It started with a mood…a mood that started maybe last week. And it was set off by the ignorance of a bratty high school kid who glanced behind her several times as she walked along the sidewalk so that when I passed her on the road she could hiss in her childish way, “you’re soooo stuuupid.”

I fumed about the ignorance of the high school brat, and I stewed about the unsolicited advice that people think is socially acceptable to say if you’re on a bike.

And miles later, still steaming, as I flew down the road towards the big hill, I was annoyed by a fumbling bicyclist riding in the sidewalk and cutting off my entrance to the around-the-hill path.

Oh, I could have gotten around them, with much fumbling of my own, but I had a lot of fuel by then, the anger burning bright. I’d been thinking too much about poverty today, about Haiti and hurricanes, about rich white men and taxpayer bailouts, and if I could do nothing about the children starving in Haiti, and if I could do nothing to make those irresponsible rich white men face their responsibilities, I could do something else altogether.

I could take that burn of anger and turn it into the burn of muscles.

I didn’t turn. I didn’t go around.

I went straight up that damn hill.

And I made it.

Take that you bratty kids, you ignorant unsolicited-advice-givers, you irresponsible conscienceless men, and you natural disasters. I rode The Hill.

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