You’d think after 20 years of walking, climbing, hiking, and driving/riding around Stone Mountain Park, I’ve grown accustomed to seeing/being around deer.
But, here’s the problem: I fear deer.
That’s right, Bambi.
According to Yahoo Answers, fear of deer is called Cervidaphobia (pronounced sir-vee-day phobia.)
Conquering this fear is still a process—I assure you.
This fear hasn’t derailed my habitual exercise mojo. Here’s what I’ve told myself over the years in dealing with issues:
Deer are natural and annual inhabitants of the Mountains.
They’re as common to the park as the granite itself.
I’m the visitor.
I’m in their territory.
Even though I know all this, I’m still prone to the heart palpitations, sweating, shaking and wanting to bolt.
Whether walking, climbing or driving, I still feel spooked seeing deer magically pop out of nowhere!
The Stone Mountain deer—as I call them—nonchalantly just saunter across the street, (la-la-la); they’re casually munching on vegetation or lying down—in broad daylight—watching humans like me for sport.
Throngs of visitors between the April-August, doesn’t seem to faze these bad boys. In fact, I get the feeling the Stone Mountain deer are like the greeters at Walmart: Welcome! Did you enjoy yourselves? Ya’ll come back and see us soon!
To this day, I struggle with pinpointing why I am so fearful of these seemingly, calm and complacent animals?
What do they represent to me?
In my mind, I’m intimidated by their size and their bulkiness. Maybe, I’ve seen to many episodes of “When Animals Attack” or something. They are wild animals, I reason.
I’ll never forget my deer encounter that I blew wa–ay out of portion.
My worst fear materialized, when a pack of deer ran right out in front of me!
I thought I was going to pee on myself!
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Help me! Help Me!” I hollered at the top of my longs.
I worked myself into such a frenzy, these two guys came barreling to my rescue.
“Oh, honey!” one of the guys said as he comforted me “these deer aren’t interested in you.”
“That’s reassuring,” I said laughing at the way he dismissed my histrionics and my fears
“Right!” the other guy chimed in. “Those deer are long gone chasing some tails—pun intended.”
“Tell ya what, we’ll walk down with you,” the guys offered and I wasn’t refusing.
As a trio, we locked harms and we’re happily walking down the mountain.
Coincidentally, my screams also alarmed the guy I was seeing at the time.
Every time we climbed, I’d stop in mid-stride paralyzed with fear and frozen. Many times, he has felt my death grip on his arm.
Poor fellow and poor deer!
I’ve tried many tactics to give the deer fair warning that I was approaching such as singing (run, hide escape deer!) music, clapping, and clanging my keys.
Yes, I’ve done the most.
For the past few months, I calmed myself considerably. There’s still quickening of the heart, but I trick myself: I see them, but then I don’t.
Simply: I keep it moving.
They’ve finally trained me!