I heard about this story late this afternoon, and I’ve had a pit in my stomach ever since.
A 31 year old woman was attacked this morning on her early morning run. Thank goodness she is okay and was not hurt, but this shit is scary. This poor woman. My same age, running the same route I’ve run before, at the same time of day. Granted, I haven’t set foot to the pavement in an embarrassing amount of time, but this used to be my MO. Not all too long ago, I’d wake up super early, same time as this young lady, 5am. Suit up, put on my little blinking light attached to my shorts or capris, kiss ManFriend goodbye, and off I’d go for a five to eight mile run, several mornings a week.
What scares me isn’t only that this is so close to home for me, not just geographically but in the sense that it literally hits close to home. I’ve run these streets before, been in this same position, and yet, this happened to her. It’s not fair, and it’s scary to think what could have happened if this girl hadn’t yelled at the top of her lungs and scared this creep off.
I’m not sure if it were me, if I’d have the wherewithal to react quickly in such a situation? I like to think that I’m very aware of my surroundings. I try to be as safe as possible, but the scary truth is, you just never know what could happen. And hey, this area is known as “safe.” Okay. As you can read in the article, Newton is ranked 5th safest town in the US, but it just goes to show, this stuff can happen anywhere.
It’s a big eye opener for me. I’ll definitely think twice about running alone early in the morning from now on. ManFriend was always hesitant to see me leave so early by myself, but I’d always assure him that I’d be fine. Maybe the buddy system wouldn’t be such a bad idea. And running with a brighter light. And maybe a cell phone. Mace?
These kinds of stories have always freaked me out. Breakins, attacks, stuff like that. I’m a hypervigilant person as it is, but I suppose one can never be quite aware enough about these kinds of things. I thought at the very least I would share this story here with all of you. I know I don’t talk about running very much anymore, but at one time it was a very big part of my life, and I know a handful of people here are runners as well. That being said, you don’t have to be a runner to have this strike a chord inside of you. I hope that this will maybe even be a little bit of an eye opener for all of you too. Be careful. Be aware of your surroundings. Choose to do your fitnessy things, be it a run or a morning walk with your dog, when it’s a little lighter out. Stick to well-lit areas, carry a cell phone, always tell someone where you are going so that they know your usual route, and when you plan on being back. Keep an eye out for anything that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. If something seems a little off, listen to that. Listen to your gut. Run into the Dunkin Donuts and just hangout for a few minutes if you need to, call your significant other or a friend to come and pick you up. All of these things… they could make a huge difference.
Sorry to be a Debbie Downer here, but this story has been stuck with me all day, and I thought that maybe this would be a good opportunity while reminding myself about the key things we can do to try to maintain some sense of safety, to remind all of you as well.
Big big group hugs all around for safety and happiness and laughter and kittens and gumdrops and the works.
Do you have any tips on how to stay safe when you exercise outside?