Training to compete in 5K runs is totally misusing the word “compete” but there I was yesterday, getting in another two-mile run in preparation for my next 5K run. I compete only in the sense that I can outrun the walkers. For the most part.
But yesterday I decided to take one of my favorite running routes. I jogged on the road beside an irrigation canal, where I can watch the calming waters flow past me while the long green grass framing the road reaches out to touch my legs.
It was a peaceful run until something moved beside me as I ran. Something big. Something worth stopping and turning around to look.
A 30-foot long snake as thick as a car tire was coiled up, its tail shaking in fierce anger while its tongue darted in and out. At least that was my first impression.
And I ran within a foot of this furious monster.
I finally went on after my heart rate settled a bit, returned cautiously, and then came across a second snake sprawled across my path. At least it didn’t curl into a hissing coil as I sprinted by.
I had to tell someone this story so, when I got home, I marched into the computer room where both sons happened to be discussing some video game.
I told them what had happened.
Had our daughters heard this first, they would have gasped with fear or concern.
“Are you all right?” they probably would have said. “Were you scared? Did you get light-headed?” Stuff like that.
But I got to tell the sons first.
After I finished my tale about running with snakes, the older leaned forward with something sparkling in his eyes and said, “I’ll bet that really helped your pace today.”