Mariah Inghram grew up with large-breed dogs, but despite her experience, she still found herself on the ground after a friend’s runaway German Shepherd knocked her off her feet and flipped her to the ground while trying to take him for a walk.
“Before I was able to walk down the front door stairs and into the yard, I felt Archer tug on the leash, but I pulled against this tug and exclaimed, ‘You’re not going anywhere,’” Inghram told me. “It was after this proclamation that Archer saw what we believe was an animal and bolted down the steps and into the yard, simultaneously propelling me into the air, face-first into the scarecrow, and ultimately, the lava rock covered ground.”
The entire instance was captured on her friend’s Ring camera, which was then shared on social media and it went viral in October 2018. Jukin Media gained the rights to the video, but it continues to resurface, even a year after the accident originally occurred, including being shown on MTV’s “Ridiculousness” in March.
“It seems that it regained momentum after I reposted the video on Facebook a year after it initially went viral, which I made merely to shed some lighthearted content and poke fun at myself,” she told me. “Surprisingly, and yet fortunately for me, I came out of that fall unscathed. At the end of the video, I ask for ice because it was an incredibly hard tug and fall, so I assumed that I might be hurt once I got up. Luckily, the ice wasn’t actually needed.”
But with the video going viral the first – and second time – Inghram has found a confidence in herself after a history of “fear of being bold.”
“The video going viral has afforded me a unique opportunity to become a bolder and stronger individual,” Inghram told me. “It’s made me bolder in the sense that, up until this instance, I was hesitant to truly put myself out into the world. I’ve had the tendency of focusing on the negative that results from situations, especially in situations presented within the public realm.”
She continued to say that everyone had an opinion on the video, whether she should have been handling the dog in the first place or if it was a fake video.
“I’ve struggled with how I’m perceived by others throughout my life at the expense of myself. I feared being bold, and it ultimately held me back from my full authenticity as an individual,” she told me. “I believe authenticity results from one’s ability to be bold and embrace their humility, but in order to embrace that humility, one must release the constraining fear of others’ opinions, especially those that serve no other purpose than to project negativity.”
She credits the video going viral as the spark that allowed her to stand up for herself and not worry about the negative comments from internet haters.
“Whether I liked it or not, I was being pushed out into the world, and thus, subject to the perception of others,” Inghram told me. “As a result of this push, I was faced with two choices; I could either let my fear of others’ perceptions of me hinder my self-expression and how I live or work through this fear to acquire thicker skin, and ultimately live and express myself in my authenticity. I chose the latter and continue to do so, and it’s made me a much freer and happier person; it’s this newfound freeness and happiness I’m beyond grateful for.”