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  • I stayed the night at my parents' house. The evening consisted of hibachi and way too much sake (hello headache). This of course meant one thing - my morning run was going to be brutal.

    I started out at a labored pace, wondering if I'd have to make an escape into the bushes due to a surprise appearance of last night's meal.

    Since when did hibachi consist of barbershop shots of sake? I wondered. And more importantly, why did I let that chef pour so much alcohol into my mouth? I'm definitely not in college anymore...

    After a few miles an a quick pep talk to my ailing stomach, I saw it looming in the distance... I had seen this hill over a thousand times growing up. En route to school, work, or to a friend's - this hill had nothing on me. And yet there it was - taunting me this morning. "You see me?" It whispered. "You won't make it. Not today. This run - it ends here."

    I was inclined to agree, and while I soldiered on with music blaring through my ear attitude started to change. This hill, I decided, represented all the challenges I'm presently facing. Career moves, significant others, life's never-ending struggles... Everything that's been haunting me, that seems insurmountable, was immediately transferred to this hill - and I was going to beat it. Even if it meant decorating the pavement with last night's brown rice.

    And then I started to climb. The high winds the news warned about just before I left, suddenly materialized. The sun disappeared behind menacing clouds and the temperature dropped. I propelled myself upward, focusing on my feet hitting pavement, and when I reached the summit, I continued running for a few more miles.

    Sake and hills I realized, are no match for sheer will power.
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