Monday, 6 April 2015

Who's afraid of the Big Bad Boar?

The sun was shining, my heart was pumping excitedly and I was smiling as I took off for an early morning run today. And then as I reached the edge of the forest I heard it. The loud and unmistakeable screech of something large and tusked. Not the sound of a big bad wolf – but even worse (in my mind anyway) a big bad boar (as a Studio Ghibli fan I cannot ever forget the terror I felt of watching the boar god Nago as he terrorises a village in Princess Mononoke)

My legs turned to jelly and I faltered in my stride, wondering whether to turn right round and run back the way I had come. But I soldiered on, hopeful that it was coming from my left rather than my right which was the way I was intending to go.

Taking a deep breath I entered the shadows of the wood, the sunlight reduced to a magical dapple of sunbeam in the distant trees here and there. My breathing grew a little more rapid and my pace quickened. And as I ran into a patch of sunlight along the path, I saw – not the feared boar but two tiny deer which made my heart sing. They eyed me steadily before flicking their Bambi tails and disappearing in an instant into the trees.

And that’s why I love to run. Apart from the fitness, the blast of fresh spring air, the inevitable step (albeit tiny) to my summer bikini body, and that damn good feeling of incredibleness that lasts the entire day, it’s that feeling of being immersed in nature that calls to me.

Yes, I have got a lot more skittish about wild (and not so wild) animals as I’ve grown older – and not without reason as I’ve had a few episodes with people who can’t control their dogs and fields of cows in my running past. But it cannot halt the urge to take off to the great outdoors and do what I was born to do – run. Happy Easter and happy running!

The boar I thought would assault me from Princess Mononoke, photo credit here.
The not so fearful boar of reality - photo credit here.

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