Did I ever tell you about the time I charged a bear?
Really! It’s A True Story….
Yup! My 140 lb. body charged a full grown mama black bear.
Of course, I was scared! Yes, it was crazy! And no it wasn’t logical at all. But it was my only option.
It was a few years back, the hubby (then boyfriend) and I had just finished day one of our two day 33 mile backpacking adventure in bear country. (I know that sounds insane too – but that’s a different story).
We set camp, designated a spot for our food storage, “bathroom” and sleeping quarters.
Now, It was off to relax by the stream for some much needed R&R. (We’d just covered over 16 miles of big elevation gains. – The feet in a raging stream was a must.)
After about an hour, I started to get chilly and hungry. (It gets a bit brisk at 9500 ft. elevation) So I headed back to camp to grab some warm clothes, and start dinner.
But first…a quick pit stop to use the “facilities”. (aka nice tree area where I can pop a squat)
I unbuttoned my pants and was about to pull them down when…. there she was.
Mama bear was no more then 20 ft away checking me out. Yikes!!
Needless to say, I didn’t have to pee anymore.
Immediately, I stood up tall with my arms raised high and started to yell. “No bear! Go away bear!” – because bears totally understand english!
As we both stood there in a deep gaze, her eyes penetrating my being, I noticed something usual about her. She wasn’t threatened by me, but curious.
However, I wasn’t about to find out what she was so curious about.
Keeping my arms held high and our conversation going – Ya know, the one where I’m screaming my head off at her to go away – I slowly started to back up.
In my mind’s eye, I could see exactly where the bear spray was and all I was thinking about was getting my hands on it!
Well, Mama bear decided to come on a walk about with me. I steadily and slowly backed up a natural ramp that lead to our tent to grab that darn bear spray I neglected to have in the first place.
Mama bear sauntered her tushie right up that ramp with me.
She was chilling at my feet now. Literally at my feet!…. Just like my cat does when he’s hungry.
I was able to somehow grab one of the backpacks. I fidgeted with the bear spray trying to unclip it. Guess what? That freaking thing didn’t want to unclip.
It was time for plan B: Throw the backpack as hard as I could and charge over top of her like a growling maniac.
Not sure what lead me to react so “fearlessly” in that moment.…Call it primal instincts, call it intuition.
But what happened next I think will go down in my books for the strangest, luckiest, wildest, bear encounter ever. (In my book anyway.)
She flinched her shoulders, looked me in the eye like “you’re a crazy person” and walked over about 3 feet to roll in the dirt. (Again, like my cat).
OH MY GOD! What the hell just happened? I charged a bear and then she wanted to be my friend. WTF???
I made my move. I grabbed bear spray and headed back down to the river where my hubby was oh’ so peacefully enjoying the sounds of the nature by the river.
He didn’t hear a thing.
Mama bear stayed in our camp for another few hours until just before nightfall. She had to return to her cubs at some point. (BTW – We had no idea she had two cubs until the next day.)
Why the heck am I telling you this crazy pants long ass story?
First, I think I’ve definitely suffered a little PTSD from this experience. I’m super afraid to be alone bear country now. I‘ve even more scared to venture off the path to use the bathroom. (Yes, I still pee in the woods.)
But I do it anyway. I have to! It’s part of who I am. It’s my happy place.
I can’t let the fear control me. I can’t let it stop me from following my heart.
I know it doesn’t seem logical to charge a 300 lb. Mama black bear and live to tell about it.
But listening to your intuition and following your heart doesn’t seem logical either. Sometimes, you have to take risks and be bold to find your true happy place.
What risk can you take right now to find your happy place?
Empowering your unordinary life,