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I Measure My Heart Rate

by Benedikt Fischer

Every morning before work, I put on my Flyknits, my ultra lightweight cotton and polyester blend outfit, and do a training run for one and a half hours…

That loop is mostly the same, and leaves me thirty minutes for a cold shower and a double espresso, which complete the routine. I wear my phone on the upper arm for music and a BT chest strap to measure my HR. The playlist syncs with the pace of my exercise, but the app also allows me to pick a mood if I’m so inclined.

It wasn’t always like this, yet I’ve grown used to the distraction that is my body. I don’t practice for a marathon or the Ironman; my goal is to achieve a level that matches up with the fitness of my peers. I haven’t tested myself in a while, although I feel like I’m getting there. I’ve gone from 5,20 to 4,90 in the last three months. I’ve been infected with the runners high, or so I’m told.

Still, I can’t get past the feeling of being held back by my physical appearance. The skin is the boundary of the body and it thrills me; the smell of the post exercise sweat or an occasional cut, caused by a thorn of a low hanging rose stem, nearly floors me. When I see the precise slit of the fine fabric and the skin beneath it, I feel as if something swells up inside and ceases my breath. I know it’s probably another thing I shouldn’t be worried about, but tell that to anyone with extraordinary bodily responses.

Yet anytime I get back to work, that tingling sensation quickly passes. It might be the distraction of focusing on something outside of myself, I don’t know… I can take risks; I can stand under the gazes of others and be confident in my training and abilities. This routine is my pacemaker and just by being there it quickly gets my life under control.

The story above is a piece of fiction inspired by

‘I Measure My Heart Rate’ collection

Images by Dang-Vu Dang

See more of Benedikt Fischer’s work here


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