Fight or flight

This morning I was sitting on my patio enjoying the morning. The birds are always so delightful, singing their good morning songs. It was warm but not hot. Mornings are my time to reflect and meditate and I love having the ability to do this outdoors.

Where I sit, there is a wall next to me separating my patio from the neighbor’s. The patio is not fenced. Suddenly I heard a noise coming from the direction of the neighbor’s patio.. It was a noise I could not place and it sounded as though it were coming straight towards me. It was as if time slowed, as my remaining senses kicked in to overdrive, assessing the situation.

We have javelina up here. For those of you who don’t know what javelina are, they look like wild pigs, but they are actually giant rodents. ‘Princess Bride’ anyone? Thanks Lori. They say you can smell them before you see them, but I’ve never smelled them. I saw a heard back in my sighty days at my old apartment in the same complex. It’s said that they won’t bother you unless you mess with their young, but I wasn’t taking any chances back that night I saw them. One actually came right up to my sliding glass door after I had retreated inside. Oh, and javelina is pronounced “have uh leena”.

Since I could not place the sound right away this morning, my first thought was of javelina. They tend to wander in the mornings and evenings, though to my knowledge, there haven’t been any lately. B said he thought he heard one a few nights ago though, so I’ve been on high alert.

When I heard the sound of human footsteps in the gravel, my mind instantly knew the threat was over, but my body took a minute to catch up. It sounded as though the person were spreading some sort of powder and what I had heard was the shaking of the powder. It sounded like sand in a plastic coffee container, now that I’ve had time to process the sound.

The amazing part of this whole experience were the moments after the person had passed my patio. My body was still in full fight or flight even though my mind had rationalized the situation.

I remember learning about fight or flight in high school, about how your body produces an extreme amount of adrenaline, preparing you to either fight or run for your life. Of course I have felt this in my past, but I never managed to sit and actually think about it and feel it. I did this morning and just sat in amazement feeling my body preparing for what ever decision I had come to if I had, in fact, been in danger.

My heart was racing, circulating blood quickly. Adrenaline was surging, the quickly pumping blood making it pour into my muscles. My muscles burned and twitched. All pain vanished. I think that was the most remarkable part of the whole reaction. Since I’m in chronic pain, I’m used to it. So when it vanishes suddenly, it’s pretty easy to take notice.

I sat there marveling what I was feeling. The pain free and twitching muscles were ready to spring into action and fight an enemy or begin running, whichever decision my brain would have sent to them had danger proven imminent.

I sat there feeling my body shaking, inwardly chuckling and telling my adrenaline that was enough, it could stop now haha. I just thought the whole thing was kinda cool, since I actually had the presence of mind afterwards to experience the amazing protection mechanism the human body possesses. I’m glad it wasn’t anything serious, but I’m glad to know I would have had the capacity to fight or run if I’d had to.

Just an afterthought, I wonder if the whole thing was more obvious to me now because I’m strong these days. I’ve never been strong until about the last year or so, so I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that I was really able to feel my muscles preparing to spring? Hmmm.

1 Comment

Filed under desert life, random stuff

One Response to Fight or flight

  1. Wacky! Yeah it’s really weird when you can break down everything your body is doing.

    Glad that what you heard turned out to be no danger. Yeesh the thought of wild creatures coming straight for me is scary as hell.

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