I have followed Justin and Patrick's Journey from the beginning. This book was an amazing final gift to a 3 year journey of inspiration... their fundraising, TedX Talk and documentary. Such a beautiful message of true commitment and love for our friends, family and fellow humans. I found myself laughing and crying throughout the book. Listening to Justin and Patrick share their story in their own words gave it true depth and intensity. "The impossible is possible."
I laughed and cried but more importantly, it made me think. Excellent! One of the best audio books I have listened to.
a Testament as to the way ALL people should behave!!! DON'T miss out!! Get it!!!!
‘Life changing’ is in no way an exaggerated description to what this book was for me. Never have I bookmarked, clipped, reread or highlighted as often as I found myself doing in any other read prior to this one. Its incredible levels of God inspired truth can not be overstated. Thank you, Patrick & Justin, for your willingness and intentionality in showing others, through the telling of this story and of weaknesses had, the path to authentic freedom and joy untold.
The story is for everyone! Justin and Patrick’s journey on the camino is incredible. Their message is relevant for ALL people. There’s a connection to them both that’s hard to explain, feel what they feel, you're walking with them. Read/Listen to the book, it’s so much more than you think it will be! Both the book and the documentary are amazing, please experience BOTH, they go hand in hand with experiencing the story. Their strength, courage and sheer tenacity is inspiring. Definitely 5 Stars*****
Several years ago, I took a nine-day hiking trip to circumnavigate Mt. Rainier, thinking I'd surely spend the time in thoughtful contemplation, becoming one with nature, etc., etc.
It didn't really pan out that way. I mostly thought stuff like, "Left, right, left, right--I wonder where we are on the map--left--watch that mud--left, right--up the hill, down the hill, watch that root--right, left--shoot, another hill--left, right--I think everything I own smells--left, right, left . . ." Not exactly the zen time I thought it would be. I'm glad these two men consciously made their journey more meaningful and thoughtful than mine had been.
As they were training for El Camino de Santiago, I found myself thinking that the wheelchair-bound friend, Justin, almost had a harder task in front of him. Not being able to do much to help other than leaning one way or another to counterbalance the inclines, his contribution to the trip would center on his success and ability to encourage, inspire, and uplift. It would have been easy to feel guilty, embarrassed, or defensive about causing others so much physical exertion to fulfill one's own wish, but how productive would that have been? The far more constructive attitude would be realizing that he provided many people with a wonderful opportunity to have a unique experience, and to help others have a chance to serve and grow and bond through shared difficulties. Perspective is so often a choice--it reminds me of times when a co-worker asks, "How's your day?" and I sometimes reply, "I haven't decided." After I say that, I always think, "Well, if it's a decision, than decide it's a good day."
I completely sympathized with Patrick's confession that he had a hard time, pride-wise, of letting anyone else push Justin along the 500-mile trail. It was mature of him to realize that accepting help from others didn't minimize his own contribution, that it's okay that the reality didn't match his expected vision of their trek, and what a valuable opportunity to experience what Justin has to deal with every day as his body slowly weakens--giving up control, accepting help, and doing it all graciously.
Almost everyone who takes a demanding journey comes out with some sort of spiritual/core renewal (whether it be a spiritually religious renewal or simply a deeper appreciation/connection with nature, themselves or whatever), and these guys are no exception. They spend some time towards the middle and end of the book discussing personal battles and their own spiritual path (grounded in the Christian/Catholic faith). I was surprised to find them openly and matter of factly revealing their long child/teen/young adult battles against pornography addiction, because I feel like the book market is flooded with memoirs about substance abuse addictions, but very rarely about other addictions. To me, it seemed to be an especially courageous admission, since they open themselves up to criticism and snap judgement by revealing their own Achille's heels.
The men epitomize acceptance by using their own weaknesses and past struggles to help, encourage, and embrace everyone struggling around them, whether or not they had similar beliefs, lives, pursuits, or even spoken languages. The "Buen Camino!" seems to bring out the best so many of the travelers they encountered. I think most people are willing to help others by default, rather than ignore tribulations and struggles. Or, maybe it's just easier when it's obvious--like seeing one lone man inching up a steep incline, pushing a wheelchair that's about to get the best of him.
You probably won't agree with all of their own conclusions about life (I wasn't necessarily on board the entire time with their perspective, and a time or two I found myself arguing with them and wished they'd move on to other subjects), but I enjoyed learning from their opinions and beliefs about what my own opinions and beliefs are.
Despite the obvious these-guys-aren't-professional vocal performers, I enjoyed listening to them tell their own tale. Given that it was their own story, I was a little surprised that they mostly sounded like they were reading a book and not telling an experience that they lived through, but again--they aren't professional, and they still did a good job.