“I guess I’ll go tomorrow” I reluctantly texted my friend.
It was Friday night and he’d somehow convinced me to go to a Park Run which I’d been loathe to do for some time. I performed poorly and ended up being one of the last participants to cross the finish lane. I was drenched with sweat and took a few minutes to recover on a park bench.
With my breath recovered I rose and began to walk leisurely to my home. I felt strangely happy about getting up early to exercise and I grimaced as I knew my friend would never let me live the fact I was wrong about how I’d find the Park Run, down. I narrowly avoided a ball rolling toward me and looked over in the direction whence it came.
Some kids were walking over gesturing for me to return their ball. I awkwardly kicked it over and continued to walk along feeling a bit embarrassed about my poor technique but casting the negative thought from my mind quickly as the post-run high enveloped my mind again and I took in my surroundings – the cool summer breeze, the warm caress of the sun’s rays and the subtle aroma of the freshly cut park grass.
It was only when I reached the main road that it dawned upon me what I’d done was extraordinary, for me. I have a a fear, almost phobia-worthy, of people playing football in my vicinity usually. When passing players, generally, I will avert my gaze and double my pace with my heart rate increasing ten-fold due to the fear that I might have to return a stray ball. My absent-minded return of the football, while insignificant to most was a great leap in progress.
And sure enough, from that day forward my mind began to clear.
I got more sleep, I was able to spend days at the library studying and my psyche became increasingly positive.