July 18, 2012

Great Evil Dane... by Jac

It's a beautiful day for a ride, or so I thought.

A friend and I recently joked that I get hurt just so I'll have something to blog about. Not exactly true, but I can see how it would cause one to wonder… Ready for the latest?

Tuesday morning last week was gorgeous outside—I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to go cycling in the warm, overcast weather. Although I miss my Utah hills, I can't deny that the flat, Idaho country is quite breathtaking at times. I couldn't have been happier as I breathed in the beautiful country and adored one charming yard, in particular, as I passed it by. 

Two minutes later, my emotions boiled as angry tears spilled from my eyes and my upper lateral, and slightly posterior, left thigh seared in pain. The madder I got, the worse it hurt.

What happened to cause such a dramatic shift? A big dang dog happened. So much for peace, tranquility, and an effective workout. 

I noticed him out of the corner of my eye at the same moment he saw me and took off running. For a second, I thought I was safe because there was a fence, but when I glanced back and saw him race through an opening, fear gripped my heart. I started praying out loud, pleading for protection from this animal as tall as my bike.

Upper lateral, and slightly posterior thigh.
Before I knew it, he was galloping alongside me, slobber flinging out of his mouth. Gross! I soon noticed he was running me off the road. Seriously!? I knew if I lost the pavement, I'd most likely flip—I was in low gear and cruising along pretty fast. I edged my way back toward the center of the road. 

He growled fiercely, viscously turned his head, and sunk his teeth into my leg. At that point, I'd felt completely abandoned from heavenly help and began my attempt to talk the beast down. He continued growling and kept at my pace for what seemed like forever. I added more verbal pleas for angelic assistance. 

I had the distinct impression to keep the pace—if I were to slow down, who knows what he would do? And if I were to speed up, I believe he would consider it a challenge and take me down and out. 

Forearm bruising. No broken skin.
Suddenly, he went for my forearm. I jerked away and successfully maintained balance on my bike. I may not have been quick enough to escape the bite, but luckily he didn't get through the skin this time. He attempted a couple more bites, failed, and then he slowed down just enough to go for my back tire. Devil dog!!

Thankfully, he missed, lost interest, turned around and headed home. As I peddled away, I wondered why I hadn't been protected. I said my prayers before my ride, just as I always do… Those thoughts didn't last, because I could see several ways in which that could have turned out worse than it did, and because of heavenly help, I still made it home safely.

I've learned a few good things from this experience:

1) Tetanus shots are a good thing and bring great peace of mind, for there is very little that can be done naturally if a person happens to get tetanus. (I was kind of freaking out on Sunday because I hadn't been able to get my booster yet...)

2) We are never left alone. There is always a greater power there to help, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time. You'll see when you look back on a difficult experience, trust me.

3) Keep the pace in life, even when it gets scary or hard. If you slow down, you become subject to distraction and other things that would prevent you from reaching your final destination. And if you go too fast, you become a target to those things that can easily drag you down.

4) I'm grateful for my unbendable quality of stubbornness and for my ability to mask my emotions in the midst of a crazy situation. Otherwise, I would have been lunch for that beast.