As mentioned previously in this blog, Cheryl, my wife, has taken up jogging…I guess the correct tern is running….because…it is technically running. Maybe a bit slower than a short distance sprint, but still faster than walking. Anyway, Cheryl has encountered several articles and news feeds about the persecution and mud slinging that has been aimed at people who workout by running in the snow. What is their problem? The Mud Slingers…not the runners. Is the idea of exercise that foreign to the majority of Americans that they have to publicly berate the folks who are out there trying to stay out of the healthcare fiasco by staying in shape? Perhaps it is inconceivable that some people can not afford the astronomical gym memberships that allow for heated running in place on a treadmill while watching reruns of Oprah.
I know: Run-on sentences. When things excite me I tend to leave out the pauses called “punctuation.” But I digress….
Having been a runner myself for a time, I can tell you one thing…running is difficult! It is VERY difficult to start running to begin with….and then it is difficult to stay with running and form the habit. But when you do, and you have developed a routine where you are running a few miles everyday…..people begin to scoff at you. It is not like runners are going to take over the world. I’m fairly certain that people who run are in the minority here in this country. Only about 1% of Americans run a marathon each year. So all those couch potatoes are safe….( including myself…..I don’t run….so I can talk about the group because I’m one of them!)
Now, before I ruffle too many feathers….. this post is not going to be about those people who lash out against any group they feel threatened by….Oh no….. This post originally was about how the local wildlife in Oregon are climbing on the band wagon to persecute joggers with their violent behavior. Apparently, Owls….specifically: Barred Owls, Have been attacking people who run…..not walk….not bike….just runners.
Now I’m not sure why runners have to bear the brunt of this species ire….maybe the owls read the papers and think that is is “ok” to attack a group of people that no one likes. “Leave the Children and pets alone Barney!! Just focus on the humans that are running! No one gives a crap about those.”
The government has spent millions trying to kill the Barred Owl…not for their hostility towards the joggers…..but because they are camping out in the “Spotted Owl’s Territory.” (Nice to know where the Government’s Priorities lie.) Now, everyone knows that the Government NEVER plays favorites…..and the Barred Owl is simply playing the game according to the rules that Darwin and Mother Nature have set up….you know: survival of the fittest. If the Spotted Owl was So Special, they would be able to stake a claim for the best trees in the forest and compete for chipmunks like every other feathered creature. But Once Uncle Sam gets in the game…well there was bound to be a backlash to the affirmative action directed against the Barred Owl. And this is the coarse of action that they chose: Attacking Joggers!
So the local government has taken the situation seriously… Finally!….Now that SEVERAL attacks have occurred. You would think that they would round up a posse and get those Federal Permits to, “Gun those feathered vermin down!” I’m sure they have weighed the repercussions that PETA would have if that scenario were to be realized. Instead…..they have decided to set up signs warning the joggers that the Barred owls are specifically selecting them to attack and that joggers who run at dusk should wear appropriate safety gear.
And, they have set up easy to understand signs for those runners who can not read.
Maybe owls actually like the joggers…and are trying to fly down and give them a hug. Who knows? Bottom line is: being a runner is not all sunshine and roses. Now that Animals are getting in on the act….the challenges are no longer simply finding the motivation to run on a given day.
On a good note: there is a chance that a new product line will be born in the wake of the attacks. T-shirts with logos, hardhats and other protective gear may enter the market to protect runners from this avian threat. It is good to know that capitalism along with free enterprising economics still works.
Maybe we could just replace all of the owls with the kind Harry Potter has. He looks friendly. Kids love Harry Potter, and Harry potter loves this owl. It’s gotta be good! And sporting that pure white plumage suggests that he is on the side of light and not evil! Who would not want a pure white owl looking over your shoulder while you run?
So next time you see a jogger running through the woods in the snow…..instead of thinking they are crazy or stupid….think of them as brave and courageous for facing their fears, hardships, and avian predators to stay fit and out of the public health care system.
Note….There is no “work Cited” section of this blog…because….It’s a blog! Do a Google or Bing search to see the articles. The News Web sites all crash my computer with all of their add-ons and java scripts….No wonder no one wants to visit the Huffington Post or New York Times!