Dave Reuss, August 2012

The Lookout
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012 - 3:26pm Dave Reuss

The last of the sky’s aubergine tint has faded to black, and now it’s anywhere from eleven at night to four in the morning. The miles and hours pile on top of each other until it’s impossible to tell what time it is. The straps of my backpack are soaked through with sweat, and the thick log I’m carrying on my shoulder keeps slipping, biting into my neck. I grunt and heave it back into place, and we start running again.

A headlamp flashes back at me and says, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” Squishing along behind him, my shoes still wet from the last stream crossing, I shake my head.

“No,” I say. “You’re wrong.”

Pain is pain. It hurts, and that’s all.

Orwell said it best: “Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.”

But here we are, hiking through town for hours, hauling 45-pound packs through the dark—less heroic than insane.

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