Run, Forest! RUN!

1 04 2009

Those of us that live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area have probably heard about people (men and women) being attacked while running or walking around Lake Phalen.

I am approaching the 1 year anniversary of when I started running but before that I was a fairly regular walker and biker.  If there is one thing I have learned in the last year during my running excursions it is this:

They sell mace for a reason.

If you are going to be out and about, walking your city streets, sidewalks, trails or the like I have a few safety recommendations for you.  These safety tips are for EVERYBODY.  No exceptions.

  1. Get a goddamn RoadID.  Jebus Hubert Christ they are all of $20 and if something happens and you are unable to ID yourself this thing will be worth its weight in gold to the emergency personnel that are tending to you.  I am getting them for my kids and mandating that they wear them all summer long when they are out and about.
  2. Add lights and reflectors to your bikes, your bodies and your clothing.  Depending on how the sun hits a windshield and shadows bounce off of trees these blinking objects can be useful day OR night.
  3. Wear something BRIGHT.  If you are dressed in all black you will blend in with the shadows.  Be seen.
  4. Buddy the fuck up.  My christ are all of your friends gigantic loads?  You can’t find ANYONE to go out with you ever?  No?  You need new friends.  There is safety in numbers.
  5. Get a walking stick or two.   They are good for support AND protection.
  6. Take your cell phone with you.  It doesn’t make you a geek and it doesn’t make you a crackphone addict.  It makes you smart.  If you are away from home and there is an emergency you will wish like hell you had your crackberry in your pocket.
  7. Buy Mace AND a Taser.  There was a time when I thought I only needed one or the other and I still believe I only need one (or the other) at a time.  But there are days when it is simply TOO WINDY to realistically put Mace to use if needed and on those days, I am wishing I had a taser.
  8. Go out with a dog.   The bigger the better and if it is even remotely protective that is even better.  I’m no expert but I am guessing that most thugs won’t mess with someone that has a mid to large size dog that still has all (or most) of its teeth.
  9. Plan your route before you leave the house.   When I run, walk or bike I always make sure to leave a print out and/or communicate my intended trail to SOMEONE.
  10. If you run, walk or bike with an iPod don’t crank the music and only pop in one earbud.  Again, I am no expert but I am guessing most victims are people that are caught off guard because for some reason they were not paying attention.  Turn down the tunes and LISTEN to what is happening around you.
  11. Take a self defense class.  This is never a bad idea.  Go to Google and type in  “self defense classes in” then enter your city.  You’ll find one.

Please leave me a comment and let me what item on this list you plan to comply with starting immediately.

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