A Run

Up, up, up, pressing through searing lactic acid buildup. There are flowers loosing smells into the air, and the sun peeking over the mountain across the valley is one of the most beautiful sights one can wish for. But the person who could behold it is concentrating too much on the oxygen being gathered from the ever-thinning air and the mechanics of pulling upwards with her aching legs to see it. The crest of this journey is near… Eighteen thousand, four hundred and eighty feet up to get there, and another three-and-a-half miles down await. Her feet fall in time with a song her mind paces her to, and her breathing becomes the rough tune. But it is painful… Calves are doing their best to bring her to the top, along with a stubborn pridefulness combined with pure desire. She labors her way past the marker and pauses for a moment of rest.

Gasping, hands on her knees, she relishes the feeling of having run, of lungs burning with morning air and of the sharp chill cooling her. She takes in the view, and sighs at the ever-satisfying fact that it was worth it. Then a brief stretch, a deep breath, and she takes off down the steep trail.

Now she is concentrating on landing sharp turns, on keeping her footing, on keeping the natural run from getting away from her. She pelts away from the trailhead and slows with another gasp, then grins and joins the circle of stretching on the pavement nearby. And now she hasn’t just run.

Now she’s flown.

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