Sophia didn’t know what to make of this guy, Glen. The dude was obviously in shape, and the way he handled the overhead bars and barbed wire crawl indicated he had some military experience. But he was different...much different. Sophia had seen her share of the usual overconfident and testosterone-addled boys in their early 20’s and 30’s running the course. Many tried to hit on her, which flattered her for a while, but she quickly got tired of it, demurred the advances, and buckled down.
Then it became competitive, and the boys tried to best her, not wanting to be outdone by the “shawty” that rebuffed their amorous intent. To their further dismay, they underestimated her abilities, and were left choking in her dust, or sucking mud as she cleared the obstacle ahead of them. Very few were of her class, and those that were kept to themselves, as she did. As word got around that she was on her second run, and doing better, most of the runners and workers gave her a respectful distance, and cleared the path for her…until now.
Glen was different. He had a competitive streak, to be sure, and her intuition suggested he might be attracted to her. Still, though, he had a very different “vibe”. He was very tall, lean, and strong, but showing his age. His thinning hair and laugh lines put him well over 40. It was his attitude that set him apart. He didn’t seem to be besting her: he seemed to just want a partner on the trail. He said “hi” with a pleasant voice and a big, goofy smile. His handsome, scruffy face lit up, and all those laugh lines showed he preferred to be joyful in life despite the harsh conditions that probably carved the lines in the first place. He had a calmness, almost a wisdom, about himself. He respected her, too. When she dragged him out of the mud off the balance beam, he accepted her help, didn’t get all mushy when she left. He shook it off and caught up to her. When she got stuck in the reeds, he helped her in the same way, and didn’t hang around to chat. Cheerful, but all business, and she liked that.
At the overhead bars, she saw him at the other end, waiting for her, and cajoling her in the manner of a Drill Instructor. That normally would have pissed her off, but it seemed genuine, like he had done that before, not caring if you were black or white, boy or girl. He just wanted to see you do it all the way, and get on to the next thing in life. She loved the bars, and easily zipped along, surely impressing those who watched. She looked at Glen, though. He seemed non-plussed, almost mockingly impatient, as if he expected as much from her, and was tired of waiting for her. This amused her more, and she decided to go as fast as she could on the last set.
She kipped up and tucked up her knees, keeping her arms bent at 90 degrees, and chugged along. Her form was compact and efficient. No excess swinging or wasted motion…until she felt a pop and heard the rip! The waistband on her shorts gave way, driven to the limits not only by the punishing course, but also her even more punishing "Mediterranean Breeder" hips, as she called them. Immediately, the wet shorts began to drop, exposing her disdain for undergarments to all who looked. She stopped, and hung from her right arm as she grabbed her shorts with her left.“Oh, bother” she muttered. Some of the men watching began to hoot and mock her. This got her blood boiling. Then she heard Glen tell them to button up. They assumed Glen was with her, and fell silent. “Classy!” Sophia thought. Not wanting to drop into the mud, she decided to muscle her way through. Still hanging from one arm, she started to swing, slowly at first, then faster, until she built enough arc to let go…and grab the next bar. Glen had a warm, pleased look on his face, and started to cheer. She sighed with relief, and some of the people observing began to her cheer her on, too! She swung again, and had the same good luck. Her right hand was getting tired, though. She stopped, and quickly switched hands before the shorts could drop. She swung again on her left hand. She crossed one bar, and tried again. This time, she felt her grip slip quickly. She reached up with both hands, grabbing the bar, and realizing she either had to use both hands from then on and go naked, or drop to the mud. Either way, her shorts had begun to slip down to her knees, revealing all of her shaven feminine glory.
“Screw it!” she said aloud. She curled her legs up a bit, pinching her knees tight to conceal her crotch. Then she began to move again. The burning in her hands and abdomen, though, forced her to drop her legs and swing, so she could get momentum. This allowed her useless shorts to fall. The limp fabric stopped briefly at her feet, which again caused her a problem. She couldn’t swing her legs in an alternating fashion to help her arms. Her grip began to fail. Frustrated, she growled and kicked the shorts free, summoning a final burst to energy. She crawled forward, reaching for the last bar, oblivious to her nearly nude condition, and those around her. All she could see was the last bar, and Glen’s kind, cheerful eyes, locked with hers….