Tonight's run...like almost every summer run here in Southern Alberta, starts late. It was hot today. Real hot. So I waited til it cooled off a bit before heading out for my long run.
So out the door I go, only to be greeted at the end of my driveway by my neighbor Dave. Now Dave...he spells trouble. I see him and it is all down hill. Him & I are like applesauce & pork chops (I never got that whole food combo). He started P90x a few months ago and is trying damn hard to get himself into shape. So he is like a HUGE ALARM screaming at me. It is saying, "Runnnnnn, Wendy, RUNNN". But I stop. It's because I like Dave and we can talk for hours about fitness and he is like a HUGE sponge and I can talk the ear off a dead horse and so on and so forth. THAT is the problem. We have THINGS to talk about. ;-)
So 45 minutes later, I crank the ipod up, the sun is almost set and dark is looming. But off I go on my usual route.
Ironically, on ISFP today we talked a LOT about fear. The kind that grips you, takes over your body, deems you immobile. Well, I don't talk about this a lot, but I have this fear of the dark.
Ever since I was a little girl I was petrified of the dark. I know it has to do with my religious upbringing and the old adage(?), "The devil's gonna get you cos he's hiding under the bed". Boogieman? I think not. I had Satan under MY bed. That is just a little daunting to an 8 year old. This may seem odd, but every now & then I get freaked out putting my feet on the floor, getting out of bed, in a dark room. Things like that stick. There were a few preachers from our church growing up that could have used a little tuning in back then. But I digress.
So...I head out in my usual direction, out past the golf course, into the fields of nothingness, for about 4.5k. It is getting dark. Fast. I am all pumped up and rearing to go. Maybe I should run a little farther. At this point I cannot really see my feet or the road, so sidestepping the rattlers could be iffy. So, I make the turn.
I always have one ear bud in, one out so I can hear traffic. So as I am running along, another fear, the dastardly coyote, makes his presence known. Now he isn't close, but I have serious issues with them. They have creeped me out my whole life, right along with that bastard, Satan. And I am getting a little sick of it all. So tonight I decided that if one were to make it's presence known to me, I was planning on Ninja kicking him into next year. The fear is lessening, I think. Or all those BodyRock workouts are paying off.
So onwards I run, back towards town. Ok...it is almost full-fledged complete darkness. I need Adam Levine. I dial him up...I pick up my pace and he is singing, "Bang, bang, she shot me". I am seriously singing at the top of my lungs, and could care LESS about the campers at the park, sitting around the fire. Kumbaya, my lord? "She shot me, she shot me"...I am still singing, then BANG!!! There IS a gunshot. Coincidence? My heart starts beating it's normal rhythm again and I move on.
I have made it back to town. There are very few street lights and I still have distance to make up so I do what every good runner would do: I hit the highway. I run almost out to the grain tower, but I can't see anything, and I am feeling surprisingly unafraid. There is lots of traffic and lots of light from the cars. I head back. Some friends of my daughter drives by and blows the horn at me. Another van waves and blows the horn. Two semis pass and also lay on the horn. The friendly doth overfloweth here in Bow Island tonight. Maybe they knew I needed it.
I head down the final stretch, make the turn down Center street to head home. The air is warm, and smells perfectly heavy and strongly of mint. It is pitch black. And I am running in it. Unafraid.
I think tonight the thing I discovered I should be most afraid of is myself. I scare me. But not in the way you think. I scare me because all of the things I was once afraid of I am now not so much. I am changing. Fear can paralyze you. I am a runner. Paralysis is not part of the training plan.
I was never one to back down from a challenge & I don't intend on starting now. So Satan, you have picked the wrong chick to mess with. I will fuck your shit up if you cross me now.
And Wile E Coyote: I have a nice fireplace in the bedroom with a spot on the wall just begging for a stuffed and mounted presence. I will, in fact cut you.