i am an early morning runner

I like to get up and run at 5:30 am. When I tell people that, I mostly get comments like: “that’s not safe” or “that’s not smart.”

And yes, they’re right. I know this because I was assaulted on an early morning run.

Back in 2006, living in Montreal, I woke up and ran almost every morning. And nearly every day, I ran through the McGill Ghetto and rarely saw a soul. One morning, however, I ran past a guy – at a quick glance, I distinctly remember not being concerned about my safety as he appeared to be a drunk student, stumbling around. Poor guy. I ran by. The next thing I knew, he was right behind me and grabbed my waist/butt.

Luckily my knee-jerk reaction was to scream and run like hell… which I did, all the way home. Before I entered the door, I calmed myself down, wiped my tears and went inside determined not to tell Mike. I got ready for work. Worked all day and didn’t say a thing. Why? Mostly because I didn’t want to hear: I told you so OR No more morning runs.

When I got home that evening, however, I told Mike. Thankfully, rather than telling me I couldn’t run… he got up almost every morning and biked behind me. Shortly afterward we got Henry – the timidest Golden Retriever in all of Quebec who darts from his own shadow but running together gave me the courage to keep going.

Henry no longer runs with me. I no longer live in Montreal. But every FUCKING morning when I get up at 5:30 am to go running, I think about that day.

It could have been so much worse. I am so fucking lucky. And to feel violated but lucky that it wasn’t that bad fucking sucks.

Be safe.


Meanwhile, elsewhere:
  • I watched a rape. For five decades, I did nothing (The Washington Post)
  • I Went To Kavanaugh’s Alma Mater, Georgetown Prep, And It Was A Case Study In Misogyny (The Establishment)
  • Fury Is a Political Weapon. And Women Need to Wield It (NYT)
  • Dear dads: Your daughters told me about their assaults. This is why they never told you (The Washington Post)
  • Nobel Peace Prize for anti-rape activists Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege (BBC)
  • Reflections from a Hashtag by Jian Ghomeshi (The New York Book of Reviews)
  • All the men who never assaulted me (vox)
  • I Thought Men Might Do Better Than This by Roxane Gay (NYT)
  • Relax, Ladies. Don’t Be So Uptight. You Know You Want It (The Medium)
photo by me on a morning run

One thought on “i am an early morning runner

  1. I always think about this when I go for walks alone in the park near our house. I wear headphones and am constantly whirling around like I expect a man to be creeping up on me. It’s terrible that we have to be so aware of our surroundings when we’re just trying to exercise alone, God forbid. 😦


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