Wednesday, October 1, 2014

beauty & the beast: a sequel


No. This is no fairy romantic fantasy spun magically together with an annoyingly sweet soundtrack and scene-stealing, talking inanimate objects.  No.  This a cautionary tale for gals like me who get so bored with working out and fending off the unwanted attention of sweaty gym rats in a chain, paid membership, indoor after day...that they yearn for something better.

     Once upon an evening in late September, I foolishly decided to venture away from La Fit ( +LA Fitness)  and take my run through my alma mater, +Carnegie Mellon University , and nearby Shenley Park. The setting was splendid. The air was seasonably crisp & cool; the sunlight danced across the pavement as it poked through the branches of the tree lined streets. With "Lithium" pulsing through my ear buds, my high pony tail swayed back & forth in perfect rhythm with the beat of  my pink +Nike's on the street. I thought I had found +Nirvana .
     About 20 minutes into my run, a belle went off in my head, alerting me to turn around.  And that is the moment I first encountered the beast...a young, 2 point, white-tailed buck clip-clopping down the park road, heading right towards me! With no time to assess the sitch, I spun around and upped my 8 minute mile pace to a full out sprint. I glanced behind me and saw that he was still there and closing ground. I made a mad dash to the right at the Y in the road and instinctively picked up a large, chunk of broken concrete with 2 hands for protection. I backed up off the road a bit and tried to shield myself near a small shrub. I prayed he would continue going straight up the other street.

   WTF! I stood there in disbelief as the stag took a Ralphie at the Y and then stopped dead in his tracks in the middle of the road about 12 feet away from me. With his head lining up with my 5'9" height, I decided to act first and ask questions later. I yelled, "Get away from me!" while simultaneously heaving my concrete ammunition directly at the beast. Somewhat startled but apparently not scared, the young buck galloped a few yards away to the grass on the opposite side of
the road but stood his ground.

     And now for my fairy tale ending, a knight in shining armor on a white horse arrived to save me from peril!!!!

     No....not even close. Because in real life, my rescue comes in the form of a middle-aged couple, driving a white Toyota Camry with 2 pubescent boys in the backseat. "Hey! We just saw that deer charge at you! It doesn't look like he's goin' anywhere. C'mon, get in & we'll drive you out of here," the male driver said to me. Without hesitation, I hopped into the backseat where the male teens, stinky & sticky from soccer practice, were chuckling and whispering with each other. I gave them my squinty-eye death stare that I had perfected at La Fit; however, it only fueled their laughter.
     Looking away from them and out the rear window, I tuned out the annoying juvies and the nice man who, in a weird coincidence, was chatting on about deer behavior, seeming to know more facts than the average person should. Instead I focused on the majestic beast slowly disappearing from my view. Was he really trying to hurt me? Or was he coming to me for help? Did an evil witch, jealous because a handsome prince noticed her friend and not her, transform him into this animal form and he needed a pretty girl to befriend him in order to break the curse?

     My Disney-esque daydream was interrupted by a strange sensation on my leg. Ugh! I can't even...... It was man-boy's fuzzy, clammy leg pressed against mine. I jerked away which caused a burst of snickering, peppered with muffled phrases like, " deer legs" & "short shorts". That was enough for me to tap Dad on the shoulder to let me out.
     "Are you sure?" he said with genuine concern, "You're not out of the woods yet." I assured him it was okay. I couldn't hurt his feelings and tell him that I would prefer to deal with the wild animals outside than the ones he was transporting.
     Safely back home, I reflected on my experience which was both terrifying and aggravating. Surely there is a lesson to be learned here and, perhaps, even some wisdom to be gained.....

....and the princess exercised happily ever after at The Rivers Club at One Oxford Center, downtown Pittsburgh.

Rivers Club Xmas Brunch
where the deer are friendly.

 * On a serious note, gals, please always keep in mind the potential dangers if you run or walk outside alone.