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Go to a different place in your head. Away from these black mats, this bar, that sweat trickling down through your hair. Now.

“Come on.”

Don’t wait. Don’t stop. Don’t put the bar down, but don’t let this pain really touch you. Mar you. Change your thoughts.

You must stay you.

“Come on.”

Rise above. Take your brain where you need to, want to, must go. Or, surprise the pain: go straight into it. Stomp on its back, instead of it stomping on yours. Take that, you miserable fool. No, you can’t break me. I will not give you that privilege.

“Come on.”

Get to higher ground.

Oh God, there’s still five minutes on the clock.