I am perilously close to stopping. My legs cry out in pain. The lungs labor painfully.
The mind weakens. Insidious thoughts of surrender creep in. Stopping is the only thing that will soothe the pain.
It would be easy to stop. I would feel better if I stopped. The pain would ebb.
The cessation of the pain would be blissful. I've earned it. I've suffered enough.
I grimace. I wince. Searing jolts of pain assault me.
The fatigue rolls in like an angry storm. It unloads its fury on me. The voice urging me to stop, to surrender, to quit becomes louder.
I am deep in the valley. Darkness descends. My peripheral vision fades. I cannot see beyond what is directly in front of me.
I am inches from packing it in. I can't do this. I can't go on. I must stop.
Then, it happens. Deep within me another voice emerges. It's words are faint and hard to make out. I can barely discern a few mumbles.
Then it gets clearer. Stopping is a slippery slope. Stopping leads to not starting again. Stopping leads to quitting.
An object at rest tends to stay at rest. To rest now is to perhaps not start again. Stopping is not an option.
My steps can be slow and plodding. They may only cover inches at a time. It can be ugly and awkward.
But, stopping is not an option. Move forward glacially, painfully, but keep moving forward inexorably.
I run because stopping is not an option.