Sweat dripping down my brow and stinging my eyes, muscles cramping and aching, feet pumping along despite the myriad blisters – there is no feeling so satisfying: being in control of your body, utterly and totally, knowing it will obey you despite it’s pains, despite it’s aches.
Then again, there is also such wonder in letting go of such control. Giving yourself up to complete languor, as when falling asleep after a long and hard day. Knowing your body has reached its limit and surrendering yourself completely to a motionless rest. Letting your muscles and limbs twitch as they will, random currents running from your brain to every joint and fiber of your body.
It’s incredible to think what strange vessels our bodies are, capable of every sort of odd movement and feeling, all coming through these invisible, unconscious decisions and chemical reactions that we cannot ever feel.
She stared around with her currently dull, sleepy eyes. She saw everyone around her, but also seemed to see through them, see their intentions. They all stared eagerly ahead, so intent on understanding, so intent on impressing, on seeing who was knowledgeable and who wasn’t. Eager, all so eager. She slowly shifted her gaze over them all. Why are they acting like this? She thought. What do they gain from it?
She was presently struck again with how much her grief distorted her perspective and views on life. Nothing seemed so important anymore. As long as you keep living, even in total numbness, what does it matter what your future holds? What does it even matter what the present holds? What’s the use of striving to greatness or even comfortable mediocrity? She didn’t care what would happen in her life anymore, as long as she kept living somehow.
This sprang to my mind at work today, and I quickly wrote down the words on my little pad of paper that I carry in my bag everywhere. Dramatic, perhaps, and quite depressing to tell the truth, but I just started thinking about writing this, so I did. I will resume my usual nonsensical posts on the morrow.
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.