Roadkill is not usually something memorable. In fact it is usually something that we want to forget as soon as possible. Flattened skunks or broadsided deer do not create fond memories but rather revulsion and disgusting smells. On my latest run, I encountered this unfortunate fellow who seems to have been hit by a car at full stride while crossing the street. I happened upon him only because I was feeling particularly winded and slowed down to walk for a moment. After stopping just long enough to take the picture, I got back into my run with renewed vigor. My furry little friend had reminded me of something in that instant and I knew that I had to press on. The intriguing thing was not the cause of death but the cause of the stride.
In the very last moment of his squirrel life, he was bounding fully and it was most likely due to fear. He had made a bad mistake to cross the road at the wrong time and paid the ultimate price for poor judgment. For some reason in my ten seconds of looking at him, I thought of a better possibility. What if his stride had nothing to do with the car? What if he was racing home to a squirrel wife whom he loved desperately? What if he had just found a new tree for his family to live in and was bounding to share the new? What if he had found an open can of peanuts forgotten by some stupid human? While none of these is probably accurate, they are a reminder that I needed at that moment.
We are all roadkill. The only thing that we were guaranteed at our birth was our death. That’s just the truth. When I meet my end, I want to be at full stride as well but not out of fear. I want to be so filled with life that I do not see my unfortunate birthright coming. I do not get to choose the how, when, why or any other detail of the end. However I do get to choose so many of those attributes right now. I can decide to stride now rather than waiting for circumstance to force me to move. Life should be lived with inspiration and perspiration rather than desperation and resignation. The car is out there somewhere, what will you do before it gets here?