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There is something torturous and calming about pushing your muscles to exhaustion. I am not in athletic condition and I’m not sure I’ll ever get there. But, I can do more today than I could do last month. Every tiny increment of progress, every minute of fighting to breathe through just one more moment, is in my opinion, a feat of will. Today, I stacked only 10 lbs. Tomorrow, maybe, I can increase the grey heaviness that makes muscles scream for mercy. Tomorrow, I will push back. The iron will not win.

It’s strange to me that this very same feeling of pushing through physical pain to condition my body so closely resembles the mental pain of putting words to paper. The rattling, clanking, and jumble of thought wheezes like an asthmatic. Fingers flex to bend words from this pale complaining mass. “Look!” I tell myself.  “Look deeper.” What words rolls, smooth, round, and encompassing. What combination of sound can pinpoint the way this thing makes me feel. Will they see it too?

My fingers fly across the board. Other times, my fingertips are smudged slate grey; graphite grey. One more idea. What is the right word?

Reps and words counts. Reps and words counts.

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