I’ve made it my habit this summer to spend my early mornings running and swimming. Sometimes I’ll bound into the rocky trails of the Barton Creek greenbelt, but since the sun is rising later and later each passing day, I’ve stuck to the Town Lake hike and bike trail instead so as not to sprain an ankle. Most mornings this experience is uneventful - just quiet running in the dawn, followed by a dip in Barton Springs, shower, and head into work. And this morning would have been no different save one moment under a pecan tree near Zilker park.
I was chugging along and out of nowhere a goddamn chicken jumped down from one of the branches overhead, fluttering as it would to land safely to the ground. The only problem with the chicken’s plan was that I happened to be running straight into her flight path so she hit me square in the face.
A group of concerned high school cross country runners stopped to check on me and make sure I was alright, to which we all started laughing. I was lucky she didn’t spur at me or scratch. She just scared me and got my heart rate going even faster than the run had. But I’m glad it happened because when I stopped to look back east, there was a sunrise just unfolding itself before us all.
Isn’t that the sort of trite metaphor we all run into at some point. For some it’s a car accident or a health scare. For some it’s a glimpse of peace in life. For me it was a chicken who thought she could maybe fly. I guess the moral of the story is that when a chicken jumps out of a pecan tree and hits you in the face, you better pay attention.