Sloths and Gazelles

Yesterday I ran the Rim Trail with Thing One.  This is the view I was trying to get to:


This is the view I had most of the way getting there:


When I am running up a hill that steep, I can’t look ahead.  If I looked up I wouldn’t even bother trying, I would sit down and wait for the helicopter to find me.

But if I look down, I think, ‘I can do this next step.’ And then after that I think, ‘well maybe one more.’

And then I curse at myself for trying to keep up with a teenaged, springy stepped, Cross Country runner, like a sloth thinking she could run with a gazelle.

But then I remember that great line, ‘comparison is the thief of joy,’ and decide that any way I get myself up that hill, slow or fast, is a route to joy.

I remember that with age occasionally comes a wisdom and today that wisdom is that if I keep my face in the dirt and take one step at a time even a sloth can make it to the top of the mountain.  Because in the end (and thank you God, there was an end), it is not the speed of the climb, but the persistent refusal to give up that gives rise to the joy.