Off & Running
a Blog of Life on the Run

January
14,
2012

I'm a barefoot runner. I'm a woman. I live in one of the richest communities in the US. I feel safe when I leave my home. Every single time.

I am one of the few.

The living that I make does not afford me the level of comfort that I live in. I am truly blessed and have to remind myself daily to thank God for the blessings He keeps piling on my head. My income is well-below the level it should be for this area, yet I thrive here. When it comes down to it, I should be living in an area that would have me looking shifty-eyed at every person who passes me.

I run the Bethesda Trolley Trail, a beautiful trail that goes through neighborhoods of homes with people who drive Land Rovers and BMW SUV's. I run past people walking their dogs, a YMCA that costs $160/mo, a private Catholic school, a park, million-dollar homes, a prep school, Whole Foods. I see other runners, friends walking & chatting, and cyclists heading to work. I've never felt worried or scared while running.

Reading Runner's World this month, there is a story about a Ugandan man who was running and found a dozen kids sleeping under a bus to keep warm because their parents had all been shot. He took them in and paid for their care and food even though he had nothing. I think about what I would do in the same situation. I'm never going to find a dozen homeless children on any of my runs... most of the kids in my neighborhoods couldn't find Uganda on a map.

There are stories all the time about women who are kidnapped, raped, beaten, and left for dead in the woods while they were running in the dark. I run at 5:30 or 6am almost every day. I have never worried about someone jumping out at me while I'm running. I sometimes wonder what I would do if it happened but I'm typically thinking about my cadence and where my foot is landing.

I'm a woman. A tall one, but still a woman. I run in all black in the dark. I feel like a bit of a badass when I'm flying through neighborhoods in my Vibram FiveFingers. I do BodyCombat as a cross-training exercise but I doubt I'd ever be able to combat someone if they came at me. I'm strong but not that strong. I could run away but I'm not really that fast. I'm just a runner... a runner who is privileged enough to run in a safe neighborhood. It's a God thing, I know that. I thank Him every morning for the beautiful moon and the gorgeous sunrise... for the trees and the quiet spaces I get to softly run through.

I'm a woman. I feel safe when I leave my home. I'm a runner. I'm blessed. I'm safe.

But how can I help other women feel safe where they live? Even if it's unsafe. I'll have to work that out on my next run.

Comments
Subscribe to Blog via Email
The Loss of My First Love
December 21, 2015
December 2004.  Sacramento, California. Freshly divorced. Adoption day.   Your foster mom brought you over. We watched you intently. You took in
The Secrets of Letting Go
August 26, 2015
It was Valentine’s Day.  A secret day.  Today, she would marry him. At 23, she knows what she
No More Should-ing On Myself
July 7, 2015
  “If God gives such attention to the wildflowers - most of which are never even
Struggling With Purpose
June 13, 2015
The breeze blows through big open windows rustling the white drapes. The oppressive heat hasn’t fully arrived yet
As You Are. Not As You Should Be.
April 21, 2015
  Hi. My name is Melanie and I feel like a failure on a daily basis.
Archives
Categories