That must have sprouted out of my mouth a gazillion times and polluting the surrounding air in the process as I took a quick brisk walk with my mum at the park. Everything looked and felt different when I finally embraced the outside world and being away from the confinements of my home. It felt cool and refreshing.
I must have looked like a runaway patient from the psychiatric ward because I had that awed face at everything that came into my line of vision. There is only me alone to blame because I hadn’t had the the guts to kick myself out of the house more often like any other sane person.
“Mum! Is that stork eating a fish?!”
Anyways, since my semester break started a couple of weeks ago, I haven’t really gone out anywhere other than to the iOi Mall to do a little window shopping.
Today was different than most days.
By 7AM sharp, my mum, dad and my sleep deprived self managed to buckle up in the car and drove straight to the nearest park. Just to ensure that I somehow or other didn’t fall dead asleep for all eternity in the backseat, I did all sorts of warm-ups to get more oxygen going (particularly to my brain).
By the time we reached our desired destination, we found that the car park was almost full and there were already a dozen or so regular joggers dotting the park from the distance.
We did more warm-ups together but I had trouble balancing which was quite embarrassing really. There was an elderly couple who were doing all these complicated moves not far from where we were and there I was, looking as graceful and balanced as an elephant in stiletto heels.
(Imagine me climbing up the steep, STEEP terrains in college with those shoes. I ain’t going to survive that’s for sure!!)
My dad started his usual rounds ahead of us while my mum and me took our time to brisk walk around the park. We watched the fat fish in the lake waiting for willing children to throw pieces of bread at them, a few storks gazing at us from the distance and eyeing their fishy friends with morning hunger, and pigeons and crows perched everywhere in the park.
After the first warm-up round, I started to really run for another two more rounds and that’s when I realized something. Other than my laboured and wheezy breathing, I noticed there were really significant differences between certain groups of joggers around me.
1) Friendly Joggers
They are the type who ALWAYS smile at everyone despite the differences in race and culture, and look decades younger than they really are. A simple hello and smile can really brighten up anyone’s day. An old man greeted me twice when we passed each other. I guess I’m that forgettable….
2) The Confused Ones
With their strong arms flailing in the air and taking confident strides, they looked like they’re running… only they weren’t. They were only brisk walking at a speed twice as fast as me, but without having to run. They were totally focused on walking really, really fast.
3) I got this
Similar to the Confused Ones, these guys (and girls) were really absorbed in jogging especially when they have their earphones plugged into their ears to drown out the surrounding noise. They were built for speed too, zig-zagging between clumps of people trying to keep up with the rest and before you know it, they’re miles away from you. And what’s even more intimidating is the fact that they wore shirts from previous running marathons they attended. But they’re cool. They keep the rest of us motivated to run like them.
4) The Moving Chat Cafes
They came to the park not only to jog and do workouts, but to chat with old friends either by the side of the pathway or do it smack in the middle of everyone’s way. They’re usually old men who talk and laugh really loud that make heads turn. But in a way, it lessens the quietness of the park and make it more lively.
By the time I reached home, I dropped dead on my bed and slept for an hour.