The best thing about starting the camino in Saint Jean Pied de Port was seeing how hard it is from Day 1 – well I have been seeing how bad it is before even walking the first day out of SJPP – but even when you smoothly reach SJPP, first day out is not an easy one, some even call it the hardest day of the whole camino! The town itself is on a mountain cliff so taking an afternoon walk through SJPP means you are climbing up and down all the time! But walking west towards Spain meant you are climbing the Pyrenees, and then descending them towards Roncesvalles.
Well first day was really tiring, but it wasn’t only because of climbing, descending also played a very big part in tiring everyone. Whilst everyone at the beginning thought that going downhill is always easier, everyone was 100% convinced at the end of the camino that climbing can actually be easier and less tiring.
You can – again – apply this lesson to daily life, just like I learned packing as light as possible, learned that a long journey starts with a single step, and just as we learned that the painful road could be just a part of a wonderful picture, I learned a very precious lesson, that descending is more painful that climbing up!
Not on physical matters, but let’s talk career wise for an easy example, I know it’s not easy to climb up the career ladder, but once u take a step forward (upwards on the ladder), taking it back and falling into your old place will hurt you and will be more painful that taking it forward was.
Another example can be given about school or college. Imagine studying hard all semester long, well not very hard, but at least you were studying, you were tired of the subject. You go to final test, and when the grades are out, and you have failed! Yes that is how it would feel to descend! After all the energy/time/money/whatever you spend to climb up, it must be very painful and hard to descend!
All of us will sometimes experience those downhill moments, while on the camino they were unavoidable, as there was no other way except going back, but in real life, what you have to do is to try and avoid them, unless it’s a little downhill for a major following climb or something like that.
May your lives be full of climbs and devoid of descends 🙂