The other day, I must’ve been feeling paranoid because every time I came upon people on my run, I started calculating how I’d escape if they tried to attack me.
Does anyone else do this?
In one case, from the distance there were three male youths who I couldn’t figure out why they’d be strolling in the park since they looked like hoodlums. Only… when I got a little closer I realized they were actually a teen girl walking with her older mom and dad, the latter of which was struggling to walk with a limp. A real threat, in other words.
Another suspicious bearded individual was standing off the path and just staring up into a tree. I saw nothing in the tree. He didn’t seem to be some tree doctor. This was pretty weird behavior, so I was glad there was this old dude on a bike riding around nearby. Because I’m sure he could save me if the bearded tree-lover made a move.
This is what I get for listening to Stephen King when I run.
Another note to self: remember that Mr. King can be quite descriptive and that when he segues into a detailed account of a hungover guy puking pork rinds in a shit filled toilet, you might get nauseated during your run.
But on a more serious note, it isn’t the worst thing in the world for me to be aware of my surroundings when I run. I’m a little person and would probably make a good target for a bad person. Yes, I probably could outrun a lot of people, but what if I’m tired? What if they manage to surprise me before I can run?
An unintended gift of being abused by my mother often makes me run through defense scenarios if I feel the smallest tingling of my spidey senses. If an attacker catches me, go for the eyes. If you’re being choked, don’t spend energy trying to pry the hands off, go for a vulnerable hit to the ears. Know where all potential weapons are located (rock, branch, car keys). Stay alive.
So long as I try to be smart about my surroundings, I don’t want fear to keep me from going out in the world. I had enough being held prisoner by fear to last a lifetime.
In the meantime, if I see any cute bunny rabbits when I run, I know what to do.