I am not safe.
You are not safe.
Take a moment to digest that. None of us are ever impervious– safe– from harm. There is no shield to protect us from danger. We each take risks every day. Some of them big. Every time you get in your car and drive you engage in a behavior that is fraught with potential danger. And small ones. Walking across the street. Running on cracked sidewalks. Running. Running alone. Running in the road where cars also drive. Running on trails where you could be surprised.
I am a woman and I run alone. I rarely tell anyone when, where or how long I plan to run. Mostly this is a function of my life. I don’t live with another adult. But it is also because running is mine in a way that few other things are. I own it. I do it for myself. And I relish the time it affords me to be alone in my own mind, in my own body. I have no intention of giving that up.
Since I started running many people, all of them well meaning, have suggested to me that I shouldn’t run alone. That I should avoid certain routes or times. Vary my schedule. Only run in the daytime. Only when the roads are clear. As if there exists some talisman that will keep me safe. But this safety, this talisman, is an illusion. Because I am not safe. You are not safe. The best we can all do is keep our eyes and ears open and hope we can see the danger coming before it catches us.