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Day 2:  Testing Our Limits

And we thought we covered all of this before the wedding!  (Candace)

Getaraia to Ermita Del Calvario

Distance: 14 miles

Total Ascent: 640 meters

Difficulty Level: 4

Calories Burned: 4,088

"Playing to our edge."

"Testing our limits."

If you are friends with Andrew and me, or if you've spent any time with us over the course of the past year, I'm positive that you've heard us use these phrases. And we have and continue to challenge each other every day to test our limits, whether that be geographically, physically, mentally, intellectually, or sexually.

Whether that test includes flying to Boston to hit on a man I've met once, moving across the country without a job waiting, driving a 2000 Tacoma for the journey, carting 50 people to Italy for a four-day wedding, or quitting our jobs and traveling the world for six months, we thrive as a couple on learning where our edge is. And we've found edges in so many aspects of our lives, and continue to push and test.

Today, I tested my physical limits. Now don't get me wrong. I've worked out every day for the past six months to get wedding-dress fit (thank you, Erika), and we have hiked nearly every weekend since we met. In fact, on a number of those hikes, I pooped out or cried my way to the finish line. But in each instance, I didn't feel the need to finish.

And just yesterday, I even applauded my new friend, Barbara, for not feeling a need to finish, but for instead reveling in the walk. And I am doing my very best to stay present for each moment of this trip. For the Eucalyptus forest we found today, or the marigold cream and cider we found on the road for sale with nothing but a bucket nearby for payment, or the woman passing us on the road to invite us to dinner. The walk is very important. True.

But today, the destination was important too. That woman we met on the road, Nerea, the owner of the Izarbide Albergue, enticed us to join her, just 5 kilometers beyond Deba (the last town for today's trek). And as soon as she spoke English to us, we were sold. This is where we would stop to camp for the night.

What we didn't know was that this final 5 kilometers was all uphill. Up a very steep hill. I was so over it 3 kilometers in. My back was killing me. My feet were aching. My shoulders were screaming. But today, it was important to finish.

And finish we did. This albergue is so magical. Many of our friends (we call them our Pilgrim family) from last night have joined us.  And we made friends with a friendly local, Frederique, who wanted to practice his English with us, and in turn, he offered us some tuna he had caught himself (he walked home to bring it to us), and bought us a round of beers.

My body said no. But I'm so glad my heart and head said yes. What an awesome way to test my edge!

My body said no.  My I'm so glad my heart and head said yes.  What an awesome way to test my edge!