Before I started my new job I knew that it would be both hard work and physically tiring and I felt that I was mentally prepared to handle the challenge and be successful in my work. I have had only one job previously that was actually hard and made me tired and I dreaded going to it every day. Looking back I think the biggest mistake I made whilst working there was that I allowed that job to control all other aspects of my life. Every day after work I was so tired that I would just lay around the house relaxing because I felt too tired to do anything else and on the weekends I didn’t want to do much either because that was the only time where I literally had nothing to do all day. Because I only worked and sat at home it felt to me like all I ever did was work and I absolutely hated that so when I started my new job I was determined to get out of the house and do something every day no matter how tired I was so that I didn’t feel like all I did that day was work.
Most days in the early evening once the heat let’s up a bit my wife and I head over to Shelby Farms which is conveniently only about a five minute drive from our house. It is one of the largest urban parks in the country, more than five times the size of Central Park in New York and there is a wide variety of things to do there. In the past couple of years I have really been getting into Disc Golf, a hobby I enjoyed in High School but strayed away from for five years or so. Shelby Farms has a disc golf course which I have used multiple times as a way to unwind after a tough day of work but today I want to talk about something else we decided to do one afternoon after work.
There are quite a few trails both paved and unpaved in and around Shelby Farms so after our second day of work my wife and I decided going for a walk would be a relaxing way to spend some time that evening. We opted to walk on a nice looking paved trail that innocently seemed to wind around the forest and over some small hills. Although it was after six o’clock the temperature was still ninety-three degrees and the lovely app on my phone said it felt like it was over a hundred but we worked in the heat all day so a short walk couldn’t be that bad. By the time we rounded the first curve after a couple of hills my eyes were stinging from sweat pouring into them and I was ready to head back to the car that was no longer in view but I wasn’t going to be the one to call it so soon so I kept walking hoping with every fiber of my being that my wife was completely miserable and would suggest turning back soon. I miscalculated her stamina or perhaps it was her stubbornness that kept her like me from being the first to suggest going back to the car.
After a few more minutes and the path turning into the direct sunlight I threw my dignity to the ground and said we should just turn around and go back but my wife somehow knew that we were over halfway around the trail and that it would take longer if we turned around than if we continued on the way we were going. This came as a complete surprise to me because for the years I have known her she has never been wrong about anything but there’s a first time for everything and it just so happened to come at a time when I was drenched in so much sweat that my shirt was literally sticking to me on all sides. I guess I should’ve known that she had no idea what she was talking about since this was our first time on the trail but she said it with such confidence that I was suckered into continuing the awful journey forward.
We continued along the trail taking in the beautiful sights of Shelby Farms; the lakes, the bison, the happy families strolling past us clearly happy to be doing so on a warm summer’s evening and I wasn’t enjoying any of it. I’m sure if circumstances had been different and I weren’t so worn out from work I could have been one of the happy people I saw but I was just ready to for the trail to end, and then it did. The trail ended and we weren’t back at the car at all but still about a twenty minute walk from it. By the time we got back to the car we had walked over three miles which was about two and a half more miles than I had wanted to go. Maybe someday we will re-walk the trail and I will enjoy the beautiful sights along the way but until that day walking at Shelby Farms will always conjure up negative emotions.