Roadkill… A Hierarchy

The other day I was out running along my normal route when a couple things happened to me that I really wanted to share. These things only reminded me that there is a food chain to everything.

Now, safety hawks would tell me that running with full headphones is probably not a good idea, I do it anyways. The music isn’t super loud so I would hear horns and sirens over the top of them, but I need a little something extra to help get me though the rougher points of my run. The other day, as I was running through my own path, on a sidewalk, I was scared almost right out of my shoes.
Bike in motion
(used under creative commons, thank you myplacedk!)
From behind, this bicyclist, having seemingly lost full control of his faculties came barreling right next to me, almost catching my right side, no lights, no warning, just him, flying down the street at 6 A.M. Startled but undaunted I carried on.

Towards the end of my run, there is a neighborhood I run through, no sidewalks, a couple hills, lots of trees. It’s really quite peaceful, though it’s pretty dark, and I love its serenity as I am really summoning the last bits of my energy to finally make it home and as it is just barely entering the dawn hour, it’s truly the darkest part of my run. In that last stretch of my run, I tend to go to autopilot, tapping into my music, not really focusing my eyes, just running, listening to my body and talking myself through each step. …And then under my foot I felt a crunch… and not just a stepping on a twig crunch, but something strange, so I stopped and looked back. Upon further examination, I realized that I had just stepped on a squirrel, who, by some other means had been recently made into flapjack.

Squirrel
(Used under creative commons, thank you, Californian Em!)

Uncontrollably, I started laughing, I couldn’t help myself, I don’t know if it was that I had realized that I had done so, or just that I didn’t know what else to do, but as I stood there for a second laughing, I realized that you have to open your eyes, even when life is hard, even when you’re willing yourself to go on, because there are always going to be those who you are larger and who seem to be gunning for you, and there will always be moments when you unintentionally step on someone. The real test is what you do in that moment, if you let it detour you, you miss out on finishing that goal or completing that task.

Be undeterred, be willing to laugh, be willing to shake off the momentary brushes with disaster. Be swift and just, carry on.

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2 responses to “Roadkill… A Hierarchy

  1. ROFL! Oh. My. Lord! This takes me back to about ninth grade when I was walking down a country road with a friend and she shoved me off the side of the road, into a pile o’ steaming, juicy, dead raccoon. EWW!

  2. …and now you’re all set for those times when it’ll be convenient to casually mention “well, that time I stepped on a squirrel”

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