June 24, 2019
“I Want To Run By Myself But… Dammit I Don't Feel Safe!”
The frustration with even having to think about safety while we go about our daily lives is common with women I work with in my self-defense programs. It pisses me off too, and yet I know that the “but I shouldn't have to…” mindset can lead you into more danger.
The reality is that there are dangerous people out there who either seek specific targets that you may match or are alert to targets of opportunity (and you could be one, running alone in an isolated area at a time of day where the likelihood of assistance being nearby is low).
If you want to run in the early morning or late at night, on trails in a forest, through your neighborhood, or out on local roads, you absolutely can. But make an informed decision and be prepared.
A dog can be a great help, but only if it is one that will take action if you need it to. My Golden Retriever made friends with anyone & everyone, and would have run away if I were screaming and fighting. I now have two Protection-trained German Shepherds who will absolutely act if anyone threatens me, whether I ask them to or not. They give me a great extra layer of protection when I'm out and about on my own.
It sucks that women can't lace up and head out for a walk or run without having to think about their safety. But that's the way it is. To be angry about the need, or to deny it and head out into potentially dangerous territory to prove a point puts you at risk.
It's always your choice. And I'll always encourage you to #choosesafety. You are a VIP, and your gifts & talents are needed. There's no need to be paranoid or to exist in a state of fear, nor to “play it safe” and never do the things you enjoy. Just be realistic and smart about your choices.