The Great Wall
It was built to keep intruders out. One mile up and one mile down. “There are two climbs here,” Our tour guide told us. “One side is hard,” he said, “the other…harder. You choose.”
I looked at the uneven stairs stretching toward the sky, and chose hard, knowing that it would be enough.
My feet were careful on the sometimes icy steps. I wore layers against the November chill. There were many hands clinging to the rail. I couldn’t always reach.
It was meant to be a hard climb. It was meant to slow down the enemy. The un-evenness had purpose.
I am not the enemy, but the un-evenness challenged me as if I were. My short legs were not made for tall steps. Sometimes I had to crawl.
It was warmer near the top. My layers became a burden. I left my heavy coat along the way to be gathered on my downward hike.
We celebrated at the top. The view was breathtaking. I felt victorious. It was hard, and I made it. I can do hard things.