I was walking on the Camino, working my way down the incredibly beautiful but punishing trail from La Cruz de Ferro (1,505 meters) to Molinaseca (610 meters), a net loss of nearly 3,000 feet in about 11 miles.
Despite being surrounded by beauty, I couldn't stop pondering my many large and small discomforts. This surely was not for the faint of heart, I thought. Then the statement about proving you're not dead yet came to mind and helped me to understand. The proof was all around me! Aches, pains, struggles, doubts, and the beauty that couldn't be experienced any other way combined to remind me that I was indeed alive. The thought lifted the body and the spirit. At that moment I couldn't recall ever having felt so fully, wondrously, and gloriously alive.