Ophidiophobia: Do you have an irrational fear of snakes????
Yesterday I went on my first trail run in a loooooooong time. This past spring, my husband and I got in the habit of hitting up different state parks that have disc golf courses. He plays a round of golf while I run the trails. It times out perfectly, and by the time I am done, he's heading back to the car, too.
Then suddenly this summer, my fear of snakes turned irrational. I decided I would not be running trail again until the fall or winter- whenever it would be cool enough for the snakes to be hibernating. I've never liked snakes, but my fear of them also never held me back from a trail run. Yet for some reason this summer I decided my fear of seeing a snake was greater than my love of the trails!
**Fun Fact: I love hearing about other runners who have seen snakes! Whenever someone mentions they were on a trail run or a hike, my first question is, "Did you see any snakes!?"**
In preparation for writing this post, I typed "fear of snakes" into Google images. I could barely even look at the pictures, it made me want to puke!
Over the past six or so years I have probably run over a thousand miles on the trail. (I used to be crazy and run ultra marathons, so a Sunday morning 20-25 mile training run on the trail was not an out of the ordinary thing for me!) You would think I've seen a TON of snakes, right? WRONG! Out of all those hours spent on the trail, I can count the number of snakes I've seen on one hand...
Megan's Snake Sightings!
Snake Sighting #1: I once saw a snake on the tow path at Wildwood. It was really small and slithered right in front of me. EW!! Obviously I never run on that path anymore (because I'm sure that snake is still there) and when I do a loop at Wildwood, I run Industrial Road instead of the tow path. And anyone who has ever run on Industrial Road knows how GORGEOUS it is. (cough! *sarcasm* cough!)
Snake Sighting #2: I hopped over a little long brown snake on the Conewago Trail. I was completing my first ever 18 mile run and was less than a mile from being finished. My friend and I yelped when we saw it, and now every time I bike on that trail I envision little brown snakes jumping up and biting my ankles.
Snake Sighting #3: I was walking the Lakeside Trail at Pinchot with my husband and we saw a green snake chilling right in the middle of the path. We had to walk around it through the woods and I made him carry me on his back. He felt very manly and "knight in shining armor-ish" after that.
Snake Sighting #4: Apparently, I once ran by a huge black snake curled up on the side of the trail at Pinchot. I didn't see it, but the runners behind me did. My friend and I were too busy discussing Sex and the City that we didn't notice the big scary creature. So I don't even know if this one counts, because I didn't actually see it.
Ladies and gentlemen, that is IT! I have only seen three, almost four snakes while running the trails. This summer, I've seen more snakes on the ROAD (dead, mind you, but still gross!) than I have seen on the trail in my whole life! But I always wonder... how many snakes do I run by but don't actually see? Probably hundreds! It is so scary to think about!
So I took his advice and ran a loop around the Lakeside Trail at Pinchot while he did his disc golf thing. I will tell you, after taking several months off from trail running, I forgot how buggy, insect-y, spiderweb-y, and pricker-y trail running is. I felt like the bugs were crawling in my eyes. I swallowed something, not sure what it was, but it was alive before it entered my mouth. I got a few scratches but nothing major- pretty normal for a trail run. I also got in some good thinking, which I really needed.
I bet you are wondering if I saw a snake?
I did NOT! I saw a squirrel, a bunny, and a beautiful deer hopped across the trail right in front of me- but no snakes! Except for the ones that were there and I just didn't notice...
Will I run trail again this summer? I'm not sure. I hope so. It's pretty ridiculous to not go out and enjoy something I love just because I might see a snake.
|A happy time on the trail with no snakes... |
At one of my favorite spots on the Appalachian Trail
between Boiling Springs and Scott's Farm
Are you afraid of snakes?
How many snakes have you seen?