I am running on the path alongside the canal. My steps aren’t usually the lightest but today they feel heavier than usual. I am not really concentrating on my running, on a sort of autopilot..

My head is fuzzy and full with work thoughts. Coming for a run was supposed to clear them out – or at least give me a break from them. I get stuck in a thought loop. I circle a problem a few times. Time to break out of it.

I look up at the path ahead, curving away to the right. I can see someone else about 150m ahead of me also running. Not much to distract my mind. I try to take in the noises around me.

Ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting.

I didn’t notice before the warning sound coming from the train line that runs by the canal.

Ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting.

Roughly two tings for every step I run.

Ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting.

I put some thought into my strides, see if I can feel less heavy legged.

Ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting.

I open up my stride more.

Ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting.

It feels like there’s a more of a fluidity to my running.

Ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting–A rider on a bike is suddenly going past my right. The rider is shouting something at me. I can’t hear him.

Ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting.

I slow down. The rider slows down. I cup my ear, trying to ignore the rail track warning. The rider is agitated. He is shouting at me.

“Mate, you not hear my bell? It means get out of the way.”

Ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting.

I didn’t hear his bike’s bell. The sound of the bell must have got lost in the sound of the rail track warning. I just didn’t hear it.

I am lost of words. I thought I was sticking to one side of the path, leaving enough room for someone, something to pass. I feel like I’ve done something wrong, scolded because I didn’t hear something.

In the couple of seconds it takes me to work out what has happened, the rider has picked up his pace and is moving away.

Ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting.

The pace of my run has dropped. My legs feel heavy again. I stop running.

Ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting.

I look up and stare. The water on the canal is still. I see the runner ahead seem to move to the edge of the path as the bike and its rider ease past on the main width of the path.

Ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting ting.

Original source – Simon Wilson

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