When the cost of your journey is laid out before you, it becomes easy to second-guess yourself. Was I sure about this? Was it a mistake I let go too far? It's then that you have to take stock.
I retraced my path back a block and began climbing a steeper block. This was a block I avoided because my center of gravity typically meant I felt like I was about to roll over backward. I looked ahead at a city crew patching the steps beside me, and hoped I would not give them fodder to laugh about. So there was a lot of second-guessing taking place.
At times it seemed like I'd come very far, but when poring over it in my mind, the progress felt very hard-won, and not so great. At the same time, even with the second-guessing, all I could muster was that starting the journey on more solid footing and with a better understanding of the costs might have been prudent. But this was where I was, and so this was what I had to live with.
I topped the block and turned to continue my usual route, not even able to gasp a sigh of relief in the midst of my hard breathing. The sense of accomplishment, even if I knew I wouldn't try it again soon, was probably etched on my face as I pushed on up the slope past a detouring, descending car. Today, at least, I had dodged the question and come out unscathed.
Step 86: take stock before you start. You'll never be fully prepared but at least you might be better prepared when things start coming apart.