I’ve come through quite the journey this past week. As you may guess from my posts, I do spend a lot of time at the moment in trails, mainly to ready myself for my 100km along the Thames Path in September.
I’m digressing already. The UK is brilliant for public pathways through countryside, in fact there are thousands and thousands of miles of pathways set in history as public rights of way which landowners are now obliged to respect. This does mean, however, that many of these pathways end up going through farmland. There, he’s finally getting on track.
One particular field, very close to work, currently has cows in it. The proximity to work meaning that I have to cross it to get to many of the nearby path networks. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever stood next to a cow but they’re not small. Granted, your average cow isn’t going to prey on you and plot a deceitful, hunting campaign to take you down. They are so bloomin’ curious though.
I have no problem at all running through sheep fields but there’s something just a little nerve-wracking approaching a gate you need to run through and being faced with this:
Am I just being a wimp? To make matters worse, having been brave and pushed through the gate, they then went and chased me! Chased me!
As I said, I’m not suggesting for one second they were hunting down the fresh meat for their first kill of the day. What did worry me was that they’re so big and so dumb and built up such momentum, I’m fairly sure they didn’t know why they were chasing me. What’s more, I’m sure they hadn’t thought about what would happen when they got to me!
I know, I’ve built this all up and the countryside dwellers amongst you will be rolling your eyes, despairing at how we’ve all lost touch with our rural, nature loving pasts. Well fear not, this story has a happy ending.
Ashamed of my hesitation, I needed to both conquer my nervousness around cows but also make sure I could get along this particular path regularly to get on to some decent trails from work. What happy ending then?
The very next day, I returned to said cows and, rather than taunt them into chasing me, I got to know them better. I introduced myself, they stood there, I briefly ran through some recent personal history, they stood there, I cracked a joke or two, they stood there. We got along swimmingly.
So this was my ‘slightly unrelated to running’ cow journey. Joking and these cows aside, I genuinely don’t like having to run through a field with a lot of big cows in. You just never know what they might do.
And more than likely, neither do they.
Do you guys have the same issues, or do I just need to man up a bit? 🙂