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.
- 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)