“To the average elf, it might,” I said, “it starts easy on the flat, then steadily starts to climb, ending in switchbacks near the top of the mountain. Think you can handle it?” I added in challenge.
“Lead on,” was all he said before I started jogging down the path. By the end of the flat only the sound of steady strides could be heard putting me into the zone, enjoying the peace that came with it when Turin’s voice broke in.
“Are you finished warming up?” he asked smiling. The meaning of that smile took me by surprise. It wasn’t cocky, but genuine, like he didn’t want to interrupt my normal sequence.
“Huh? Um…yeah; do you want to set the pace?” I asked.
The tempo he chose was comfortable as we climbed steadily up the mountain, but I wanted to know what he was capable of. “I need to challenge myself a bit more,” I said, “keep following the trail and catch up when you can,” then sped off.
It wasn’t long before I heard him approaching and smiled. Catching up, he matched my stride and smiled. “Okay, I met your challenge; let’s see if you take mine.” Before I could say anything, he was sprinting ahead.