My Dearest Merrell,
I love you. I’m not just saying that. You are one of the best things that has ever happened to me. People thought I was crazy. They thought that it wouldn’t last. They gave me the side eye everytime that I talked about you. “Are you serious?” they would ask, “You did it barefoot?”
But, I stood by you and you fit me like a glove. Not only did you make it through almost a year of training for El Camino de Santiago, but by the time we were ready to go, you were like an old friend. And, then! Then, you stayed with me the entire 800 kilometers. When other people were casting their boots aside in frustration, we just slipped right past them with ease.
Ask me if I had a blister? I had one. ONE. And, that was my fault, not yours. We got caught in that rain storm on the descent into Santo Domingo. Remember? That was a rough patch. Lightning and everything. I should have put on a pair of socks before the rain, but I was so comfortable going barefoot. You make it so easy.
Our relationship was built to last. When you got rained on, I stuffed you with newpapers. Heck, I even threw you in a dryer once. You are a champ.
Think of all the places we have seen! The bulls running in Pamplona, that was pretty great, right?
Wow, what a ride! And, then, when we finally made it Santiago? Well, that was sheer joy. We skipped, we danced, we almost collapsed.
I must confess, in a moment of weakness, I traded you in for a skimpy little pair of flip flops for a few days, but they meant nothing to me. When we made it back to France, we continued our training in Biarritz. Running by the beach is so romantic. It was then that I realized that you weren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Merrell, my love, we were meant to be together. Maybe soon we will have another go at Santiago. What do you say? Another 800 kilometers?
All of my love,
Gillian Grant (aka caminogigi)