What Type of Idiot Runner Are You?

As a runner what would you do?  You are running/hiking down a trail and pass a hiker and their dog coming the other way.  They state “there is a bear up ahead next to the trail.”  You think okay…I will just go a little farther.  Five minutes later you come across another hiker with a dog who states “hey there is a bear up ahead on the left side just sitting next to the trail.  I turned around.”  So what do you do?  Do you keep running towards the bear or turn and run away?

Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com

Well, this happened to me the other day as I was running in the Sierra Mountains.  I love trail running and enjoy every quiet step along with the beauty, and sometimes wildlife.  The week before I actually ran up on two coyote’s that dashed out from a bush right in front of me!  It was startling at first, but knowing coyote’s, they probably thought they could hide but then I got to close and scared them to run away.  You feel a sense of scared adrenaline of course, but once I was over it I just kept on running.  So when I passed two different people around mile 4 telling me about a bear near the trail, what did I do when warned twice?

I ran towards the bear.  Yep, like an idiot, running with a steep downward tree slope on my left and a flowing creek on my right,  I decided to run towards the bear.  This time of year they are coming out of hibernation and are looking for food and water.  I realized “I bet he is going towards the creek…..crap!”  And yet I kept running in the same direction.   I have to be honest I was kind of excited to see a bear and was hoping to add a cool moment to my running resume.  But afterward as I was running the final 2 miles of my 7, I started to think “what does this say about my personality?” 

I am a cautiously optimistic risk-taker.  I know that if I did not take some risks in life I would not be in a secure and comfortable situation I am living today.  And running toward a bear validated my personality somewhat.  I know that if that bear was right up on the trail or had cubs, I probably would have turned around.  But for some reason I wanted visual confirmation putting myself in a position that could backfire.  I kept asking myself over and over those last 2 miles….why would you do that??  When I asked my girlfriend what she would do she stated “turn the other way…I did it last year when someone warned me about a bear.”  So I guess I might be an idiot or just curious about seeing a bear, either way, it’s my runner’s personality that made the decision.

Your asking did I see the bear?  Sadly I did not see it as either the bear moved on, hid from me or I missed looking for him in the brush and trees.  I am actually kind of sad but also fortunate I had no issues.

So….what would you do?



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