Rigor Mortis Bend.
It’s a place in the 400-meter race where every cell of your body locks up.
Your lungs ache for air.
Your quads turn to cement.
Your arms pump desperately, but they’re stiff and feel like lead.
Rigor Mortis Bend is the last turn of the track.
The finish line comes into view and you will yourself toward it, but the wind pushes you back, your body begs you to give up, and the whole world seems to grind into slow motion.
Your determination is all that’s left.
It forces your muscles to fire.
Forces you to stay in the race.
Forces you to survive the pain of this moment.
Your teammates scream for you to push.
Push! Push! Push!
You can do it!
But their voices are muffled by the gasping for air, the pounding of earth, the pumping of blood, the need to collapse.