chicken 2 Someone told a friend of mine recently that she moved like a panther. Surely that’s me I thought as I looked at her wandering around giving it extra panther, but as it turns out my reality is a bit more mundane.

It was running that made me realise this. Running is one of those things that brings you face to face with yourself and all your inner animals. It could be the releasing of dolphins that does this (yes I know, endorphins but dolphins sounds better). Running is a magical place (that hurts), a border line between here and there. Running is the place where you meet yourself and the place where you speak to your dead friends

To digress slightly before I dive further in, I am not a religious person, I think that anything and everything is possible until it has been entirely proved otherwise.

So when I say I have a running spirit guide what I mean to say is why shouldn’t I?In my minds eye he is middle-aged but wiry and fit. He has good legs and is quite laconic. I think he is amused by my uneven temper. I have thought that his name is Alan but I don’t like this and I am trying to change it as I known too many Alans but he is resisting. He wouldn’t mind Brian or Brendan which I don’t like but he has drawn the line at Adam. He won’t give me any advice or predictions about any life stuff (which is irritating). He is just here to run. A spirit pacer I suppose.

So far so kooky eh?There’s more. As well as “Alan” I also have a spirit animal, or rather a spirit bird and in fact there is more than one. They are chickens.chicken 8chicken 7chicken 6

Chickens were not what I originally wanted. A horse would be good or an antelope or even a twitchy cheetah (I will admit to some twitchiness) but chickens?Seriously uncool. But I cannot get them out of my head. When I think about running, when I get ready for running there they are, strutting up and down shaking out their feathers, clucking affirmations. They are beady eyed and humourless too. Serious girls these chickens as I guess I must be underneath all the jokes.chicken 9

And that is not the only similarity either. Chickens are no-nonsense single-minded creatures with stiff legs. They are the beaky, pseudo-nerdy girls from school who substitute intelligence with intensity. When they run they are like over wound up toys, all tense and neurotic, none of the lazy sensuousness of the panther in evidence.

So off we go on our run, the feathery orange tide ebbing and flowing around my feet. Alan appears occasionally, his advice usually consisting of “Keep going.” The chickens of course don’t speak intent only on carrying me on, their clockwork legs going like the clappers, small steps but fast.chicken 12

If this makes me sound like a crazy cluck head it wouldn’t be the first time. Maybe I have an over-active imagination but I need my imaginary crew, I must do or they wouldn’t have turned up in my head. Still, if you see me running  and there is a platoon of shadows swirling about my feet as I chat away to the trees and hedges, don’t be surprised.

I am happy now with my spirit chickens, my girls. They get the job done, they get me home. A panther would be too slow, a cheetah couldn’t go the distance, an antelope would be jumping all over the place. A horse would still be nice but I can live with that. These days I am proud to say I run with the chickens.

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