I am so over stupid girls! Those girls that do everything they can to make themselves victims and then don’t understand at all when bad things happen. Where is personal responsibility today???
You’ve seen them, maybe you are one, running down the road hat with the brim pulled down (because sun is terrible) and 2 ear buds in jamming to their music. Yup, who needs any of their senses?! I mean, I know I don’t want to be able to hear if someone is running up behind me (I LOVE when you jump as I run past you) or see that person hiding behind the bushes. Really? Senses are overrated.
What about that one on the trails? Sunglasses, music, paying no attention to what animals might be around them. Look, I like to jam too, but I rock the one ear bud. I like being able to hear people around me, know when someone is coming, hear a rattlesnake!?? I mean seriously, no senses means you are a victim.
I have always taken myself out of uncomfortable situations (when I am not impaired by drugs or alcohol and can make a intelligent decision). Recently I read “The Gift of Fear” which really reiterated how important trusting yourself is, especially as a woman. From a young age we are taught to not trust our instincts and instead be nice to everyone, even when it feels wrong. Think about ever time you were told to hug a family member but just didn’t want to, sit on Santa’s lap but it made you uncomfortable, or say thank you to a seemingly kind stranger despite them giving you the creeps. Every time that happens it takes a little bit of your safety alarm away. Eventually you do not have it anymore and put yourself in situations that could become dangerous. If your parents had not forced these things upon you, would you still make the same choices?
Now don’t get me wrong, I do not believe we should be afraid of everything. I do believe women especially should choose to be intelligent. Listen to music with one ear but listen to your surroundings with your other. Wear a hat or sunglasses, but you are taking away your field of vision, so scan around you often. Be smart, choose to not look like a victim so you are less likely to BE a victim.
Let’s talk about Strava. When you run the same route every Tuesday from work at 11am and post it online, how are you not a victim?! Maybe it hasn’t become an issue yet, but Craiglist wasn’t a venue for crime as soon as it started either. You can add an area of protection around your home or workplace so people can not pinpoint exactly where you live/work, but is that enough? If they know your car and generally where you are running from how hard would it be to find your house? Be cautious. Run different routes. Run at different times of the day. Make your Strava so you have to “approve” people and don’t approve people you don’t know.
I see it often with parents posting where their child goes to school on social media. It’s not an issue until it IS an issue, but be safe now. Later posts are better, not a “out on the trail right here dying” posts to give someone an opening. Don’t wreck yourself out there on the trail so you couldn’t run away if you needed to. Ladies, be smart. Let’s stop making women look bad and start taking car of ourselves.
OMG, you should people up here in Alaska running on trails littered with bear scat and two ear pieces jammed in their ears, no bear bell, totally oblivious to the risk. It’s like, come on! I was charged, twice, by a bear last summer and if I hadn’t of heard it coming and backed up into the brush (i.e., if I had had music blasting in my ears), things might have not turned out as well as they did. It totally stuns me how unaware people are. I’ve actually run past people wearing earphones on trails that have been posted with bear danger alerts. I just don’t understand. Is it stupidity or lack of common sense or just a total disbelief that anything bad could happen to them, as if they are totally immune to danger?
Women unfortunately do have to be extra careful and sometimes this angers me. It’s like: wait a minute, just because I’m a woman running alone I have to be alert to every man I encounter? But it’s a fact of life, and the truth is I do assess every man I encounter, and before I even reach them I have a safety route planned out. I do this instinctively. It’s almost like second thought. Sometimes this makes me sad, that women have to do this. It’s not right. It’s unfair. I’d love to be able to run carelessly, at all hours of the night and morning, the way men do. But that’s not going to happen in my lifetime.
I’m glad you mentioned Strava and other mapping devices. What worries me is how many female bloggers post pictures of their runs, and how they mention that they run in the dark, and how they even mention what time they run, and where. As a former journalist I know how easily it is to find someone, and almost anyone’s, address online. All it takes is a few taps of the keyboard and there it is. I don’t think many women realize how easily accessible their lives are online. It’s really scary.
Anyway, thanks for a great post. Sorry to go on so–I see I’ve almost written a book. I shall shut up now and wish you and your family happy holidays. Cheers and take care.