Slaying a Fear Giant
Another post about running. Except it's really not about running but about slaying. And it's really only about slaying one important giant that I need to while sharing my battles so that others can feel they are not alone as well as shed light on a really frustrating topic. For women.
As many of my readers know, I am on a running streak, and tonight's jaunt made day 1637. Getting out there felt like a win on its own because by the time I took care of the other priorities today, I didn't get the preference for daytime running. A dark run. A giant to slay.
In November, I wrote this empowered post about the struggles I have been having for months after a dillhole (I know, really professional, but better than the explicit alternatives that really want to slide off the keys) stole my security. No matter how much I want to say that I have risen up out of that fear, it's just not totally accurate. Because even though I am extremely cautious, every odd move by a person seems suspect. Believe me, after running over a thousand days in a row, you see a lot of odd driving behaviors.
In the nearly two months since I posted about the running issue, I have had conversations with several women who express the same frustrations. I have seen ridiculous stories about men acting completely ludicrous to women runners, and I have had several conversations about the extra precautions women must take to do something as simple as exercise. And let's be honest, getting out there every day and physically exerting ourselves should be enough!
Here are a few points that kept rhythm with my steps tonight:
- If you are a guy, never honk, whistle or shout lewd remarks to a woman. Ever. It is not welcome, it is demeaning, and the action makes you a tool.
- If you are a person of any gender, consider never honking at a runner. We are in a zone and are likely not to recognize you. For me, this happens at all times of day and night, and it is unsettling at best and terrifying at worst (see lewd comment direction from above because I now transfer that to all drivers who honk.)
- If you are a person who witnesses these exchanges and does nothing, consider how you are contributing to an overall tone that our society accepts as norms. It is not normal. Boys will not be boys. #heforshe Look it up.
- Finally, if you are a person reading this who sees me running in my community, please know that the warrior style glare I give you if you approach too slowly from behind, slow down and wait for my pace to catch you, or roll down your window at an oddly timed moment (5:00 a.m. on the dark streets), note that the glare is not for you. Unless it is FOR you.