Forget night swimming REM, night running has always been my favorite nocturnal sport. There’s just something about running through an unlit night, the inky blackness completely obliterating my body until I feel incorporeal. Dispossessed. Airborne. In the sense of flying, yes, but also that I feel born of air. I’m elegant in ways that I never can be in daylight. I’m light and quick through the dark, a sure-footed sprite.
That is until I trip over a tree root and face plant.
Oh and did I mention that I like to do my night running set to Orff’s “Carmina Burana” or Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite? (Lie: It’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King”. Of course it is.) Very very loudly. And with no reflective gear, save the glow of my pale legs? And preferably in the mountains or the forest? It’s the closest I get to real magic.
It’s probably also the closest I get to really putting myself in danger too which is why I’ve not done it in years. And that’s a travesty because I used to love it.
#safetytipsforladies: just dora the explorer your attacker. “rapist! no raping!” works every time.
— Lucille Baller (@davalyns) March 27, 2013
This is even funnier if you have seen Dora the Explorer (Exploradora!) like I have. Every day. For a year.
Send this to every girl you want to stay alive. The letter’s wording was ominous and might have been straight out of a horror movie – if it hadn’t followed a single densely typed page entitled “Through a Rapist’s Eyes*” that purported to tell women the secrets of how to protect themselves from someone who was heck-bent on violating them. When I was 12, reading every line felt like a revelation and so I dutifully copied and mailed on the letter to every girl I wanted to live…until I ran out of stamps. (Apparently only seven girls got to live. I’m sorry tween friends. I was such a cheapskate.) So imagine my surprise when the letter came back ’round to me a few days ago via a private message from a friend who’d seen it posted on someone else’s wall. Facebook: the 21st century chain letter. My friend had forwarded it to me because he thought it was something I might like and also he was looking for ideas of how to talk about the subject with his teenage daughter.
If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s pretty awesome.
Eyes! EYES! Nose! NOSE! Ears! EARS!
The roar of teenage girls filled the small room at my church last night as we ended our seminar on self-defense. I wish I could say that their roar was defiant, strong, a unified cacophony of empowered (pre) women. But that’s a lot to expect from young girls who’ve just had a lesson on a very uncomfortable subject that skirted all the uncomfortable parts. There was a lot of giggling, play fighting, teasing, bluster and, to my chagrin, very little questioning.
The teacher, a 4th degree black belt from a local martial arts studio, did a great job in the limited amount of time he had. One hour is a pitifully small amount of time to cover something with the implications to be so life changing. (But one hour is better than nothing, yes?) He was better than most I’ve seen. He was smart, funny, and gave some great tips for physically defending oneself. But as I stood back and watched – my eyes less on the teacher and more on the faces of the girls watching, scanning them for any sign of panic or shutting down (there’s usually one set of eyes in every group that looks a little too cynical or a little too wise) – I couldn’t help but be disappointed. It was your standard self-defense for women class. And that’s a shame.