good at listening to your body and not letting your mind psych you out. Rest. We all need rest for the mind and the body. Namaste.

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