So, I’ve got a little bit of my mojo back, and I decided that it was time to get out and run. I packed up the kids, stuffed animals, snacks and sippies, diapers, and the endless litany of things necessary for our travelling circus to operate and drove to the park.
The kids were super cooperative and quietly came alone for the ride in the jogging stroller on our 5k path, a straight out and back on a paved path about 3 feet wide through 2 parks. Not conditioned to run 3 miles with the stroller and kids yet, I ran a mile and spent the remainder doing intervals of running and walking– plenty of exertion.
About a quarter of a mile from my car, a man was standing directly in the middle of the path. It was one of my running intervals, so I was confused that he wasn’t yielding to the oncoming double wide jogging stroller filled with kids and a huffing and puffing mom behind it. He was looking in my direction, so I was puzzled.
Then the man said the 5 letter word that stopped me in my tracks. “It’s a snake,” he said with a smile. My halt was super abrupt. As I stood behind the stroller, bouncing from foot to foot, probably looking like I needed a restroom, I announced that I was very afraid of snakes.
“Me too,” said the man who stood about 12 inches from this particular snake who I could see was stretched across the middle of the path. I wanted to educate the man, tell him that if he was indeed afraid of snakes, he was awfully close. I wanted to suggest that maybe he was actually snake averse or maybe snake avoidant but that I, the person that was contemplating a different route home involving a major road without a sidewalk, was the one who was truly afraid of snakes.
I blurted it out at least once more, emphasizing the very, “I am very afraid of snakes,” as if the snake was supposed to hear me and move along. In true snake form, he did not and remained across the path.
My best irrational thinking taught me to determine the snake’s suspected direction, run behind him and get to the car. I asked the man which way the snake was facing, made zero eye contact with the snake, and zipped past him. As I looked ahead to the pavement, to make sure I wasn’t running into relatives of my little brown nemesis, I laughed to myself as I realized that this was probably my best interval.