I'm a creature of habits. 6:30 every morning, I would head to the same bench at a nearby sports ground, leave my water bottle, start my watch, then run.
I would run for about an hour and a half to two hours each day.
Along with me, there are dozens of retirees doing all sorts of exercises in the same park.
Over the past few weeks, I started to realize these retirees exercise for at least as long as I run. I suppose that's not surprising as they have the time.
I run with my audiobook on, and one time I gave out a giggle at Lincoln's failed proposal to Mary.
At that very moment, I unintentionally made eye contact with a slander elderly woman doing Tai Chi in a small group. She let out a bright smile.
I felt a bit embarrassed because I wasn't smiling at her but laughed at my book. Anyway, it happened, so I acknowledged her and ran on.
I never counted how many laps a two-hour run equals. But I know it is a lot.
I run past that woman many times in a morning and many mornings after that. And now, every time I run past her, she would smile at me.
Depending on the kind of run that I was doing, I may or may not smile back. I don't want her to think I'm rude. At the same time, it's awkward to start a connection with her.
Not everyone who exercises in the park engages one another.
Two men just roam around zig-zagging through the various exercising groups and never connect with anyone. I want to be like them, minding my own business.
But now that ship has sailed. I now have to plan ahead of my facial expression as I approach the bend.