I decided to go for a casual leisure run this afternoon. As I turned the corner off my street, two blocks ahead I noticed three lawn men with two machetes and a pair of garden shears violently cutting up large branches in a driveway way too close to the street for comfort.
**WRITER'S NOTE: I am not prejudice to the fact that they were lawn men. They could have been home owners for that matter... it was the fact that they had machetes and garden shears in hand that seriously alarmed me**
My mind immediately turned on near-death thoughts. All of these terrible thoughts began to go through my head. One example: If I run down that road, those three guys were going to chase me down, decapitate me and chop me up into a trillion pieces and throw my dead body into the bottom of the ocean. (HORRIBLE RIGHT!?!? ... WHO THINKS THESE THOUGHTS? Apparently, and unfortunately, me.)
Being the intellectual and practical person that I am, I figured I had three options:
1. Turn around, run home as fast as I can screaming and crawl in a corner and hide.
2. Turn left early on the road before I reach them to spare them a murder and my life.
3. Run past them, get over my stupid fear, and realize they are just doing their job and probably nice guys.
Which option did I pick? Of course, the most logic, especially after thoughts like mine, and I picked option #1. ...just kidding. I picked option #3, seriously. As I was getting closer, I felt all of my nerves tingle throughout my body, I picked up the pace. One of the workmen smiled and nodded, and I waved and sprinted by as fast as my legs could take me. I couldn't help but turn and look behind me every mili-second to make sure they weren't following me because lets face it, had my horrible visual actually come true, whose going to win, them or me?
Let's weigh out the pros and cons:
1. I run every day.
2. I am prepared for them to chase me.
3. I could probably out-run them in distance, but pace... I don't know.
1. They have machetes and garden shears in hand.
2. They work out all day... probably way more fit than I am.
3. There were three of them and one of me.
4. Surprise attack... just saying.
Looks like the cons outweigh the pros and I would lose.
What I was left with was a heart beat pounding a million miles an hour, and a huge adrenaline rush that I had not felt in a long time. I began to think about what I would do in that kind of situation, and let's face it, when it comes to flight or fight, I am definitely FLIGHT! I want to get as far as I possibly can from any kind of scary, uncomfortable, unwanted situation, and I don't want to stop until I know I am as far away as I possibly can be!
These thoughts took over my mind like poison as I ran, and suddenly my navigation on my phone beeped.
TIME: 8 minutes, 04 seconds. DISTANCE: 1 point 0 mile.
I came back to reality: That can't be right... I was just going out for a leisurely run. How can I be running that fast, and not feel like I am pushing myself? I then realized that my motivator was those two machetes and garden shears. It gave me that extra energy to run harder and faster without exerting energy when in flight mode. This made me feel much better about my "flight" status. I used to think of it as a flaw, but at least I know I can run and probably get away from most situations and keep it together mentally.
I decided to imagine those three men chasing me for mile two with their scary machetes and garden shears, my mind began focus on getting away and nothing more. I didn't feel like I was pushing myself very hard, but I felt like I was getting away.
TIME: 15 minutes, 54 seconds, DISTANCE: 2 point 0 miles AVERAGE TIME: 7 minutes 57 seconds per hour.
HOLY MOLY... its working!
As I approached my last mile (yes, I have been cutting back a lot on my running, just trying to enjoy it again), I kept this thought process. As I reached half a mile away from my house, I realized my three mile loop came back around to the same three men that started this whole crazy thought process in the beginning. Was I crazy to run by them AGAIN and take that chance? Had I been given a "Pass Go" the first time around? Would I be lucky enough to get it again? Should I turn around? Did I do this on purpose? No... I can do this again! (Maybe I did it for that extra adrenaline rush to push hard in the end?)
I hit my third mile feeling great, not even out of breath and I heard:
TIME: 23 minutes, 21 seconds DISTANCE: 3 miles AVERAGE PACE: 7 minutes, 47 seconds.
Okay, I know that time isn't that amazing... but for not pushing myself or feeling out of breathe and just running to save my life, I WAS PRETTY DANG PROUD OF MYSELF!
So I ask you: WHAT'S YOUR MOTIVATION? Is it being chased by a murderer as well? Do you run towards something like your trying to get somewhere? Do you run for something or someone? For margaritas? (That used to be mine! ;) )