Second Wind

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Sometimes during

a game of inches,

you will have a crisis of confidence.

You will feel as though

you’ve given everything

before you’ve finished,

and lament

the end of your journey

before the climax.

What else is left?

I dig deeper,

in a panic,

and realize there’s nothing.

The doubter’s voices crowd my head,

and they all sound familiar.

No fuel, not even a hint

of fumes to run on,

but I run on

when I was sure I was spent.

The naysayers

continue their tirade,

but I pay them no mind.

The march continues

and the runner’s high kicks in.

I’m going to do the greatest

act of defiance

that I know —

I’m going to make it

to the end.


Road Rash

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As you approach

your personal best,

a classic fishtail

jettisons you to the ground

with a whipcrack.

Earth,

caught in the tangle

of opposing gravitational forces,

careens toward you

at hundreds of thousands

of miles an hour.

But you are going

slightly faster,

bouncing as you make impact,

you land on your back

and come to painful rest.

Abrasions on your

forearms, knees and shoulders

where the gravel

made contact.

Shirt torn and bloodied.

When you stand,

and dust yourself off,

you feel all the bruises

to your ego.

You want to tell yourself

good lies

like “I’m totally fine”

but must confess,

those never mend

broken skin.

It doesn’t look like it

but you know just

how lucky you are

to limp home.


Cash Crops

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When you have what you need

you live in abundance.

Like clockwork,

we move,

shed, molt,

go dormant

and emerge anew,

something ventured,

something gained

and something left behind.

To sow and reap,

you must

slash and burn,

you must preen and prod

and above all else,

you must stay diligent.

Unceremonious

we cast aside the chaff,

the husks and hulls —

our daily bread’s

last line of defense.

Nothing is redundant.

Time isn’t always borrowed,

it can be rented,

or invested,

or leveraged.

In boomtimes and busts

harvest arrives,

whether you’re ready

or withered on the vine.

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Runner’s High

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Inhale

exhale.

Running sucks

and I love it so much.

Ready?

Feel the steady drumbeat

of an active heart,

with quick feet,

deep breathing

and concentration.

Keep on keeping on

until you beat back

that little voice in your head

saying

“I need to rest,

I need to sit down,

I need to reset.”

Inhale,

exhale.

No matter where you go,

you are always here

stay with this moment,

allow yourself to feel

the daily strain —

it wains with perseverance,

Inhale,

exhale.

The only way out

is through —

everything

you were clinging

tightly to

will

blow away,

inhale,

exhale.

Joy washes over you,

as pure exertion

becomes elation.

Ready?

Inhale,

exhale.

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