Monday, July 4, 2016

Frown at the World and the World Frowns Back

Someone once said, Frown at the World and the World Frowns Back. I can attest to that after my awful, rotten, no-day very bad week after my Peru Trip.

I started off immediately on the wrong foot. I still had the bad taste in my mouth from the rude Peruvians and pickpockets in Cusco as well as the awful day in Manaus. Add to that, two nights of sleep deprivation(overnight flight and bus rides respectively) and I was primed for my return to Georgetown. Off the bus, I was immediately accosted by someone thinking I was a tourist and trying to a) part with my money, and b) rent me a place? Seriously. He followed me several blocks before finally scurrying off.

Speaking of scurrying, I opened my apartment door to be bombarded by mosquitoes, cockroaches and a putrid smell. Did I leave the trash in? Nope. But I did find a decomposing mouse under my bed. Welcome home!

Suffice it to say, I was not in a good mood. To make matters worse, my knee had stiffened up from the long bus ride so I was hobbling around uncomfortably the rest of the day.

After a poor night's sleep, I went for a walk the next morning and could not get over how loud everything was and how everyone was shooting me daggers. It seemed like everyone was staring me down and just overall being rude.

I hate Guyana! I thought grumpily. I cannot wait to get through this last month. I managed to make it through the whole day without getting out of this foul mood which was pretty evident to anyone I interacted with. The worst thing is that it continued into the next day. Everything and one bothered me.

And yet for whatever reason I decided I'd walk over to the Master's 5k at the National Park. Until my crash, I had been going every month and have met a good group of people and I decided I'd cheer them on. I wasn't confident that this would be a good idea wondering whether watching other people run when I cannot, would get me in a worse mood. What the heck? How much of a worse mood could I get in?

As I hobbled over there, my friend Johnathan(yes, that's how he spells it), rushes over to me and gives me a big hug. He expressed his happiness that I was safe from the accident and asked if I was racing today. Haha. I haven't even been running. Yeah, I saw your Facebook post about that. You gotta get back into it. You were born to run. Warm-up with me at least. So I hung out with him until the racers all gather for the race start.

At the start, my friend Gary, said a prayer of thanks and included my well-being in it. It only took 10 seconds but really meant a lot. As they took off, several people standing on the sidelines asked me how I was doing, although not knowing me personally, knew me from seeing me run so knew something was up. Everyone was so friendly and kind, it motivated me to try the next day to go out and run.

I am a little over 4 weeks out from my accident, and still cannot fully bend my left knee, or flex my right ankle. But you don't need full flexion at either joint to run!

Or in my case: jog. The next day I woke up leisurely, It was Caricom Day after all. Coincidentally, also Independence Day in the states.  So after a good amount of stretching and coffee, I donned my disused running shorts and sneakers and headed out the door.

I could have easily been upset when looking at my watch, that I once ran 50 miles faster than the pace I was currently moving. Or be discouraged about how much fitness I had lost in only 4 weeks. Or be nervous about the future and how my knee would hold up. But instead, I just enjoyed every slow minute of it.

And you know what? People started being more friendly. Instead of glares and stare downs I was getting smiles and pleasant greetings. Then I realized: I was smiling.

Smile at the World and the World will smile back. 

The way we perceive the world becomes the way we interact with world. I'm glad I could see that because what a difference it made!

Until next time,


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