You’re going fast. Your blood is racing in your veins and your heart is pounding loud and clear. Sweat is pouring down your back, your neck, your chest. You’re drenched with the stuff. You realize that it wasn’t your imagination – your worst fear really is coming up fast. Right in front of you.
Another person, going just as fast as you and drenched with less sweat – they’re coming up, their headphone wires dangling, their eyes averted. But the moment of truth must come. You both look up, meet each others wild and unpredictable gaze, and then just as quickly look away and keep going. You sigh out of relief as much as for the oxygen. The awful moment of meeting the eyes of a fellow Walker has now passed!
Oh! But look there, in the distance! A back! Not a sweaty, face-bearing front, but a back! Just as sweat drenched perhaps, but not bearing that horrible awkward gaze. Oppertunity arises. Your blood beats faster as you quicken your pace, trying to out-do your unaware opponent. Is he on to you? Is he? No, he seems blessedly ignorant of his fate. Soon, as your heart is wildly protesting your increase in speed, you manage to walk briskly past your opponent. Success! The opponent is too slow, and though he tries to catch up to you, the game is already lost for him. He will have to admit defeat. He was the slower Walker.
Lastly, as you’re drawing nearer and nearer to your destination – home and the shower – you catch a glimpse of the Undefeated. These Undefeated are so much faster than you, so much sleeker, their hearts so much stronger. These are the Runners. You duck your head in shame and anger at them and march on to your destination, not looking up until you’re safe in your haven. You have passed the daily test. You have Walked.