Not even a few days ago, my feet were tracing the (cement) path I used to run in the 1990's, up to Victoria Peak in Hong Kong. I was only back for a tiny number of days, but the first evening in, jet-lagged to the core (swollen ankles, punchy outlook), my body took me up to the Peak. It had been almost two decades since I'd been back, and though I could not visualise the entire road I needed to follow to get to the Peak, it was like my body did remember it - what a bizarre feeling that was. And though I was not dressed to run, I sped-hiked it up the 550-some meter elevation until suddenly, along the way, views of the loud-fairy-light-city sprang up between the trees, getting more and more panoramic. Also, I remembered so clearly some turns of that path, and where the little temples were - and the smell of the greenery surprised my mind with its familiarity. It seemed like the only way to truly be back in the city where I grew up was for me to sweat onto it, to be reunited in that way. It did not matter that it was past ten and that I did not know if it was still safe (once upon a time, the police did not carry guns, only batons). I felt sure the path would still be there, because that is part of the colonial legacy few know of: despite the city's obviously-developed facade, behind the scenes are beautifully-manicured, well-marked paths almost anywhere there is nature, many of them bearing the names of former governors.

Now I am not in Hong Kong, but feel that the trip is tied to the reason I began to run in the first place: what if you do not feel "met" entirely where you are - it is necessary to train to reach the strength necessary to reach more places at once. I feel that alongside the physical effort I made in the past year, now I need to figure out a way to do that in my professional life. I want to build cultural bridges just like I have been training to run across material bridges (hence my out-and-back runs being mostly 23.4K).
So, this post is dedicated to physical and figurative Peaks we try to reach. I know many try and not all succeed - I kept thinking of that as I looked at block after block of skyscraping HK public housing, so many people trying to make it, and with a stronger work ethic than what seems to be Western-style today because parents do not stop worrying until they have sacrificed everything for their children to make it. But sadder than failing is atrophy of potential. So, on my first run since I've been back this morning (jet lag ruined my strength in the past two days), I will be thinking of how to start reaching my own personal Peak.

Brush: Ewansim via DeviantArt.


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