Your smile is like the arc of the trail
As I run up the mountains in Hawaii
Sweat on my bare skin
and a breeze fluttering
through the tropical leaves
My heart is beating hard
As the trail climbs upward
Leading to a place I want to explore.
You told me about this trail
that it would be a good place to run
as you showed me around the apartment
I'd be living in for the next week
while I was on the Island
for the HURT 100 mile race.
I couldn't help but notice
how your blond hair
Rolled over your surf tanned forehead
Like a wave on the shore.
"Did you say there was a way to track your race?"
You showed up at the aid stations with that smile,
Holding my wet pack, and all I could think
Was how bad I must look:
40 miles ... 47 ... 80 ... 87 miles on my tired legs
Legs that felt like they were made of glass
My long braids matted and framing my face.
Mud like armor covering my arms and legs
Telling of a internal battle in the jungle
My mind compelling my body further.
Just to see what was possible.
Morning turned to night,
Night into morning
My legs becoming roots
that cover the trail.
I'm sitting on the plane flying home
Thinking of you standing next to me at mile 92,
A hydration pack on your back
Your fingers clasped around the straps of your pack
You looked like you were ready to hit the surf,
not pace an impossibly dirty runner 8 miles
to a 100 mile finish.
Somehow with you there
it didn't even feel like I'd run 92 miles.
"This shell reminds me of sunshine
It's a pretty rare find"
You told me as you handed me two handmade silver bracelets
you made for me on the day I left the island,
Each bracelet with a beautiful smooth shell
contained within the silver band.
Waves had brought the shells from the depths
of the ocean to where you were diving.
As I sit here on the airplane looking at the shells
I think about how you welded the silver together
after threading it through the shells
No clasp or closure,
Just one continuous silver band
Going through the spiraling shells
These endless bands around my wrist
makes me hope
that maybe we can run together again
This time from the start of a race,
not just the last 8 miles