Running

Running Reflection: On Nature

A rather sad and disturbing thought occurred to the Ninja Turtle today while she was out struggling through a 12K-in-the-midday-heat run.

You see, running along the riverside is a marvellous way to connect with nature, what with all the cute ducks frolicking in the water and the excitable dogs walking their reluctant masters. It’s a gentle reminder in an egocentric world that we are in fact, not the only sentient beings on this lump of rock hurtling round a hot star.

But running also opens one’s eyes to the cruelty of nature. Sometimes, as a runner, we are forced to see things that cannot be unseen.

Take those silly ducks, for instance. Did you know that ducks gang rape? Ever since the Ninja Turtle learnt this fact, she’s never been able to simply enjoy watching the birds play chasy without worrying that it’ll all just end in tears.

Nature: it’s what gave thorns to roses and fangs to kittens.

Anyway, while struggling along under the blazing hot sun, the Ninja Turtle was mentally having a bitch and a moan. There’s no way I’m going to beat last week’s time… Why don’t they make plastic bottles of 600ml like in Australia? Thank God I put on sunscreen! I swear am going to melt. Or fry. Or just shrivel…

As soon as those words flashed across her mind in neon orange, lo! But what does she find on the path before her very eyes? A shrivelled, dehydrated slug. Its trail of slime the only testament to its 100% effort in a race against time to reach the cool relief of grass before the sun and the pavement conspire to bake the poor beast to death. In another few hours, even the slime trail will evaporate, leaving the world with nothing but a dried up, rubbery carcass and no story to tell. When the sun sets, it’ll be a real murder mystery.

So you see, unlike this runner, for who, born into a world where mastery of the elements by the human race means running is actually a pleasurable and slightly masochistic hobby, the slug had little choice in its daily mad dash across the hot pavement. For the slug, it’s survival. With no water bottle of any size, no GPS watch to pace itself with, no way of telling if it’s even crawling in the right direction, the odds are stacked against the slug. Death on the tracks is Fate, and an honourable way to end a slug’s life.

Unless of course, it gets squished by human beings engaged in unnatural activities (like a runner, or more likely, a cyclist). That’s not Fate, that’s just bad luck.

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