Tonight it was confirmed, my paranoia is good.  That’s right, it’s very good.  Inside the cheetah brain I believe my brain waves on any given run are what most would call extreme.  I know many can relate and have these identical thoughts…and if not, you may not want to read any further as I might scare you. 

1.  I pay close attention to any and all shadows, based on the angle of the sun and the shadow of the approaching runner determines my level of discomfort.  It also goes hand in hand with my speed.

2.  Every animal sends out a signal to their animal communities asking them to scare me to death at any and all opportunities.  The squirrel mafia has the best communication plan and they are all notified in seconds of my presence in public.  I believe if I make eye contact with them they will in fact attack.

3.  When running close to any body of water, including puddles of rain, I am convinced there is a gator lurking.  I am also afraid of any water that comes from an unidentified source….sickens me really.

4.  Know this..any white van that drives within 50 miles of my running path clearly has killers in the back, loaded with duck tape,ready to snatch me from the Earth and end me.

5.  Any trash bag that is not near a dumpster, trash can or receptacle of any kind clearly has a body in it.  No question in my mind.

But being paranoid running isn’t the worst thing – its better than being oblivious.  I have learned to always make eye contact because attackers don’t want you to be confident or study their image.  Starring to the ground is a bad decision.  Keeping my music at a realistic decibel (fighting the urge to allow all passers by the joy of hearing what I am listening to) is essential, its the only way you can hear people, animals, and white vans approaching.  Knowing the area you are running in, also key to your safety. 

A final word of caution, if you are ever so fortunate to go for a run with my brother (and by go for a run WITH Greg I mean you start out together for 1.2 minutes until he completes 7 miles while you approach mile 2) be aware he is lurking..waiting, just seeking the right opportunity to sneak up on you and scare the crap out of you.  Greg, don’t think i forgot…i had to throw those shorts out.

Get out there and be safe!  Be alert…be careful and BE A CHEETAH!

Cheetah Girl