over rocks, through mud.
Going downhill hurts as much as going up,
Another river crossing:
boots off, boots on.
Walk onward, upward.
The pack is heavy.
It and gravity are in league together
Mile after slow mile.
Now the scree and the wind
are joining in the coalition
with the pack and gravity.
Finally a pause.
Look from whence you came.
Look spread out below you and behind you,
an insurmountable pass,
surmounted step by stupid step.
Feel the air flowing through your lungs,
the blood rushing through your veins,
the muscles you can nearly sense growing stronger.
It always takes so much longer than planned,
and there is still so much ahead.
Challenge and mystery gladly team up
with the pack, gravity, scree, wind, mud, and rivers.
But the well has been tapped.
Fortitude flows freely now.
To the next pass,
and the one after that.