Saturday, 16 October 2010

Added Benefits

In my dreams I am a Kenyan runner by day and a successful sportswriter by night.  Just before I retire for nine solid hours of sleep each night...  Sometimes even ten...  In reality, however, I am an ecologist making a living by doing hours and hours of fieldwork in the hot South African sun and then spending hours and hours in front of the computer processing the data and writing up reports.

Now, on the surface one wouldn't think that running could be beneficial to a field working, report typing ecologist in any way.  This week, however, I discovered, much to my (immediate) relief and delight, exactly the opposite.  Those hours and hours of training runs came in very handy during a recent field trip...

There I was, geo-referencing some protected trees and minding my own business when, suddenly, an agitated snorting sound in the not so distance grabbed my attention.  Looking up, I saw a big old reddish-brown bull looking straight at me...  And he wasn't happy.  He snorted and snorted and gave one final moohooooooooo before he charged...  In a split second I had to decide between climbing a very short little tree - the only one in the vicinity - or making a dash for the fence, which was about 20 meters away.  In this same split second I saw visions of climbing the little tree and ending up exactly at the bull's eye level - a place where I definitely did not want to be!  That left only one option: The fence.  I grabbed my backpack and GPS and, without looking back, dashed for the fence, all the while hearing the horrible sound of stomping hooves behind me.

Man, I should have had it timed - I'm sure I would have given Bolt a run for his money!  Within the wink of an eye I was safely on the other side of the fence.  Just how I got over it, I'm not exactly sure.  What's important, though, is that I made it.  In one piece.  Take that, Sucker!!

The moral of the story?  Run, keep running and don't let anyone ever tell you that running can't save your life!

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