Saturday, January 7, 2017

Running in Peace

In just over a week I've been the recipient of two vulgar/ obscene screams from passing vehicles while running. I posted briefly on social media when they happened, but haven't actually shared my thoughts since then.

The first incident occurred the evening we got back from Michigan. The hubby wanted to go rock climbing, so I decided to run from his gym to the beach and get in 8 miles. Everything was fine and dandy (and the weather was AMAZING, especially compared to the frozen tundra we had just returned from), that is, until I was running back up the street to the climbing gym. As I was crossing a set of train tracks a vehicle with two guys in the front was driving at me (I was running against traffic, on the sidewalk). The passenger leaned out and yelled "D*mn girl, you can sit on my face any time."

My view on that run was EPIC... The comments I received on the way back to
meet the hubby were anything but that... 

Okay, let me stop you right there. First off, even if I wasn't happily married (FYI we have been married for over 8+ years and together for 13+ years), I do not know a single female who has heard a cat call and thought to themselves "Wow, that is the type of guy I want in my life, let me chase that car down and go get me that man." Next, I do my best to run in well traveled areas. I am lucky enough to say that I have never felt physically or personally threatened (meaning I don't think any of the douche bags who have yelled at me would do anything - but that may be me being naive) while running, but even still, that does NOT give men (or anyone) the right to say whatever they would like to me (or anyone).

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The incident left me a little shaken and actually a bit dirty feeling. Runners (male or female) should have the right to run in peace, not having to worry about what passing people may say or scream at them. We are not running so that you will oogle our goodies. We are not running for your viewing pleasure. Most of us run as a stress reliever, as a way to center ourselves and as a way to stay healthy (both physically and mentally). No one should have the right to take that sense of peace and security away from us, NO ONE!

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The second incident occurred while I was out on a 17 mile run yesterday afternoon. My body has been acting a fool lately (thanks to my fibromyalgia) and I have had to cut my runs short and keep my workout intensity low. I was stoked when I was able to head out and tackle a legit long run. My turn around point ended up being a block from the hubby's new office, so I went over and said "HI" (and refilled my water) before chucking a u-ey and heading back to the car.


About a mile back into my run I was stopped at a traffic light. A vehicle was turning left in front of me, looked out his passenger side window and screamed "You ugly, b*tch" as he drove by me. Again, I was taken back by the comments. All jokes aside, I realize that I do not look my best when I am running. Shoot, if you still look cute at the end, you aren't running hard enough, right?! ;) I can be a haggard mess, and I very well may even have had a little "resting b*tch face" going as I waited for the light to change, BUT EVEN STILL... KEEP THE COMMENTS TO YOURSELF!

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Wasn't it Thumper who said "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"? I mean really though! Why is it common place for comments like that to be said to others and thought that it is okay?!

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Unlike the first incident, the second left me feeling a bit differently. First I got self conscious. I started getting down on myself and feeling a bit defeated. Thankfully that didn't last long because when I got to the end of my run I looked at my watch, did a scan of my body and felt STRONG AF that I had just smashed my workout!


I knew deep down that the comments made from the 'man' as he passed by said more about him than the did about me. Hurt people hurt people. Happy people don't go around putting other people down. I pray that he finds joy (because from the way he deals with others it seems as though he may very well hate himself as much as he hates the world).

Although incidents like these have the ability to taint the world, I will do my darnedest to continue being positive and trying to be a light to those around me. I will not give those creeps the power to dull my sparkle and change my view of the world. I will continue to try and spread joy and kindness to a world that is in MAJOR need of both.

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Even though I am taking the higher ground and not giving these comments the ability to change me into a cynical person, that does NOT excuse the behavior or make it okay. We need to stand up against these types of actions. I may not be your cup of tea, but that doesn't mean I don't have the right to live life and enjoy the world just as much as you do. WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO RUN IN PEACE; WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO LIVE IN PEACE! 

{steps down off my soapbox}

8 comments:

Sandra Bond said...

I am so sorry this happened to you, Carlee. Both comments - so on very opposite sides of the spectrum - are just so inappropriate. I don't understand people sometimes.... at the same time, if spewing words is all they do (as horrific as it is), I guess, we can be 'thankful' and try to stay positive.
But seriously, what's wrong with people?

amber.hicks said...

What the hell is wrong with people!!? I get so uncomfortable when people yell at me like that. SO uncalled for and inappropriate!! Sorry it happened. Sparkle on sister!

Stephanie Burrage said...

I'm really sorry you experienced both incidents. It's one of the reasons it took me so long to run outside - I didn't feel safe (from people's ugly comments).

Babydoll said...

I read your social media posts shortly after each incident happened, and I was enormously troubled by them - particularly the second incident. I'm just glad you're physically okay, and that you are talking about it. You never know how far reaching a conversation will go.

Mark Posey said...

I am so sorry you had to experience that. As you said, NOBODY should have to put up with that, EVER! There is no excuse for that behavior. I feel bad whenever that happens to a member of my running "family".

Chelsea B. said...

Sorry this happened to you. I just do not understand people. When did people become so mean?!?!? There is just not any need to act like that. Hope you had a great weekend otherwise with your hubby and Walt!

Paula said...

It is a shame that people behave like that. Sadder still it happens often. How people can be have like that is something I will never understand.

LP said...

I have been running for many years and have had enough cat calls and terrible comments yelled at me. But I have to say I was running a few years ago after just a horrible day trying to get some stress relief. Mid-way through the run a car drives by me and someone says "You make this city beautiful!" It was just the thing I needed to hear at that time and still brings a smile to my face. I try to remember that when hearing a horrible comment or just feeling down. It's the little thing and probably a reminder to try to spread some joy to others.