Running, Golfers and Gators!

When I was in Hilton Head last week, I utilized the time off to enjoy some longer runs than I am usually able to have during the week!  This was all great, enjoyable actually until Thursday of last week.  Why Thursday you ask?  Well, let me tell you what happened.  Thursday morning started out perfectly, I awoke, ate some yogurt, did about two hours of work and was ready to run by 8:30 AM (the heat and humidity in Hilton Head were killer!).  Well, as I am getting ready to walk out the door, one of my clients called.  Of course I answered… why did you answer might be the question you are thinking…  Well, truth be told, he is one of my best customers, so when he calls, I answer.

Anyway, at the (much later) time of 9:45 I actually left for my run.  I ran down the beach… avoided high tide… avoided children with pails & shovels… avoided bicycles… avoided cute, but soaking wet dogs… avoided jellyfish… overall, I was quite pleased with myself as I jogged down the beach.  I proceeded inland and hopped on a bike path and continued on my merry way all the way to South Beach Marina (stopping only briefly to refill my water bottle at the Salty Dog Cafe Bar – yes, it was tempting to order a mojito and call it a day, but I was strong, I kept running!).  I then proceeded to jog to Harbor Town, enjoying seeing one of my favorite golf courses (Harbor Town Links) along the way!  Well, this is where I got into a wee bit of trouble… and by wee bit, I mean almost 7 feet of trouble.  I missed my turn going back so that I could finish the run that I had planned, which meant I was going to go the long way back.  No biggie, I thought… a scenic tour de Sea Pines Plantation!

It was at about that moment that I heard a growl (very deep… very loud… I heard it over my headphones which should say something) and I looked to my left… and yes, only a few feet away was an alligator… He / She was around 7 feet long… and it was *most* unhappy about my presence.  Well, I don’t know much about alligators, in fact most of what I know can be summed up in the following phrase “oh snap!”.  Anyway, the gator was definitely not a Julie fan, so I fell back on advice my friend Louise gave me years ago when she started teaching children with severe behavior issues.  She said calmly while sipping a margarita “Julie, I just make them think I’m crazier than they are… and it works.  My kids usually behave the rest of the year.”  I figured if it worked on children who would like to stab their teacher, surely it would work on an alligator, right?  So, with what little aplomb was left to me, I waved my arms, started hollering, and otherwise being annoying and making myself look bigger.  Well, I don’t know what the alligator thought, but it backed back into it’s pond and I continued on my run, with only a few dirty looks from golfers teeing off.  Oh well, Julie – 1 Gators – 0.

I eventually found my way back to the condo, promptly got a beer and related my tale to my family… and yes, they too thought I was crazy… But, that is a fairly typical day!



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