I moved to a minuscule town of 333 people about a year and a half ago. When I moved here it had nothing except a post office, a bank, a hair salon and a paint shop. Over the last year the bank closed, the salon shut down and I hear they are closing the post office.
The reason I moved here is a long story and I don’t have time to explain right now but in short: I own my house free and clear and I’m only 25 miles from the city.
As you may or may not know; I #run and ride bike. When I moved here I instantly fell in love with the area. Though it is 25 miles from the city, it is 25 mile deep in the woods and hills surrounded by twisty tree covered lanes, lush fields and endless streams. You simply cannot find a more beautiful place to run or ride your bike in all of #Kentucky.
Me being ambitious as I am, I decided that everyone needed to ride their bikes here. Sure #Lexington has their Thoroughbred farms and plank fencing but #Sadieville has more! We have barbed wire and vines that suffocate trees. We have goat farms (with goats that constantly need rescuing) and possum (some alive) and deer! Once over a 6 mile stretch of road I spotted 18 white tailed deer.
So I decided to create my own #Bike Tour. After a year in the making the Sadie’hill’ Bike tour is set to go off this coming Saturday. Over the last couple of weeks my husband, Danny, and I have been out on our bikes marking the roads for the tour.
Last week we were marking the 37 mile route, me with a backpack on carrying 4 cans of spray paint and 5 different stencils. As we started out up a particularly steep climb a Red Tailed Hawk took a couple leaps from the grass toward us. His wing span was quite impressive, he captured our attention as we both came to a stop in awe of him.
We dismounted our bikes to get a better look. One of his wings dangled useless from his side. He stared at us, daring us to look away first. Then he hopped into the brush and hid.
Luckily for us we had spray paint. I took out my can of florescent orange paint and sprayed a big X on the grass where we saw him last with the intention to return with the car.
When we returned an hour later Danny set out into the woods to look for the hawk. I unloaded the cage and a towel, grabbed my single leather glove (I couldn’t find the other one to save my life…or my hand).
“I can’t find him.”
We looked everywhere. The amazing creature was young and his colors were designed to blend in with his surroundings, it would take some serious luck to find him at this point. We were just ready to give up our search.
Then I heard my husband.
“Hey. Babe. He’s right here.”
I told my Danny to “keep an eye on him but don’t move in yet”, then I grabbed the cage and the towel to bring them closer. When I returned we each went to opposite corners and slowly moved in on the confused, yet ever staring, creature.
“You are insane. I would never get anywhere close to that thing. Look at the way he’s staring at you. He wants to kill you.”
I move in on the hawk, he steps onto his limp wing and rolls onto his back, never taking his eyes off of me. I lay my towel over him, reach my hand under his back and use my gloved hand to pull his wings into his body. I cradle him in my hands like a football; he can’t weigh more than a couple pounds.
As I pull him closer to my body and start heading over to the cage my husband says the most romantic words I’ve heard in a long time.
“You are the coolest person I know.”
I don’t know what it is about that statement, it kind of makes me worry that he doesn’t know anyone. But that made my day. Normally rescuing an #animal is reward enough for me, but having my husband think I’m cool, well that’s just the shit.
End Note: Broadbent Wildlife Sanctuary came to my house the next day to pick up the Red Tailed Hawk. I was happy that the little guy made it through the night, that’s the biggest hurdle when it comes to a wild animal surviving trauma. The man got out of the vehicle and we instantly recognized each other. He was the man that came to pick up the baby possums I rescued just a couple months ago. I have since put Broadbent #Wildlife Sanctuary in my phone; it is really nice having a place that so readily responds to an animal in need.
You would think that going for a run is boring. But I disagree. Not only do I rescue turtle from certin death, I am often called upon to rescue goats. Seriously, I’ve rescued four this year.
My favorite road to run is dripping gorgeous. The trees reach high and touch in a dance high above my head. After a gentle turn I pass a field with a handful of goats.
Now I assure you, 8 inch square mesh is a perfectly wonderful choice for fencing. It works especially well for horses, unlike barbed wire which can cause nasty lacerations when they run into it.
But is isn’t the best choice for goats with horns. See, it doesn’t matter if you have them in a lush field over-run with alphalpha, they will always see the grass/flowers/vines/trees/weeds/cigarette butts on the other side, and it/they will always be greener. The goat will eventually put it’s head through the 8 inch square in the fence and its little tiny brain won’t let it figure out how to get it back out.
So, if you are running down a road (or biking) and you hear the cries of a dying woman coming from a section of fence along the side of the road, you should stop to help. Here’s how you do it.
Quietly walk up to the goat, talk to it (tell him about your childhood). Grab the horns firmly with your dominant hand and the bottom of the chin with your other hand. Pull the goat toward you, lifting up on the chin. As the goat fights and screams, wrestle the horns and head so they are tilted diagonally. Get the tips of the horns so they are both headed out the same square at the same time. Don’t let go until this happens. Once it does, the goat will pull himself out and be free.
Look into his eyes, see that look? It means “Thank You!” in goat language. If it’s a male, it probably means, ‘your hot and I would like to be the father of your kids’.
Running the Numbers
As I entered the spring of 2012 I knew my schedule wasn’t going to allow me to train for or travel to races this year, at least not during the summer. So I made a decision early that this would be a fun summer. This would be the year I could get back to the joy of my sports and not feel the pressures of meeting a training schedule.
What a relief. At last I could take my time on my runs. I could stop to rescue a turtle or pause to watch a deer and her twin fawns. I could go back to pick up the baby bird in the road and set it safely in a hollowed stump. Hell, I could sit on a rock and paint a picture in the sand if I wanted to…this was my ‘fun’ summer.
Now don’t get me wrong. I still wasn’t ready to give-up my Garmin. Even though I wasn’t worried about my mile splits or my average pace I still wanted to know just how much I was enjoying my runs as a reflection of my time. Does that make sense?
Now I knew my numbers would be affected. I knew that impromptu stops to smell the wild flowers were not conducive to speed records. I fully expected my minutes per mile to rise like a slow boil in a pan of ramen noodles. But what I didn’t expect was the exact number they rose to.
So just last year I could carry myself for a few miles comfortably at a 7:38 pace. The thought now gives me shivers a little, but it’s true and I was pretty proud. Now I go out for my normal six mile run at exactly eight o’clock every morning and every mile my Garmin beeps at me with my mile split. And do you know what that mile spilt is almost every time? It’s 911! I am not kidding!
And just so you know, I leave at eight o’clock because my husband leaves for work at exactly nine o’clock, so that would give me plenty of time to get hope and slap him on the donkey butt as he headed out the door.
But now that my morning runs have turned into more of an escapade with Diego. And I spend more time picking up trash and petting dogs, I find I’ve been arriving late to my home. How late you ask. Exactly eleven minutes late! That’s right, I get home at 9:11am.
I’m not superstitious and even if I was I am not sure what it would be that my Garmin is trying to tell me. Is this ‘fun’ pace going to lead to an emergency? Or maybe every time my mile split pops up at 9:11 it means I have a new animal rescue…I just need to go look for it…it’s probably in the woods somewhere and I should go for a hike rather than run.
I went looking for answers on Google. ‘What does 911 mean? I asked’ and unbelievably, I found the answer!
According to wiki.answers.com: (The words in hyphens are mine;)
In numerology, you reduce numbers into single digits. So 911 becomes 9+1+1=11
(OMG! 11 is my lucky number! My birthday is 2-11… same as Burt Reynolds btw.)
11 is one of the master numbers. (I am a master! I have a dog!) It is one of the few numbers that is not reduced down to a single digit (I can’t be reduced either!).
The 11 is also known as the psychics number, it’s the most intuitive of all numbers and it represents illumination and deep insight. The 11 is also very sensitive, charismatic and inspirational. (Okay, ya got me there. I don’t know what all that’s about.)
I’m not sure where this column is going. All I know is that I am a runner. I like numbers. They tell me how I’m doing and I can’t avoid analyzing them even if I have agreed not to. What I will say is this, according to my mile split times…I’m having a pretty fun summer.