She's 35 when she reaches the summit of the mountain, the pinnacle of her career, she thinks. He's 38 when he reaches out to catch her, and manages to get ahold of enough of her to stop her flailing. But ultimately, he knows she must find her balance herself. She has to save herself. All he can do is watch and hope and pray.

She's 35 when she considers being a sacrifice. Old enough to know something of life, but too young to have it end. And the hands that reach out to grab her multiply and become a net of those who want her to know the truth, who want to see her continue. And so she tumbles, but stops just short of the precipice, just short of slipping over the edge into the emptiness. The fall would kill her, she knows. But the hands that reach out to her give her the strength she lacks to keep herself atop the ledge. And although she needs to be the one to reach out to those who would help her, she knows they will catch her and not let her fall again. So she flings her arms out, hands grazing and slipping before grasping his hands and she slumps, tired. He tugs gently and slowly as she regains enough strength to climb up to meet him, far enough away from the rim to be safe, but not far enough to be completely out of danger. He takes a tentative step away from the summit, and she follows willingly. Cautious step by cautious step they move off the path that leads to the cliff. And as the cliff slips away behind them, they find another path, a possibly safer one, that leads to another summit, for there is rarely only one path.


Author's note:
It occurs to me after writing this that I should list some of my references. One of the article I read was called "Exercise addiction- When more is less" by Richard Benyo (http://www.rrca.org/publicat/addict.html). Another article I liked was on Salon.com (http://www.salon.com/it/col/guest/1999/01/04guest2.html). Exercise addiction is often seen in conjunction with anorexia or bulimia. The American Anorexia Bulima Association's website was also very useful to me. (http://www.aabainc.org/home.html). I'm not usually big on preaching to people, but one of the stats on this page states that more than 5 million Americans- both women and men- suffer from an eating disorder. As someone who has occasionally struggled with eating and other issues, I know how difficult asking for help can be, and how hard it can be to watch someone you care about struggle with these issues. So, if you need help, these sites can show you were to look. If someone you know needs help, these sites can help you get them that help. Enough PSA. I hope you've enjoyed the story...it's been a heck of a ride :o)



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