Staying Safe in 2008

A few years ago, a woman was attacked on The PATH near my apartment on the cusp of Vi-Hi and IP where I ran regularly under the cover of night when the city was at it’s most peaceful.

More recently, a woman was attacked and killed while riding on the Silver Comet near where I now reside and where I loved to ride solo with the wind in my face and the song of the trees cheering me on.

Last week a woman was presumably attacked and has gone missing while hiking in our peaceful north Georgia mountains where I’d hike solo listening to the crunch of leaves and the heaving of my own breath.

During none of my visits to these places was I without a triple action defense spray given to me by a friend who was as concerned for my safety as I should have been, and I have been lucky to never have to engage it. I like to think of the canister in my had as three friends who were along with me for my runs, rides and hikes: pepper spray, tear gas and UV dye.

If you’re an independent exerciser, I urge you to pick one up – it’ll be the best peace of mind $25 investment you’ll ever make, and the lightweight prize fighter fits in your hand like a roll of quarters. Independent to or in addition to, there are several places in town that offer low or at least semi reasonable cost self defense classes – why not make 2008 the year you won’t be terrorized into staying home? The year you’re prepared?

A quick Google search brought back this 5 week course that is blowing my mind with its content at Trinity on Ralph McGill.

So ladies (and gents, you’re not immune either!), here’s my question: have you ever taken a self defense class? Do recent events make you more wary of going out and enjoying the things you always have? Are you taking other precautions?

Authors note: There have undoubtedly been a number of other tragic attacks between that I’m not listing, and not because they were any less significant or frightening; but rather because these three spotlight different activities and were prominently reported on.

6 Comments so far

  1. ed (unregistered) on January 7th, 2008 @ 9:36 am

    I was reading that its more dangerous for people to have pepper spray and what not on them when attacked because its more likely the attacker will use it on you than you using it on the attacker.

    This is because they are normally stronger and we are taken off guard so our already muddled thinking is thrown even more off.

  2. Maigh (unregistered) on January 7th, 2008 @ 9:38 am

    I usually hear that quote as it relates to guns but I suppose the base theory applies to both: if you’re going to carry a weapon, you have to be prepared to use it. If you hesitate, you can count on it being taken away from you.

  3. Brian (unregistered) on January 7th, 2008 @ 11:11 pm

    I feel terrible posting this on such a somber subject, but please do not turn into this kind of a person:

  4. Maigh (unregistered) on January 9th, 2008 @ 7:58 am

    @ Brian – That was funny! Don’t worry…I’m at no risk of turning into the paranoid overreacting type. :)

  5. BPJ (unregistered) on January 9th, 2008 @ 12:22 pm

    The best defense is to exercise with someone. That said, let’s keep in mind a realistic assessment of risk: the most dangerous thing most of us do is get behind the wheel of a car. That’s really risky.

  6. Roxie (unregistered) on January 19th, 2008 @ 9:10 am

    I wish ppl would start linking these incidents together instead of pretending that they’re isolated (not accusing you of anything!). The frequencey with which women are attacked in public places is appaling and says something bout our ‘culture’

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