Because I Can

Time: five minutes. 

I am trail running for seventy five minutes for the first time ever as a big physical challenge is on the horizon. 

I’m feeling good. Pacing myself.

Time: fifteen minutes (the app in my pocket calls out incrementally with total time, distance and pace). 

I’m nearing the sweet spot where the initial discomfort of sustained running dissipates. 

Time: twenty five minutes. I’ve found my stride. Breathing is steady. Legs strong. 

Time thirty minutes: I might die if I keep going. What was cool confidence and presence of power is now dripping with self doubt and heaviness. 

I press on.

Time: fifty five minutes. I discover that small changes in gait, arm position and breathing patterns make a difference and suddenly I am sailing on a cushion of endurance, unphased by the crushing sensation in my thighs, calfs and lungs. 

Time: one hour. I’m confident that should I continue I may die again. In fact I seriously consider stopping. I’ve never run this long before. I’ve hit a major milestone regardless. 

I press on. Acutely aware that a long run is far less physical than it is mental.

Time: one hour five minutes. My app only needs to chime in two more times before hitting my goal. I may be screaming inside but there is no way I am stopping now. 

Time: one hour ten minutes. I pass an older couple on the trail. Startled, they move to the side. The man weilding a cane in one hand and a camera in the other. He says as I pass, “I wish I had that energy!”. 

And then it hits me. 

I can run.

Therefore I will. 

And I won’t stop. 


I reached my goal because unlike all those the world over I actually can physically meet the challenge. I can move my body and be outdoors and breathe deeply. 

I do it for everyone else who cannot.

Because I can. 


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