15 Step

My staircase has 14 steps. More precisely, there are 5 steps, a base and then 9 more in an opposite direction, each one about 10 inches higher than the last. It looks like, I don’t know, like fucking stairs.

One time in middle school basketball practice my teammates told me I was “really weak.” Well, they said it to each other and I was in earshot. They laughed. It was funny. We had a good practice.

I ran home that night, sprinted up the stairs to my room. My walls were covered with posters of athletes. I put on my little waterproof stopwatch, and I ran back down the stairs.

I clicked start and timed myself going up again. Stop. I did it once more. Start. I ran up the stairs. Stop. Again. Each new interval was faster. Each new interval erased the last.

I didn’t have a goal. I didn’t get tired. I didn’t stop. I just kept going up and down, up and down, up and down, over and over for an eternity.

I think I went up the stairs a hundred times that night. Clocked and cleared every one. Who’s the weak one now.

The next day I woke up sore as all hell. I would have stayed home but stopwatches don’t work like that. I very slowly descended the 14 steps, and went back to school, back to practice. Start

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