Since I have been recovering from a nearly death crippling illness (I might be exaggerating) I have been walking around the park. Yes, walking. It’s actually quite embarrassing, I went from running for hours in circles around the park just a month ago, now walking. Please, don’t get me wrong, walking is awesome exercise and there is nothing wrong with it; but I enjoy running. I feel weird wearing my running shoes and not running.
I won’t be modest here—I’m kinda famous at the Kamphaeng Phet historical park. The guards at the front know me, they often see me twice a day, once at 6am when it’s still dark out and my half asleep ass stumbles in to get a lap or two in; and then again at 5pm after work for a few more. I hate showering, but when I’m showering twice a day due to running it’s okay.
While on my walks this week I always smile at the other walkers, I curse the runners because that’s what I want to be doing and I’m jealous! (being sick left me knocked on my ass for 4 days, I’m now trying to get rid of a hacking cough that is really super attractive.) Every evening I see a group of men that are completely decked out in nice running gear, split shorts, singlets, and run at an even pace chatting away (I can only assuming they are talking about running, because that’s what runners talk about.)
Yesterday we passed paths, they gave a shout and smiled! Before I knew it I could hear the group behind me, they had met their turn around point and were headed back. I kept on with my slow and steady walk (I wouldn’t even call it a power walk, more like a I wish I was running but this is all I can do, better have good posture walk.) As the group approached behind me they didn’t all move to one side like I expected them to. They surrounded me, they scooped me up in their wake and my legs began to run!
I imagined this is what it’s like stray for birds during migration. They draft off one another, using each others energy and force to continue moving forward. Well, these men had picked me up and began asking questions in broken English, “What is name?” “Why are you in Thailand love Thailand?” As we conversed they pointed to each other and gave thumbs ups, “Fast man!!”
My cough surfaced and I heard them whisper “Oooh, mai sabai” she doesn’t feel well. When they turned to check on me I gave a thumbs up and kept moving. As we approached the gate then men slowed and turned to a walk high fiving and wai-ing one another. I thanked them and continued home with a bit of a skip in my step—some Thaicouragment was what I needed to get moving again. A running community is the same anywhere, just run, laugh, and smile and maybe talk a little shop and it’ll get you swooped up, even it if is only for half a mile.