Sunday, July 7, 2013

facing (dog) demons

Ever since I was bit by a dog at Harmony Hill a few months ago, I've been reluctant scared to ride alone.
While the (unleashed/aggressive) dog and the bite itself certainly rattled me, it was the dog's owner that left me feeling stupid for being in the woods by myself.
Scary sh*t happens everywhere all the time and I have spent my fair share of energy being consumed by worries over what can/may happen any time I venture out solo.
I've also spent my fair share of energy trying to handle those worries and get a grip on that anxiety so I can enjoy myself on the trails alone.  
The dog bite incident took away a lot of stuff I've been working on within myself...even though I made it home safely and relatively unscathed (just a huge pressure wound on my left thigh with very distinct teeth marks, the skin barely broken- thank god), I was caught up in the fact that maybe the woods aren't a safe place for a woman to be on a quiet early Sunday evening. Or ever.
And those thoughts just turned darker and darker because I'm really good at that.

Which brings me to today...
With several hot, dry days in a row this weekend, I knew the trails here would finally be in good shape to ride.
I hadn't been on my bike in over a week and whenever I hit that week+ mark, I start to get super antsy.
Upon reaching out to a few friends and my dad, it became clear that there were no takers during my short window to venture out.
Pushing the dog and its jerkface owner to the back of my mind, I mounted up and took to the dirt.
All alone.
Thankfully, there were no creeps or aggressive pets in the woods...just me on my Salsa and three billion gnats trying to beat the heat.
It was an amazing, stress-free own (snail's) pace, my own meandering thoughts (which happily did not involve scary scenarios or any heavy sh*t for that matter), my own loop on my own time.    
Usually I'd rather ride with friends/husband/dad, but solo rides are important.

And aggressive dogs should be on a leash.

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