Well, I’ve been a Stroller Warrior for 12 years now. My children are getting older and while they’re not out of the stroller entirely yet, I’ve had a lot more stroller free runs while they’re in school. I’ve begun to feel the need to learn to protect myself. What if I was attacked on a run? Would I know what to do? Would I be able to get away? I’m the kind of person who thinks of a “plan” in the event of x,y,z and if I ever was rushed and someone tried to attack me, my plan was to step wide to make a wide, firm base, and hope that they got thrown off track and I stayed stable so I could run away. That was the entirety of my plan. I had no idea what to do when/if we actually hit the ground together. Or even if we were face to face, with an attack imminent.
I’ve grown in confidence and am learning not only how to choke but how to protect from a choke. Sparing/defending yourself ignites something primal and I am learning how to breathe through that and regain my mental focus in a fight. My friend Anne and fellow runner who is blue belt in BJJ said, “my goal if attacked is always to be a big enough pain that they’ll decide I’m not worth it and go away.”
Before BJJ, had I been attacked, I think once we hit the ground I probably would have tried to talk to them, to play nice and get them to realize I’m a human, a mom. Now, I know when we hit the ground that’s when the fun really begins and I’m not stopping until you run away, I can run away or you passed out from me choking you.
If you’ve ever felt scared for your safety on a run. Consider taking some martial arts or self dense classes. There are a variety of options to choose from and all of them will help your knowledge and confidence grow.