There is a local college campus that a good majority of my runs take me through. I have seen many different forms of wildlife over the years there. I've seen foxes, racoons (Which are surprisingly violent animals towards runners at night), possums, and many many deer.
This particular night as I entered campus, there were deer standing in the road. Like I said, I have encountered deer in this locale here before, but they have never directly affected my running course and never this many at once. As there were six to seven deer blocking my course, I stop about twenty feet away from the pack. (Or is it herd? group? flock? gaggle?) I have ran very close to deer in the past and they always seem to be more afraid of me than I am of them. Not this time!
I stand staring the leader in the eyes for what seemed like minutes but in reality was probably 30-45 seconds. His eyes burn into mine with a fierce determination to protect the group. I stand my ground, he stands his ground. Never, while running, have a thought that I was going to have to defend myself against a wild animal and punch it in the face. (Sorry if any of my loyal readers are PETA members, but if a deer charges me, I'm going to defend myself.)
After a long dramatic pause the battle of wits intensifies. A move is made, and it is not mine. The leader takes a couple of steps toward me! Not the move I expected. I tense, fists tightened, determined to land the first punch. Then, as fast it the throw down started, it came to an end. The herd slowly move off the road to let me pass. I win!
I decide to walk past (no sudden moves), and as I do they all stop feet from me and stare. They give me the evil eye and show me they are not scared of my little chicken leg self. I survived! After getting through this, my speed workout stunk. I'm half tempted to put the blame of my failed workout on the fact that I wasted all my adrenaline a few minutes earlier.
So, all this deer talk makes me want to ask you all a question. Have you ever had an encounter with a wild animal while running? If so, comment below!
As always, Praise the Lord and run on!