Riding Away the Anger
Today was a very mixed emotions kind of day.
Work got the whole day off to a bad start, and I even cried out of frustration because I couldn’t make a simple calculation work. But then I figured it out and felt very accomplished for doing so (I’m teaching myself how to use ArcGIS for GIS mapping…let’s just say it’s NOT easy!).
Then, with all my work-related projects out of the way, it was time to do more training with Biscuit in the trailer. It’s been a long and difficult process so far, and we’re still working on it (maybe that’ll be a whole separate post), but I needed to ride my bike.
Setting up a bike and dog trailer by yourself is challenging enough. Add in very weak upper body strength (a.k.a. cyclist arms), narrow stairs, and living in a basement apartment. Okay now throw in the actual dog, who starts whelping and pacing and trying to run out the door as soon as I reach for my bike.
But during this whole process I always remain patient with him–no sense getting him even more upset by yelling. I just focus on getting all the heavy objects outside and then put together. And, of course, I must remember his bone! Bribery, folks. It works.
Biscuit is also put into the trailer before I attach my bike to it. I had him in there and, to my surprise, he was quietly waiting (for his bone). I went in to grab the last couple items and started walking back to the trailer when here came…
Jerkweed Self-Entitled Neighbor
A Black lab comes running toward Biscuit.
Biscuit hates other dogs. Like, a lot. And NO dog likes another dog approaching them aggressively when they are trapped in a box. No surprise, then, that loud, aggressive barking between both dogs ensue. I rush over, muster up a dirty look and call out:
Did the owner bother himself to rush over and try to get his dog out of my dog’s face?
Did the owner apologize for not having control over his dog?
Did the owner apologize for breaking the law by not having his dog leashed?
Instead, in his condescending middle-aged-white-man-talking-down-to-a-young-girl voice he tells me to
I kindly reminded him that he’s the one who needs to follow the rules and have his dog on a leash, and that he has no right to be rude to me about it.
….Okay, it wasn’t all that kind, but I wont repeat the language that was exchanged between us. I guess he thought that I would just be a quiet little girl and back down (he is actually our neighbor and I know enough about him to know he doesn’t treat his own family all that nice. He yells so loud it sounds like he’s in my apartment!). But I wasn’t intimidated by him, no matter how hard he tried to make it so. He just went inside while I was ranting and raving right by his window, yelling about it all to Biscuit. And, of course, telling Biscuit what a good dog he is.
Let It Go
But there was no way I was going to allow his rude behavior to ruin my ride.
So, the two of us were off a couple minutes later. It was my third trip with him, and my legs were suffering just like the last two rides. Seriously, he’s about 50 lbs and the trailer weighs over 30 lbs! That’s an extra 80lbs I added to my bike overnight. Still, I added an extra 15 minutes to my ride just to burn off the extra steam (so, in total, I did 45 minutes!).
I’m glad I rode my bike for so long because I had time to cool down and move on. Still, it took some work. I had to admonish myself several times while pedaling to “LET IT GO!” and stop replaying everything in my head. I have a problem with ‘fighting’ people, so to speak, in my head. I’ll go over arguments I’ve had in the past, or sometimes create new, anticipated ones. It’s a tremendous waste of energy, and it’s a habit I am constantly struggling to break.
The pain in my legs helped sometimes because it gave me something to focus on. Other times, it hurt so bad I had to disengage (which, then, set my mind free to wander). However, I at least noticed that mental arguing when it happened, which disrupted the thoughts for just a little bit. Then I made sure to gaze up at the sky or look at the trees or glance at the neighbors moving in a large couch.
I did whatever I could to remind myself that I’m out there riding my bike, and that I’m carting a quiet dog around. And, even with all the annoyances that happened that day, those things are pretty awesome.
KEEP YOUR DOGS ON A LEASH, FOLKS!
NO EXCEPTIONS! (except at dog parks…)
Have you ridden away anger before? What happened? Did the bike ride work?