“Are you going to be here in the morning?” I called down to my roommate late last night.
“I think so…”
“I was trying to decide if I’m going to go to my parents’ house and get on the bike or just go for a run. If you are here, do you want to go for a run?” I know myself pretty well. I can go to bed with the best of intentions to get up and drive the 1.3 miles to my parents’ house so I can ride their stationary bike, but when that alarm goes off in the morning the only thing on my mind is figuring out how long I can stay in bed. I have no problem working out during the day, but I’ve been struggling to get motivated in the morning. It helps when I have to be accountable to someone else. Besides, I’d much rather run than sit on the bike.
“Sure,” Emily said. “A run would be great.” We decided on the time and retreated to our rooms to rest up.
Morning came quickly. It was cold and windy, but Emily and I went running anyway. I was quite satisfied as I breathed the brisk fresh air. It was exhilarating!
We were almost finished with our first mile when we saw some garbage bags further ahead, the contents of which were scattered across the sidewalk. I didn’t think much of the little obstacles until we got closer. Emily stopped suddenly and gasped. It was dark so I didn’t see the beady little eyes amid the garbage and grass right away. But I quickly saw the body attached to those eyes move. Even though the dim glow of the street lights didn’t reach that corner very well, the tell-tale white stripe was distinctly visible on the skunk’s tail as it stood straight up in preparation.
I drew in a sharp, deep breath. There was a pause as the skunk looked at me and Emily and then we were off! We were like crazy women! We ran faster than fast to the other side of the street and around the corner. Our pace began to slow as the distance between us and the stinker increased. My heart was racing.
“That could have been awful!!” I said breathlessly. “Seriously, that is probably my worst nightmare: to be sprayed by a skunk!”
Emily cringed. “I know! We would have needed tomato baths! Gross! That was a close one, too. He was ready to strike!”
“And that smell lasts FOREVER! I so would have called into work!”
“If you didn’t, they probably would’ve sent you home!”
We continued running and contemplated our close escape from a tomato-soaked fate. Of course, we had to alter the rest of our route so as to avoid another encounter with the black and white hazard.
It still makes me shudder to think of how horrid it would have been if our reaction hadn’t been that quick. Or what would have happened if I hadn’t been with Emily. I wouldn’t have seen the skunk if it hadn’t been for her! (Thanks, Emily!! You saved my skin – literally!) Now I’m nervous to go running again! That corner is a part of my usual route. Sure the skunk won’t be there every time I run by, but it’s in the area. I may have to run in the street and wear bright colors until I’m brave enough to run on the sidewalk again. Or I might learn to enjoy the hazard-free stationary bike in my parents’ basement…
Update: A co-worker graciously emailed me another option for removing skunk stench, just in case…