Being the first runner on the trail in the morning is a special privilege indeed. I run on dirt that seems primeval and pristine except for animal prints -- deer and raccoon and something with large paws and claws (the source of which I do not allow my imagination to consider; "kitty" will do).
I glide through clear, soft, cool morning air, lost in thought.
And then suddenly the air is electric around me. Snapping and crackling like a zillion volts of charge exploding across my face, shooting out to either side. Shock and fear grip me. I flail around, trying to save myself.
I have run though a spider web so large and so strong that shattering all the tensile threads of silk is audible and actually slows me down. I'm caught.
It's a typical morning for a Florida runner.
When we are entirely too enthralled with watching our feet (fixated on snake avoidance) and we fail to pay close attention to the air in front of us, we WILL accidentally run through a spider web. It is inevitable. But ... this isn't just any spider web. This is a Florida spider web. Roughly resembling a tuna net. Home to a spider the size of a baseball glove. And he has spent all night weaving his silk across the trail to trap unwary, tasty prey. As a meal, a catch your size is a delight, but you are messier and more destructive than he had counted on. This is why he's now in your hair, pissed off.
This morning BEV was the spider's catch.
The spider and I both survived. He's busy reweaving and repairing his web, still pissed off. And I'm still swatting at every twitch of my body, sure that he's still on me somewhere in spite of a shower.
Today's lesson for the first runner of the morning is this: Watch the trail. The WHOLE trail. Look up frequently. And carry a stick that you can wave in front of you to take down the spider silk as you glide through. The second runner will thank you. And don't worry that all the spiders of the forest trail will begin to recognize you as the webinator that you are ... and they know where you live ...