I drove to the gated road, feeling uninspired. I was pretty sure the hill that had thwarted me hadn't gotten any less steep over the last week. I didn't even feel like running at all. As I jogged slowly toward the Hill of Pain, I realized I needed an attitude adjustment.
The incline swiftly steepened. The round rocks rolled annoyingly under my feet. The false summit looked impossibly far away. This was normally the point where my inner critic would have loudly spoken up. (Her name is Gretchen. I don't know why; I don't know any Gretchens).
"You're barely moving!" she would typically say at a time like this. "Can't you go any faster? People might be able to see you. You're going to have to stop and walk. What's the matter with you? You used to win races. This isn't even that hard!"
But Gretchen was strangely silent. Instead, an unusual thought drifted into my mind. It was this: "It's ok if you have to walk. This is pretty steep. Try to make it to the top, but if you can't, it's all right." The pressure was gone. I continued trotting up the hill, slow but still moving. Soon the first summit was under my feet. I was halfway there. Now there was a slight downhill before another hill and the trail's end.
I kept going. At the top I felt like this:
In fact, I may have run around up there in this manner, but you can't prove it.
The fatty challenge had been conquered! And so had my harsh inner judge (for awhile, anyway).
Until next time, Hill of Pain!