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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Heartbreak Hill

Just once I wish someone in the army would show a bit of imagination.

Surely just once we could have run around the hill. Or maybe along the valley floor admiring how big it was from the bottom. But no we had to run up the bloody thing. It doesn't really matter where you are posted there always seems to be a hill nearby.

The hill in Northern Ireland was quite bad as far as hills to run up went. On a scale of one to ten it was bordering on a nine.

It would lull me into a false sense of security with its' gentle angle and appearance of not actually being that big. Then as the lactic acid began to build up in my calves it would unleash hell. The angle would increase and false horizon after false horizon would dash all hopes of the end ever coming. With lungs bursting and legs wobbling I would arrive on the ridge. As the acid began to settle in my calves and my legs feeling like they had doubled in weight it would hit me again. Once on the ridge the way 'back' involved maybe a mile along the ridge. It was an undulating ridge and in profile could have been a sine wave. Short steep bursts of downhill followed by short steep bursts of uphill did little to stop my legs complaining.

Eventually the path to the bottom would appear in sight. A loose shingle path that had more than once sent me skidding down on my arse in a most undignified manner. That didn't matter - we still went hell for leather on the way down - whooping and shrieking like children. Levelling out at the bottom and a slow jog trot back to camp.

I had a love/hate relationship with that hill - I loved to hate it. Cracking view from the top though.


Blogger Hannah said...

It sounds vile. I can't bear being out of breath (which is why I will probably have a heart attack at 35).

I'll be seriously impressed if the army managed to find a hill near 01728 "sounds like a department store" though!

10:44 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Hannah - Hilliest part of the county that place.

6:52 am  
Anonymous dushan said...


Thanks for visiting and commenting on my site.

I don't agree with your subtitle. I think it depends on the army, cause and war. I have done "civil service" here in Germany, and I still would. But today I can imagine that in other conditions I would take stand up to defend something I believe is worth defending. Like: Life.

Keep it up! :-)

5:54 pm  
Blogger greavsie said...

I hate the Hills that then turn into 'other hills' or 'more hills' once you get to the 'top'

5:59 pm  
Blogger The Humanity Critic said...

good post. Just passing through, cool blog.

6:51 pm  
Blogger Sparkling said...

I have never been in the Army, but when I was 9 months pregnant I lived in a town with most locations being on a hill of some kind, making every way I turned a never ending battle.

7:01 pm  
Blogger Hannah said...

I know, but "the hilliest part of Suffolk" is like "the warmest part of Antarctica" or "the most intelligent person in Wales." Ooh, I love to stir...

I see the humanity critic has passed through again!

8:07 pm  
Blogger zilla said...

beatiful post, Soldier.

8:27 pm  
Blogger zilla said...

beatiful post, Soldier.

8:28 pm  
Blogger Graham said...

But, maybe within the routine you get to know things in a different way, y'know... different stimuli and situations are great, but it sounds like u REALLY got to know that hill, lol... and u really bonded with that environment and situation.

I guess it's a bit like the journey u take to work everyday, or to school when u were younger... the way in which our routines forge their way into our memories can feel like an old song we once loved evocative of a time and place.

1:54 am  
Anonymous Z said...

I wouldn't have been able to resist calling that post 'Running Up That Hill' - Kate Bush wouldn't stop singing while I was reading that post.

9:05 am  

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