He starts off slowly, throughing caution to the winds because he knows that the temperature is well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. As he progresses, he steadily feels his heart rate rise, beating faster with every elongated step. Cruising along at 140 beats a minute, he knows he can push it further, and sees his opportunity as he approaches a colossal incline. Once taking a deep breath, he battles his way to the top, and as he enters the new world above, he senses something different. Everything is still, and the temperature skyrockets. Sweat is breaking out in pores all over his body, and he spends a brief moment commenting his own intelligence on not wearing a shirt. He holds tightly in his hand an item that will be of great importance; the water bottle. Filled to the brim with ice and water, it is the ideal way to cool him down. He lifts it up to his face, and lets a steady stream of hypodermic water flow down his face and chest, where it then settles in his shorts. The water stream on his chest beats in tune with his pounding feet. Shortly thereafter a fork in the road is reached. Having foreseen this, he casually veers off to the left, knowing that just minutes ahead lies a downgrade, which will provide him with minutes of precious rest. As he proceeds down the hill, he is enjoying every moment of it, even taking the time to make the moment all the better by hosing himself down. A quick flick of his hair rids the water from his brow, while also clearing his hair from obstructing his view. But, alas, this moments rest is short lived, as always. He is pounding steadily along on flat ground, leaping over problematic stones and subtle creeks that lie in his way. His heart rate begins to roar as he commences battle with a hill. Digging into the earth are the soles of his shoes, which steadily propel him to the top. His heart, his legs, his feet, his shoulders, and his lungs all scream at him to stop, but he is not feeble minded. His most powerful muscle, his brain, is at work now. It takes control of everything in his body, willing it to MOVE. Not climbing to the peak of the hill would be considered quitting, which is never an option. And as much as he hates the excruciating pain, it has become a part of him, and unconsciously he welcomes it, he even ENJOYS it. And at last he reaches the climax; time now for a winding descent. He drowns his hair with water, letting it ebb with the rhythm of his body as is seeps downward. He is refreshed. It's a good thing, too, because just beyond this dip he is traveling on is an uproariously long stretch of angled land. He prepares to put his heart to the test. As he reaches the bottom of this road to perdition, he slows, knowing that energy conservation is a must. He starts off strong, kicking up gravel behind him as he goes. At this point there are two things keeping him alive; his messiah of a water bottle and his promise to himself. His promise is that as soon as he reaches the top, a short break has been earned. Knowing this, he pushes himself hard, keeping his bottle close and his promise closer. And at last he has reached the end of this uncomfortable pathway! He almost collapses, but instead takes a swig of his water and proceeds to walk. This break flies by, and almost immediately he is off again. He is running down, he knows it because his pace is quickening, along with his heart rate. Three beats per second and counting. He approaches, at last, a trail to his left. He takes it, knowing that if he stays on it for 15 more minutes it should see him safely to his front door. Along this path he fights with pain, exhaustion, and each and every hill that stands in his way. His brain is the Sergeant, commanding his body to go until it has nothing left. And of course, the body abides. Suddenly he has reached his breaking point. His body starts to sway, and just as he is about to tumble into the dirt, he comes across a lifesaver. He has reached a steep declination, which will allow him time to circulate oxygen into his overheated and overworked muscles. He also takes this time to rejuvenate his head, shoulders, and chest with a downpour of water. His next task is now to make it home. It is close, and for the first time in nearly 50 minutes, home has become a reality for him. It is within his realm to stay solid and make it back to his place of comfort. With this etched in his head, he ups his pace, along with his heart rate. Soaring over hills and down dips, cruising around twists and turns, feeling exceptional as his journey nears its end. Pain is not a factor now; the only thing that matters is the end. He is sprinting now, pushing himself. He can see his house, and now he makes a break for it. As he passes the end of his driveway, he collapses into his front yard, lying there, panting, sweating, and dying. Or so it seems, at least. He now thinks to himself that he may be sore tomorrow, and he may be hurting right this very second, but in the long run, one hour, three minutes, and 25 seconds paid off.
Running- Mind over Matter
September 1, 2007