During yesterday's run, I noticed an animal rustling in the bushes. I got worried at first, as i was running near a very ominous canal behind my office and I've had alligators on the brain (thank you, Starwood Owner-exclusive offers ... Gatorland is a pretty scary concept, surpassed only by The Holy Land Experience).
Turns out, there was an armadillo in the bushes. This is just the second time I've spotted an armadillo in the wild, and the other one was dead, so that doesn't really count. Of course, I run over to check it out, then realize that I know nothing about armadillos. Are they aggressive? I assume not, considering they're a walking suit of armor, but some things are better not to assume. And it's always important to err on the safe side when running alone. Here are a few easy tips for running safety:
1) Always be aware of your surroundings.
2) Map your run before you go.
3) Ditch the music. Or at least run with one earbud out.
4) Ladies, skip the booty shorts. Female runners will attract unwanted attention while running in full sweats. It's a workout, not a beauty pageant.
5) Run with a friend. A big, scary friend. Or join a running group. It's hard to throw more than one person into the trunk of a car.
6) Avoid running at night. You won't see armadillos and alligators lurking in the bushes, poised for attack.
7) Consider running with mace. Or a gun, if you're the governor of Texas.
Pretty crazy story, this spring, Texas Governor Rick Perry was jogging with his dog. He saw a coyote, felt threatened and shot it! And they say the weirdest news occurs in Florida?
Pretty impressive. Running with a gun seems like a responsibility I'm not ready for yet. The armadillo population would be in danger.