My muscles clenched and my lungs ached, but ahead of me I could see the spot where the bridge leveled. This, too, spurred me forward. A father and son gave me thumbs up; a woman fell into step beside me momentarily and cheered me on. Everything inside of me burned but I couldn’t stop smiling.
Finally, I reached the pinnacle, and the whole world spread out before me in one slow, dazzling display. And then I knew I could finish this. It was mine.
A double-amputee passed me and he was flying on his running blades. We waved to each other, acknowledging and saluting a thousand untold struggles. And that, I realized, was what we were all doing out there on the bridge: acknowledging a strength and solidarity that comes with living.