Of running.

I place my iPhone in the arm band, making sure theat the volume is turned up high enough to drown out the sound of my labored breathing. Earbuds in, the sounds from my "Owl City" Pandora raido station fill my ears and heightens my focus. I glance over at Josh and he's got his earbuds in, determination on his face. With a nod, we set off. The sun is sinking low in the evening sky, the clouds making a ominous patchwork in the bruised sky: purples, blues, and grays. Josh sets the pace and I smile as I fall into stride, slightly behind. Here we go. Running.

We pass a lady walking her dog and a couple walking hand in hand, but mostly we're alone. It's just me and him and our will to conquer this thing we hate so much. Running. The cadence of our feet over the well worn trail has become a familiar, almost comforting beat as we make our way up the hill with an ease that surprises us both. There's a victory high five as we turn around and continue back down, both of us laughing at how amazing we feel. Then it's down the path, through the trees, over the boardwalk, navigating the now familiar twists and turns, all the while, me staying just a step behind. He leads, I follow. We don't talk except for the occasional encouraging comment, we're simply content to just be. Running. Wth each other.

He begins to increase the pace as the final hill comes into view, the one that always breaks me. I know the end is near and so I do my best to keep close, matching his speed as best I can. My legs burn, I struggle to breathe. Short quick steps, short quick steps. Don't stop. This time I don't pause at the top; this time it's a triumphant laugh and I keep going. Almost there. As we close in on our usually finishing point, Josh yells the time to me: "3.15 miles, 34:30!" That's a 5k. That's when we usually stop. We high five and keep going. And keep going. This time we don't stop. He pulls ahead of me the last quarter mile. I can feel my legs tightening and my will weakening. I keep my eyes on his back and promise myself not to stop until he does. He turns up the path to the parking lot, another hill. Oh how I wish he had stopped before the hill! But I promised. Ther' finally he stops and turns to me. There he's waiting, setting my finishing line. With one last high five (hey, we're highfivers, don't judge), I finally let myself stop, folding over, expenting to collapse. I look up at him and we both just shake our heads in disbelief. Four miles. Running. We just ran four miles. Us, we who are not runners. We just ran four miles. And strangely, there is no urge to collapse, to die of exhaustion. Instead we're so excited, high on our accomplishment, so proud of ourselves and of each other. Neiher one of us has EVER ran four miles all in one stretch.

But today we did. Together.


  1. another high five at you both! congrats on getting through it, I always wanted to run, but never will. I will just keep on walking...


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