Your lungs are on the verge of bursting, you notice how the pain in your chest is more and more painful… painful? even now you recognize that you repeat yourself, that you try a thousand and one thoughts to evade the needles that are there, in your legs, to take another step to accompany that last one that you thought impossible to take, that even though you are surrounded by all the oxygen on this planet, you lack even when you breathe through your nose, mouth, ears perhaps and if you hurry, anywhere else, you are in that situation in which you barely have the strength to spit, to swallow the little saliva that is created inside you, to look up and walk with all the height you have, you walk hunched a few steps, and you remember that just a few meters down, after the climb that never ended, you walked a couple of meters on all fours, costing you twice as much to get up and wondering why the hell you should stand up.
Courage! you say to yourself, you have already done more than half of what nobody thought you were able to achieve, even twice what you had done so far, that half smile of circumstances arises when you remember why you are there, maybe without realizing that this is the incentive you were missing, or maybe it is that the road is flatter, The fact is that without realizing it, your step is less painful, more normal you think, and even, you notice how you go more stretched, more upright, your legs seem to have fewer needles, your breathing is less forced, you even allow yourself the gesture of breathing through your nose and make them deeper.
And the moment comes when you stop.
You need to stop.
And it is then when, after a while putting your muscles in order, your lungs remembering how to breathe and even your pulse, of which behind it there is a heart that drives it and that exclaims a cry of relief for the sudden rest, when all this and even more that you are not able to express, are more relaxed, calm, relieved, it is then when you think, when you remember what took you here.
Back to who you were.
But no, you know that you are wrong, that you can no longer be who you were before, that even if you don’t make it to the end, you will never be the same again, that you have done more than you thought you were capable of doing, that you have done more than you thought you were capable of doing, and that now, after thinking about it all, you still believe that you are capable of doing more, in fact, you are convincing yourself that it is possible for you to reach the end, that you care little about records, marks and times, that you only care about getting there, remembering all those who did not believe, who said, with the wisdom they thought they had obtained, that it was impossible, that you would never make it, and that now you would give anything so that they could see you, see how you start the step again, slow and hesitant, you will not deny it, but without a moment’s hesitation, steps that take you a meter further, steps that fearlessly start a new climb on the road, that do not hesitate to resume that, now almost friend, pain in your legs, to that not forgotten gasping and panting breathing, to that new sweat that is accumulating around you, that you wipe from your forehead from time to time, that you begin to smile because you have already taken more steps, that you have just won a new challenge, that you begin to remember faces that you would like to be seen, that accompany you, faces in which to see the pride for what you are doing, in which they would say….. I already knew it… I always believed in you…
Is it the goal, have you reached the end?
You don’t know very well, you only see people shouting around you, who congratulate you for your arrival, who howl with joy for seeing you there, standing there, full of sweat and pain, who shout your name, who cover your shoulders, who serve you the sweet nectar of the gods, a bit of water that your body absorbs in tenths of a second, that ask questions that you do not hear, while you turn and see all that you have walked, all those thousands of steps, all those minutes won to discouragement, to the little voice that told you to stop, to the memories of those who never stopped believing in you, and you do not think anymore, because, do you know what? ..
It’s been a long time… a long time ago, decades now, a race planned as a joke, as a stupid and meaningless idea, but even today, those moments come to my memory, arriving last and feeling the first, remembering that I did not give up, that I left behind what people thought of me, what they thought, what they thought I was, and in that race, I told them, and I proved to myself that only I know who I am, only I know which shoes suit me, that others’ shoes are for them, not for me, that I cannot run as the one who was born for it, as the one who only lives by and for, but that I can do it, that the only limit is my will, and that as long as I breathe, remember and believe, there is, there is nothing that I can’t achieve.
*** Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) ***