On the Camino: Knee Trouble

About a year ago my mother told me about a yard sign she had seen: “Want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.”

I love plans.  I am an actuary; my job is to plan and project future events.  But last week, I was reminded that some things are in God’s hands and not ours.

A few hours into our hike of 15 miles on Friday, I began to feel a tightness above my right knee. This continued to get worse as I struggled to complete the remaining 10 miles. The knee got better overnight with rest and Advil, but on Saturday after five miles the pain came back only worse.  I channeled my inner Ignatius pride and wanted to continue, but my wife Ruth talked more sensibly. After 13 days of hiking and more than 150 miles we decided that God did not mean us to continue our journey on foot.

This has been a difficult decision. Our plan had been to walk the whole Camino.  We’ll finish the trip, but using different modes of transportation.

I know adventures await us. There will be opportunities we previously could not have experienced. We are disappointed, but we are excited to see what God has in store for us the rest of the way.


  1. Ruth and Greg,
    You might not be walking but, the journey remains the same. Keep the faith and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    See you soon,

  2. Oh, I feel for you! The same thing happened to me last year and I too (along with my husband) had to stop. We’ll return this year hoping my knee will cooperate…
    Yes, it can be a great disappointment, but indeed some other adventures are awaiting you along the way. Buen Camino!

  3. Greg, I am sorry you had to change your plan to walk the entire Camino. Still as someone who had a skiing injury in college that plagued me until knee replacement surgery 40 years later, I am glad you agreed with your wife to journey another way. Who knows what delightful surprises God has in store for you? I find Helen Keller’s insight true in my life – “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

  4. Ah, but mousie,
    Thou art no thy lain,
    In proving forsight may be vain;
    For the best layed plans o’ mice an’ men,
    Gang aft aglay,
    And lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
    For promis’d joy!
    (Selected from “To a Mouse”, R. Burns)

  5. Blessings to your good wife who looks out for you. Once you mess with joints and cartilage, they mess with you. As a chronic lifetime walker however I do understand how maddening it would be to have to stop. Fortunatley we can walk through life without using our feet!

  6. Greg, sorry about your knee and your disappointment about not being able to complete walking the Camino; however, this is a good instance of how life goes and how we need to be flexible and go with God’s flow in every circumstance. Thanks for sharing this with us. You and Ruth are in my prayers.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here