There are certain areas of town which you know to be safe. You know what I’m talking about, the exclusive areas where mostly wealthy people live. The privileged areas. I don’t live in one of those areas, or even close.
Now, that’s more like my neighborhood. If you don’t have fancy, you improvise. Seriously though my neighborhood is basically working class, it’s not dangerous but I would never run too far from my house unless the sun is out. Period.
Coffee Pot Blvd. is a street located near an exclusive area called Snell Isle. I have friends who live there and it’s a beautiful area. It’s also what I’d consider super safe. Until yesterday I would have no problem running in that neighborhood before the sun came up.
I’ve run in several ‘safe’ neighborhoods just like it many times and often early in the morning before the sun appeared. Sometimes I’ve seen other runners and sometimes I didn’t see anyone but I never felt unsafe.
Yesterday a 23 year old woman was running on Coffee Pot Blvd. when a man approached her and asked for directions. It was just before 6AM and it was dark. She slowed her pace and gave the man directions but he wanted more so he pointed a gun at her and told her to get in the car.
She didn’t. She ran as fast as she could to the nearest person and then called her father and the police. She did the right thing. Her story was all over the news yesterday. She was even interviewed on a few channels but she asked that they conceal her identity.
As I watched the story I couldn’t help but think about what I would have done in that situation. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have gotten in the car either but who knows really how we’d react in that situation. What I did realize is that I could have easily been in her place because I like to run alone and I would have felt comfortable in that area, comfortable enough to run before the sun rise but not anymore.
Yesterday was a wake up call for me. Don’t get me wrong, I know things can happen at any time of the day but it’s more likely to happen in the dark and I don’t want to put myself in a situation in which I don’t feel 100% safe. I also realize that I’ve had this perception of what a ‘safe’ area is and that is not always the case. And I am keenly aware of how I get lost in thought and don’t often pay attention to whats going on around me and that can be dangerous.
Thankfully the 23 year old runner did all the right things and ran away unharmed. But I think it’s important to remember that it doesn’t really matter where you run. What matters is that you’re cautious and that you are always aware of your surroundings and that you’re prepared, just in case.
Do you run alone?
Do you run in the dark?
Do you carry pepper spray or any sort of protection with you?