The mystery. The timeless mystery. You think about it, but even you don’t have the answer. Until it hits you. And when it does, you remember…that you always knew. You just didn’t bother to remind yourself.
You lean over to tie your shoe. It’s something you do a lot these days. The thought crosses your mind. Is it to escape? Maybe. To feel good about yourself? Could be. You move on. Down the bike path. Onto the dirt trail. You’ve run here before. Along the river bed. Its getting dark now, because you left work after 5 pm. The animals start to emerge.
Gravity. It’s a strange force. The larger the object, the stronger it becomes. This is a law of physics just as much as it is a law of living life. The sun and earth. The challenges that you seek. The attraction isn’t just random. You know this. You know this because you’ve been to that place before. That place where you can see through all the bullshit that life throws at you. Where pain can easily bleed into pleasure, and back within a few breaths. A place where, you’re beginning to realize, no one really cares much about. Except you. It’s a selfish place. And that is not a bad thing.
When you cross the bridge, you can see down the canal. The steely blue color of the water is nestled in the reflection of the autumn sky. You are the only person in the world in this moment who sees this. You stop and feel your heart beating. The sweat drips down the bridge of your nose, and onto the edge of your lips. The salt on your tongue tastes good, like it always does.
Does it really matter whether a challenge is self made or falls, regrettably, right in your lap? Whether it is grimacing through mile 96 or grappling with a difficult situation in life? What really matters is that when you make it through a challenge, you are stronger because of it. That is just the way life is, in spite of all of its bullshit. It’s easy to forget this, and get caught in the smelly dung of it all. Challenge. Yes, it really, really does build character.