The Stairmaster

Breathless, panting as she climbs the Stairmaster, Nura looks over her shoulder at me and says life is hard. I play with my iPod, changing to my favorite tune, then look at her and say, “no it’s not; it’s simple. We just like to make it hard”. She disagrees. “Look,” I begin. “It’s true. Life is simple when you know where you’re going and what you’re doing. But when you start building expectations for yourself, when you start wanting to live up to high standards, when you start wanting to please everyone around you, that’s when you complicate things.” She thinks about it, climbs one more step and decides that I’m right.
Climbing the Stairmaster is a challenging task, one that requires patience, strength and control. There are times that you feel yourself losing momentum, and you begin to fall behind, almost on the very last step. But then something inside you makes you move, makes you take two more steps and then you are fine. You have control. You are at the top, gripping your hands tightly on both sides. You begin to realize that it really is simple, that once you know how to pace yourself and set your speed, the task is possible. That’s how life works. If you balance it out, if you take little steps and climb within your limits, it’s simple.
We finish our workout. It has been a long, torturous day, full of routines and expectations. Nura and I sit down, changing into fresh clothes. We are going to take it easy.

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