Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?
My fight or flight moment happened when I was a teenager. My aunt and uncle had a dude ranch for several years in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Besides riding, there were treasure hunts in the woods, hikes and trips to the river for tubing. Also having spent summers visiting my farm relatives, I had a fair dose of common sense and knowledge about nature. The previous year my cousin Dan and I had camped next to the James river and found cougar tracks outside the tent one morning. However it was the following year when I was indulging in my passion for Saskatoon berries, when I had my fight or flight reflex kick in. I was busy eating berries, and when I turned the corner to get to an easier pot on the hillside, there about ten feet from me, was the biggest, and only brown bear I had seen up close. As we looked at each other, I decided that he could have all the berries, and I slowly backed up, then left the bushes. Afterwards describing the encounter, my uncle asked how big the bear was, and I held my hand up, and he said it sounded like the bear was probably about 3 years old. He then said the bear was probably just as scared of me, as I was of it. That is one of those questions, that will never be answered for sure, but I think I won on the scared-o-meter.