Gold Standard

I have sharpened my muscles like a knife on a whick whack rod where the blade slides up and down and up and down, and at the end it’s thin enough to make the air bleed. That’s how my muscles are now.

I have felt the torsion of my torso twist a thousand times by now until my lumbar burns and my belly feels close to breaking. But every time it snaps back and I whip to the ground.

And in the air I can feel the momentary zero-g as my brain enters a split-second free fall inside my skull. It’s there, I feel it at the base of my head through my spine, and then I’m almost upside down and it’s tugging at the brain stem until my entire self is weightless for a second. It’s a drug. I’m the drug.

Because there’s a moment when my hands flee the pole and suddenly I’m aware of every organ in my body, and endorphins crowd out all thought. There’s the bar, and I’m above the bar—I set a new bar, in fact, and for that they put gold around my neck. I can feel it even before my feet hit the mat.

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