Swampland is what I call south Florida now, much to my spouse’s chagrin. But there are swamps! I run through, next to, and around swamps every day!
The rest of the nation’s runners are getting ready for the best time of the year for runs – the fall. But around here, not a thing has changed. The weather isn’t cooler. The rain hasn’t stopped. And the alligators don’t take a few months off so that you can appreciate your post-pumpkin spice coffee run in the mornings.
I always knew there were alligators in Florida. The first time I registered this fact with any interest was when I lived up north and heard some stories about 2 runners being killed by alligators on their early morning runs. And, being from up north, I just figured these people just hadn’t been thinking clearly. Who goes running around alligators? …. Me.
After blogging about being too zoned out on my runs, due to technology/iPods etc, I thought, hmmm, maybe I need to pay more attention. Well guess what? Yesterday morning, along my usual running route, as I’m about to head down this path behind a neighborhood, I noticed this HUGE sign saying to proceed with caution because you are entering a known alligator habitat. WHAAATT?!?!?!?! HOLY HELL!! I stopped dead in my tracks! Or I stopped in my tracks because I didn’t want to be dead!
I’ve been running this path for a while now. And yes, in the back of my mind warning signs were going off, but I ignored them. Things like, why do I never see any other runners on this path, just bicyclists? That water edge seems really close to this path. Is there anything in that water… cuz it really seems like it would be prime alligator area. And, hmm, if an alligator attacked here, I’d have nowhere to run because there’s water right on the other side of this path. Yes all those things crossed my mind but I pushed them away. Yesterday though, I took off running in the OPPOSITE direction!
And here I was just talking about how the big deer in Virginia would freak me out when I encountered them on my runs! Ha! Give me a dear over an alligator any day! In fact, give me Virginia any day over Florida! Ok ok, I promised the spouse I wouldn’t talk negatively about Florida. It’s wonderful actually. Like how you have a better chance of getting killed on a run by lightening (or alligators) here. And how if it’s not 150 degrees in the blazing sun, then it’s pouring rain and lightning… offering plenty of pleasant running weather options for the avid runner. And how local mosquitos are transmitting Dengue, leaving you to ponder whether to wear deet or sunblock on a particular run. What’s not to love, Sweety?!