Lest I lead you to believe this journey is all raindrops and roses and whiskers on kittens, let me introduce you to my left shin. Either my shin didn't get the memo that the rest of my body planned to take this journey or it decided to lodge a silent protest, because it is presently acting a fool. Funny thing is, the left can't even recruit the right in its mutiny. It throbs alone, choosing to be a petulant child in the back of the class while all my other body parts work in perfect unity.
The left shin splint cropped up toward the middle of the second day. I think it objected to the hills. It was used to the paved streets of Manhattan and instead had been dealt a poker hand of hilly upstate NY on the river. It wasn't happy.
The pain grew into a pretty constant ache by the end of Tuesday and by Wednesday, despite increased icing and stretching, it was with me for the whole walk to Cohoes. Yesterday it was off and on, with some stretches more uncomfortable than others. I just keep chugging alone. I made a conscious decision when I started this journey that as long as I was still physically able to walk, I would. Or, to steal a phrase from one of the corniest of 1980s movies, No Retreat, No Surrender. If it gets so bad that I can't walk, then I will rest where I'm at. But until then I choose to view it as a blessing. Because when it finally goes away and my left shin signs off on this journey like the rest of my body, the hills will feel alive with the sound of music. Walking will feel that much more enjoyable for having experienced the pain. Whenever I do to celebrate that healing, I at least promise not to don any lederhosen or sing Edelweiss, despite my penchant for showtunes.