I walked in to see my GP a gibbering wreck.  Despite knowing I needed to do this, there was a reluctance to what I was about to do.

Despite being at my peak of fitness I doddered over to my seat like an 80 year old.

I sat down and swallowed, my nerves made me very tense as I clung to my chair.  The doctor patiently waited for me to share my aliments.  Realising I wasn’t going to say anything he opened up.

“What can I do for you”

And so all my problems that had been slowly building poured out.  Despite the fact I had been saying ‘keep it together’ over and over in my head.  I quickly broke down in tears.

This wasn’t how a man is supposed to be.  I kept thinking, we’re supposed to endure everything – not break down.

I can’t fully explain the feeling but my mind felt like it was split in two.  At the time I would say to people that I would rather have a broken bone than a broken mind because I was not sure how the mind healed (if it did).

I sat listening to what the doctor said.  I dreaded what the doctor was going to give me.  Prozac?  Some other anti-depressant?  The last thing my mind needed was chemical manipulation.

As I wallowed in self-pity the doctor said something that caught my attention.

“Make sure to have lots of exercise”

For the first time in four days I smiled – that was something I could easily do.  I even had a race at the weekend that I had feared I would have to cancel if I was going to be getting a sick note.  But the doctor said exercise was okay, so I had a pass to have fun running and working my way through obstacles.

So I left, feeling slightly happy.  I didn’t have to concern myself with work for two weeks and I didn’t have to take any drugs.

I realised that the doctor did not want me to go down that route – he wanted me to figure out my problems and fight back.

So the first thing I did was go to the gym.  Day one of fighting back had just begun.

Three days later on a hot Sunday morning I went on to give the race of my life.  Perhaps I was inspired by the beautiful location, perhaps I was so frustrated by my life that I put everything into it.  But at the end I found that I had finished a 10k obstacle race around the 1 hour mark and finished 13th out of around 800 runners.

When I got home I looked at the race photos.  I found a picture of me and smiled as I thought “Just what the doctor ordered”

Lesson: Exercise – an aid to many of lives problems.


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