There’s a lot of things plaguing runners in the spring. Some are essentially coming out of a winter hibernation, and the added miles lead to shin splints, stress fractures, and embarrassment over duck walking when stiffness sets in the next day at work. Likewise, the weather changes in spring can lead to various issues. Some people have difficulty adjusting to the rising heat, others rediscover that the sudden surge in plant life generally necessitates a lot of liquid, most often falling from the sky rather than their tired brow. But most challenging, most fearsome of all, the one thing sure to send a chill down even the most hardy runner’s spine is the dread horror brought on by bird strike!
Wait, what? Yeah, I know bird strike is a term used in the aviation industry for when a feathered fiend heroically attempts to reclaim the skies for fowl-kind by accidentally being sucked into the air intake valve of a jet engine and disabling the thing via the well thought out method of becoming pate. And while I like to think I move fast when I breathe heavy (insert your own “that’s what she said” joke here) I am aware no one’s going to quite mistake me and my suction power for something generating transcontinental flight. What I’m referring to are those special birds that, in a loving attempt to start and protect a family, decide to ATTEMPT TO MURDER anything that comes within a three state radius of their freshly hatched little squawklings.
Every spring, no matter where I go, be it into the forest, up the mountains, across open plains, or even down well developed city blocks, there are pissed off birds swooping at my head, attempting to repossess my eyes for the glory of Mother Nature from whence they came. Hell, on my most recent run I picked up an air stalker while cutting through a parking lot, and I couldn’t shake the barb beaked bastard for over half a mile. Finally the beady eyed little worm sucker landed on a nearby pipe so the two of us could engage in an action movie stare down before coming to an apparent understanding and temporary going our separate ways. Two blocks later a new bird took up the charge and resumed the air blitz on my head while I was trapped at a crosswalk, leaving me to contemplate whether it would be safer to wait for the light or just go ahead and dive into oncoming traffic. It’s gotten to the point where the distant lullaby of bird songs disturbs me on a primal level unmatched by any funeral dirge.
Look to the skies true believers. Look to the skies and beware.