Health and Wellbeing

The Battle

They were less than a quarter of a football field apart when the battle began. The soldier encroached on turf that wasn’t his, going at the other guy with all the weapons in his arsenal. His initial attack was like facing off a bullet train, and he made several passes at such speed that it looked like the battle was going to be over almost before it began. Within six opening moves, the soldier was breathing down the neck of his opponent. The two were evenly matched in stature, but the soldier was 20 years younger and his muscles hardened from his ongoing physical training.

But once the speed of the soldier’s opening battle moves abated, they settled into a more routine fight. The older guy lacked the speed, but could parry each new offensive with simple endurance. Fight, fight, fight, parry, parry, parry. Then ever so slowly, the rabbit started losing ground to the turtle. The soldier’s speed was spent, his initial offensive rendered ineffective, and he had to settle in for a long and drawn out battle. Endurance was clearly not his forte, because his older opponent started to win back the turf. Inch by inch by inch. Foot by foot by foot. As they fought ceaselessly, the endurance of the older opponent turned the tide of the battle.

Eventually the distance between them was returned to where the battle started, the older opponent winning back everything so quickly taken in those recent opening moves. And then he started to encroach on enemy ground. Inch by inch. Foot by foot. Until the older opponent was now breathing down the neck of the soldier, a drastic turn of affairs in the battle lines. Then the soldier gave up, turned tail, and fled the battle scene. The older opponent had won, but even then he didn’t stop the fight completely, switching to patrolling the borders in ceaseless vigilance.

I went to the pool several days ago. A soldier from the nearby military base got into my lane when I was already well-established in my swim – and he flew down the lane on his first length. We did battle, figuratively speaking, swimming lengths without stopping. It was one of the highlights of my day to out-swim him.

Categories: Health and Wellbeing