My run started from our driveway - immediately on a huge, steep incline (remember this is the East; it's hilly there). I think it was about 0.6 miles up to the top of our street, but it felt like 4. But during the incline I'd run past neat homes, thick forests (we lived in the "rural" part of the city), and horses. And whatever other animals that were around. I'd vary my run from here occassionally, but it was always just a great run - running in the woods (but really on a paved road - which was scarely driven on - in a neighborhood).
The frightening part of my runs were the "wildlife." In particular: the Wild Turkeys. They scared me. There was a whole flock (or whatever you call a group of Wild Turkeys) of them that lived in our area. They were Huge (please remeber, I am 4'10). And 9/10 times I ran by myself. I didn't grow up with Wild Turkeys and so I didn't know anything about them. Did they like me? Did they want to befriend me? Did they want to show me their home? Or did they just want to eat my head off? I was convinced the answer to the last questions was yes, indeed. For no good nor sensible reason. So whenever the Wild Turkeys were in my way (or I in their way?), I started "clucking." I don't know why. It just seemed, ummmm, the natural thing to do. And you know what, it worked. They scattered and left me alone. I swear that the reason my head is still attached to my body today is because of the "clucking."
Even weirder than my fear of these Wild Turkeys (oh how miss them now) was that we had reports often of A Bear in our neighborhood. And I was less afraid of Him then the Wild Turkeys. But I'm sure If I had seen A Bear on my run I would have definitely peed my pants. I smart enough to know that "clucking" probably wouldn't have scared Him away.
I didn't dare go running in the mornings before Ben left for work (I think I would have had to have left by about 5:45am and it was still dark, really dark. Really dark with Wild Turkeys.) Luckily I only had Miles and so we would go out in the mid-morning time and run together. I relished that - I got the best of two worlds then: running AND talking with my then only-child. It was good. And of course I ran during my pregnancy with Jonas. I would push Miles in my stroller and lug Jonas in my belly. Lovely. But it did get me a spot in some local magazine:
Here's the article:
For Emily Maxwell, a run with her son, Miles, along the hilly roads near her home "just makes me feel better. I have more energy. I just feel good getting outside, and physically I think it's definitely kept me in shape," Maxwell said.
Maxwell, a registered nurse, who works one day a week at Wilson Memorial Regoinal Medical Center in Johnson City, is five months pregnant with her second child. Her husband, Ben, 29, also a registered nurse, works in the Wilson Medical Center's OR.
Pushing Miles up a steep hill in the jogging stroller recently, Maxwell noted that "usually, when you work out, it gets easier and easier, but it's not - not at this stage. But it's OK. I go what I feel I can go, and I slow down when I need to. It feels good to get out - no matter how slow I go."
Every so often, Maxwell paused in her run to pick up a stone or a couple of sticks for Miles. "Right now, I'm just teaching him about getting out, about being outside," the mother said. "It's just me and him, and there's so much to see out here. I talk to him about the trees and the birds. It's just our time to explore, and he gets his supply of sticks," she said with a smile.
Once or twice a week, Ben joins Emily and Miles for a run, and the parents take turns pushing the stroller: "He gets the jogger on the uphills," Emily laughed.
Last June, the couple visited family in Utah, and while there they ran a 10K race while pushing Miles in the jogger. "It was fun," Ben Maxwell said.
(Ha. I love that eloquently stated quote from Ben: "It was fun." That's my man of many words.)
So these days as I run along the Bypass with the passing of semi-trucks and the driving of automobiles, I occassionally get a smell of Skunk and think fondly of my not-then-friends the Wild Turkeys.