5:35am: I’m up and out the door. The rest of the gang is sound asleep   (Day 3 of vacation. Day 1 of running after a week sabbatical.  I needed to rest the jet. Have to say the condition of my knee spooked me.  30 years ago, I could fall from pine trees, slip head long on slimy river rocks fishing with cousins, get chopped on ankle by a nasty Trail Smoke Eater – – and spring back like a slinky.  No more.  Dark thoughts encroach – – will I heal or will this knee-thing be biting me the rest of the ride?)

5:40am: I find the sign for the Mountain Trail.  (There are 3 trails.  Walking. Intermediate. Mountain.  I’m a Man, right?  Mountain it is.  ‘Throw caution to the wind.’  Knee be damned.)

Mile 1: All systems green.  Slow pace but adequate.  (Might be looking to throw caution to the wind, but I’m not a lunatic.  I’m picking them up and down deliberately. I feel my mood surging.  Knee feels tight but good. I’m not ready to be put out to pasture yet.  Mountain Trail, huh?  Right.  I’m Canadian for God’s Sake.  This is a bunny trail.)

Mile 1.5: Flat land turns to rolling hills. Pace quickens.  (It’s quiet out. I love the solitude. I love my mornings. Alone with a light tropical breeze. Tall palms swaying.  I’m listening to Lori’s Francis Cabrel sing “je t’aime.” It puts me in the right place. It ain’t Paris…there’s always next year…but it is spectacularly beautiful.)

Mile 2.0: Rolling hills turn to steep grade. (I stare up.  The view reminds me of the runaway lanes on steep highways in British Columbia – the escape hatch for truckers who lose their brakes. The backdrop here: Nevis Peak towers 3232 feet above and is draped in the heavens with low hanging clouds.

Mile 2.25: I stop.  (What?  You were looking for an inspirational story? A Nike video. “Don’t Quit” – “Just Do it” – “Keep Going” – “This will grow hair on your chest!” You’ve come to the wrong place Padre.  This damn hill is a killer. We’ve taken this “run” to a “stop and go.”)     

Mile 2.6: I walk to the top of the hill which is followed by a steep decline. I resume my run.  I see a Green Vervet Monkey sitting on the trail ahead.  (CUTE is the first thought that comes to mind.  Long (very) tail.  It’s expressive dark face is contrasted with a white underbelly. God sending me a message – there is beauty after the struggle.  Enjoy it.)

Mile 2.7: I hear the trees rustling overhead.  I see monkeys everywhere. 25-30 of them.  They approach me.  I look for exit.  Hill on left.  Canyon on right.  As they say, the only way out is through.  Suddenly my knee tenses up.  (Amygdala is screaming.  I feel an ambush.  Where’s God now?  Nothing cute about what looks like a hungry marauding pack.  Planet of the Apes comes to mind. And for some reason, I keep thinking that they will go after the meaty part of my calf. Ridiculous huh?  I turn so they don’t jump me from the back.  Should I bare my teeth and growl – show them who’s in charge.  This, though, might incite them.  Really?  For God Sake.  They are monkeys. Man-up.)

Mile 2.8: I shout “Get Away” and they scatter.  (What’s wrong with Get Away?  Nothing else manly came to mind.  It worked didn’t it?)

Miles 3.0 to 4.17: The rest of the run was downhill and largely uneventful. (Thank God.  These trail runs in nature are so stressful! Big Canadian Man felled by monkeys.  Humbled by nature again.)

Time Check: Who cares? Nap time…pool side. 

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  1. Laughing…..


  2. Can totally picture the scene! You’re in Nevis, David?! That’s where we spent two glorious weeks last year–loved it. And I had a similar experience with monkeys out for a morning hike–felt scared and, at the same time, utterly ridiculous. All I could think of was the woman in CT who was completely disfigured by the angry chimpanzee. Glad you made it safely back to the pool!! Have a rum punch and all will be well…. 🙂


    • Yes. And glad to hear that I’m not alone with this experience – or some will think that I made this up. I forgot about the lady in Stamford that was mauled…it was a 200 lb pet orangutan. (The wisdom of keeping a 200lb wild animal as a pet is an entirely different story.) However, I’m glad that thought didn’t cross my mind. Could have moved my panic to an entirely new level. 🙂


      • I kept telling myself “Lori, they’re cute little monkeys, for heaven’s sake! Have you ever heard of anyone being mauled by a vervet?” Yet somehow, when you’re alone on a trail, with heavy vegetation all around and monkeys hanging from every limb, it’s cold comfort. Have fun and watch out for the donkeys and goats! 😉


      • That’s exactly how I felt. Laughing. Donkeys and goats? Really?


  3. Thanks for the morning giggle…


  4. Alex Jones says:

    Death by monkey, interesting way to go.


  5. nap time is gooooood time….LOL


  6. You know what? It’s better than ending up in OZ with the flying monkeys LOL


  7. Great story David, laughing out loud! I wish you had one of those video cameras on your head it would have made for a viral YouTube 🙂
    Enjoy the rest of your day!


  8. Well, you were definitely outnumbered by these little guys. I can just see the headlines. Runner Killed by 25 Cute Monkeys. Bad Knee Prevented Escape.


  9. Hi David, I’ve just nominated you an award on mypost,


  10. Now that is funny!! Maybe the resort has a class on becoming a “Monkey Whisperer”.


  11. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    Had to laugh about the mountain thing – it does develop a certain hardiness of spirit, if not always of body! (overdid another run yesterday – AGAIN!)


  12. LOL 😀 Thank you for this one. Did you run again today?? Enjoy your vacation.


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