Disclaimer: This post has mature content that may cause discomfort for some. The views and suggestions in this post reflect my own guidelines that I use for my personal safety; I hope you will find some of them helpful. Ultimately, the decisions you make regarding your own safety should be based on what you know about yourself and the environment around you.
What would you do if…… While out on an early morning run, just as the sun is beginning to peak up, and just as you were setting into your groove, you noticed someone following you? Imagine this person came out of nowhere -at first just a noise in the woods, then a shadow. You instantly sensed that they were not one to simply wave and pass by. What if, you knew, to the very core of your being, that this person meant harm? Would you be prepared to respond?
I was recently contacted by a developer for a new app, React Mobile, to consider testing out and writing about their program. This app is designed with runners and walkers specifically in mind, because of our vulnerability to crime victimization when exercising solo.
When I read the email from them, I thought, ‘why haven’t I written about safety for my readers before?’ You may not know this about me but crime awareness and prevention is something I take very seriously, and it plays a huge a role in my life and in my career.
As I started to write out this post, I realized I actually have a lot to say about safety while exercising, so this may become an ongoing series. For this first post, I will tell you my top 4 safety tips …. I am going to try out the React Mobile app and get back to you all with a review next week, along with a few more tips!
Here are some of my top tips for safety on the run:
1) Always try to run with someone; we are so much more vulnerable alone. I know sometimes it’s difficult to meet up due to conflicting schedules or distance between running buddies. Or you may be like me and simply enjoy running alone every now and then, but there are other tips we can use – keep reading!!
2) Run in well-lit and/or populated areas -this one comes in as a very close second. Crime simply doesn’t like light! Plus, if something bad happens, someone is likely to see you and can call 9-1-1.
Sarina and I have a bad habit of running through at least parts of our route that are poorly lit; we are trying to find new routes that are safer for us to run together. I am proud to say though that when I’m alone I am way more mindful of keeping a safe route.
3) Going along with that, wave to the people you run past and make sure they know you are there. (This is also somewhat motivating because most runners will smile and wave back to you!) Pay attention and notice your surroundings and the people as they pass by. Listen to and trust your inner being; if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. I could write a whole post about this one!
4) Always carry identification, a couple dollars in cash, and a phone. More on the phone in part 2 of this post! The cash would be helpful if you get dehydrated or hit a wall and need to stop for a drink.
All things considered, the best thing you can do is prepare. I know it is not the most enjoyable thing to do, and who doesn’t get anxious when they think about their own vulnerability? But seriously, better to plan for the worst and be prepared than to be caught off by surprise! I could clearly talk about this stuff forever, but it is so important guys, I hope at least one of these tips has helped you!!
Any other safety tips, suggestions, or questions I can try to help with? Comment below!!