An Attack on My Running Safety
My phone buzzed with a text. Then another and another. Then a call and an email. Friend after friend wanted to ensure I’d heard the news. My heart sunk as I read the story. A woman in my neighborhood was physically attacked while running. After the initial shock subsided, my feelings quickly turned to anger.
Two days earlier, I ran by the very spot where it happened. My family and I pass by it nearly every day on our evening strolls. A woman on a run in the middle of the afternoon was groped by a man who jumped off his bike and grabbed her, squeezing her butt and completely violating her safety. Thankfully, he quickly fled without doing additional physical harm, but the mental and emotional damage was done … to her and countless runners in the area. Not only did this hit close to home, literally, it struck a chord knowing one of my closest running friends was attacked on a run in a similar way several years ago.
Today is the first day of National Running Safety Month. Sadly, I’m feeling anything but safe. I’m pissed. I’m baffled. I’m downright appalled. This local running attack came just before more terrorist events in New York. I sat at my desk lost in thought. I was struck by our need to balance the fear of all the potentially terrible things that can happen with the courage to not let that fear contain us and the knowledge that there is still so much good around us. Gosh, that’s easier said than done.
I wish I had a happy ending for you today. Alas, I simply urge everyone to remain vigilant and aware. I’ve written about self defense for runners and tips and more tips for staying safe on the run. Please keep doing all the things to help make scary situations less likely, and take a moment to just be nice and kind to everyone around you. The world could certainly use it right now. Stay safe.
What measures do you practice to stay as safe as possible while running? What acts of kindness have you done lately to spread a little happiness?