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.