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Monday, May 30, 2011

How quickly the calluses tear, slough off, reform.

The skin on my hands seems destined to be forever in a state of change. One moment toughened by persistence; another, torn clean through -- exposed. Hours spent each week attacking an immovable wall, sequencing new climbs until muscles develop memory, become capable of new holds, gain strength.

I watch as my body reforms. The weeks turn my shell unfamiliar – my body becoming unexplored territory.

Layers of lazy blubber burned off: left in sweat upon ropes, rock walls. Alien muscles poke out, jut angularly from my arms. I watch them ripple even now as I type these lines. My forearms are new to me – more structured. Their definition sharpens.

Each pedal revolution chisels my legs. The miles becoming strong quads, cut calves, lungs that refuse to quit. I push harder, pass riders on road bikes… going uphill.

I run. Not from anything, but for the sake of feeling the calm attenuation to my breathing, my footfalls. Each stride a step closer to surpassing a former distance record; an attempt at regaining the pacing of my youth.

The miles remake me. Not a slow transformation.

Rounding out seemed to have occurred at a glacial pace. Unnoticed, until finally a photograph made me recoil from my own image. Induced a desire for change.

Each day now the juts and angles of me appear through gasping lungs, strained muscles, and sweat. Always sweat. This salty sheen of me indication of progress, of regaining the body I’d lost to neglect.
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