This is a story of an event that happened yesterday morning, it is not really educationally or technology related but it was educational for me.
A little background first. Every morning my wife and I take our dog for a mile walk between 5:00 and 5:30 in the morning. It is usually dark and we have to wear or carry our headlamps/flashlights. We live out in the country and only had our dirt road paved a couple of years ago (unfortunately). Often we “feel” as if we are being watched on these walks and have heard sounds in the woods walking beside us when we are walking down our road on many occasions.
Yesterday morning I was walking my Jack Russell terrier Bennie for his morning mile constitutional walk around 5:15 A.M. It was still very dark and the temperature was hovering around 10 degrees, so I was bundled up against the cold. We were on the return portion of our walk and I was thinking about what I wanted to write about in my blog (whether to discuss the “how to answer a question” activity we had just finished or which internet browsers I am currently using, when suddenly over my left shoulder, I hear a very deep “oooommmmffffff” kind of coughing sound.
I didn’t think, I simply reacted!
My body took over and before that sound was finished I already at top speed flying down the road as if my life depended upon me getting out of where I was – like now! I didn’t look around, didn’t start going “what am I doing?” or slowing down until I was about 100 yards down the road. I had just had an adrenaline burger and experienced what saved many of our ancestors – the flight or fight syndrome. I guess my instinct told me I wasn’t going to fight whatever it was and got me out of there.
Bennie who is usually quite playful when I am jogging (trying grab the leash and bouncing around, he is nicknamed bouncing Bennie), but he didn’t try to play or do anything but run also. Strangely enough he wasn’t pulling me, he was just barely keeping ahead of me and I do remember looking down at him while we were running and he had that “I’m out of here” dog run going.
When we got beside the neighbors yard we stopped running and both us of immediately turned around to see if anything was there. Nothing was there and then I had to stand there for a couple of minutes to catch my breath. Bennie looked up at me and if he could have talked looked like he was asking “What was that?”
We walked back to the house both of us on high alert, because we had another quarter mile stretch of wooded area on both sides of the road to walk through until we got home. I didn’t hear any other sounds or anything, but Bennie went on alert a couple of times, but nothing ever came of it. We made it home without any further incident.
Looking back running like that went against all my knowledge and training of being in the woods. A large predator is going to easily run down a human that is running away. I was taught that you are better off standing tall and then backing slowly away, as you look to see what kind of critter is sizing you up for their next meal or possibly in this case sizing up Bennie as their next meal.
So even though I know better, when it made the coughing noise, my body just took over and I didn’t have any choice in the matter – I ran away as fast as I could. Which was probably the wrong thing to do, but I did it anyway.
This event was quite an interesting, because I have never really experienced the flight syndrome to this degree in my life. I have been in the woods quite a bit as a hunter and hiker and have never been in that kind of situation before, where my body just took over completely.
I don’t know what kind of animal it was, but it was a deep kind of cough from a larger animal. I have heard bear make the kind of sound that I heard before, but they should all be hibernating by now. We do have a few bobcats, fisher cats and at least one larger cat that no one will ever admit lives in the area, but has been “spotted” a few times. So what was it that “spooked” me so badly yesterday? I don’t really know, but I do know that it did “spook” me.
So what did I learn, that the veneer that we call “civilized” can be quickly stripped away in a situation when the body thinks it is in danger. Our reactions and abilities change considerably during those moments of eating that adrenaline burger. I didn’t worry about my knee or anything except running as fast as I could.
I do know that I stopped thinking about what I was going to blog about and was very focused on getting home as quickly and safely as possible. It is amazing how quickly your worries change and how unimportant something like blogging really is. Blogging is fun, informational, but not really all that necessary in the larger scope of our lives.
Sometimes we need a little change in perspective to think about things in a different way.
What have you done to make a difference today?
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.