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PIAQUA Posts: 753
7/22/14 6:47 P

I thought of this thread on my drive home from work today. There is a woman I often pass on my ride home who walks (she may run as well, not sure) but I hadn't seen her in a bit. She was back today and looked so good! She had definitely lost a good deal of weight and gained some muscle. I almost wanted to stop and say something but decided the likelihood of it creeping her out versus making her day was too high, and I wouldn't want to do anything that discourages her from her walks.

Note: I am a woman too, if it matters.

Edited by: PIAQUA at: 7/22/2014 (18:48)
7/21/14 2:10 P

I ignore and give no reaction.

have called them out on it (which I wouldn't recommend). I've called them creeps and given them a disgusted look.

I hate that they think it's ok.

BONNIEMCC488 Posts: 6,800
7/18/14 2:38 P

A few years ago when I was walking outside a lot, I got catcalled or whistled at by some guy standing on his back porch (this is on a country road). It made me a bit uncomfortable to walk on that road but I kept at it for a little while. I stopped but not because of what he did. Then recently when I started walking down that road again, I was a little nervous to walk by his house. Thankfully they had a lot of foliage on the edge of the road, so dense that no one could see through it and I was able to be comfortable. Even if they hadn't had that type of barrier up, I would have pushed past the discomfort because I need to be able to get outside.

There are still some young men (mostly teenagers) who do similar things out of their cars and mopeds/motorcycles. It makes me a bit uncomfortable but I just do my best to ignore it. Just yesterday I got honked at by some teenager on his moped and I had to try pretty hard not to let it interrupt my rhythm and pace. Then he rode past me TWICE more. He didn't make any more noise or honk at me but it made me feel a little weird each time. I'm one of those people that would rather be "invisible" and have been as long as I remember. Sure I have more confidence than I did as a teenager but it's still uncomfortable getting that attention especially when you already feel vulnerable.

My only advice is to ignore it or at least to practice ignoring it. Practice until you can actually ignore it. It's going to take time and you still will be uncomfortable at times but that's the only way to get around it and still be able to workout outside.

CHARITYAK SparkPoints: (21,976)
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Posts: 771
7/18/14 11:27 A

Yes, it happens. Not as often at 54 but I do still get unsought attention (what I prefer to call it). I just ignore it unless it's sustained or feels predatory. I actually have a bigger problem with it at the gym than when I'm biking, hiking and running. At the gym I'm a captive audience. I will wear ear plugs to get across the message that I'm there to work and not socialize but I've had people stand there and wait for me to take them out to talk to me... At that point I yank them out impatiently and go "Yeah?" in a borderline rude manner and they get the idea that I'm not looking for a phone number exchange. I thought the pick-up thing was a younger generation problem but older guys at the gym are the worst.

REGINAROLLINS SparkPoints: (66,618)
Fitness Minutes: (30)
Posts: 1,631
7/18/14 11:20 A

Believe me at 62 I don't have this problem-mostly a dead stare occ., like I'm not even there. One was very hurtful though-this hot young boy served me a drink(tea)-the girl behind the counter said "she really seems to like you"-he said "yeah double chins really turn me on". I like to think he would have been very sorry if he knew I heard what he said. I was pretty hurt, but actually I have at least 3 chins and I wear hearing aids- turn on NOT!!! He should have been really glad I noticed him, like a grandson-for God sake!!!!!!!!

TRIXYMAHOGANY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (9,522)
Posts: 333
7/18/14 11:08 A

As long as no one is putting their hands on you, you shouldn't let it bother you. It's just words, they're just jerks. It's not that big of a deal.

CJGODESS101 SparkPoints: (30,781)
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Posts: 611
7/18/14 10:30 A

I ignore it, I live in a pretty mellow neighborhood so it doesn't happen often and I don't walk too far from my house. If I run I go to a trail and run with everyone else.

When I was in Italy about 5 years ago, I was walking with my parents and guys were calling out to me, and that was a little weird. I don't think having your hubby will prevent it from happening, but if you are threatened by their behavior then I would walk somewhere else or with someone.

SOCAL_LEE SparkPoints: (43,325)
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Posts: 246
7/17/14 7:24 P

I run on trails now, so I don't get yelled at. However, when I ran on streets I had plenty of things shouted at me. It's almost always men trying to assert their power over a lone woman. I ignored it because I can't do anything about that kind of sexism by protesting. I save my energy for things where I can have some effect.

Don't let these jerks keep you from having a great workout!

JIACOLO SparkPoints: (539,354)
Fitness Minutes: (219,534)
Posts: 29,420
7/17/14 1:35 P

Recently a man drove up near me in a parking lot and yelled "hello beautiful lady" and then drove off. It made my day!

Edited by: JIACOLO at: 7/17/2014 (13:35)
KASTRA Posts: 369
7/17/14 12:43 P

Now that I've found an outdoors place to walk, I have and ignore it whenever possible, unless someone approaches and could pose a danger. My walking spot is a high school track (I only go off-hours when it's open to public). There are plenty of lowbrow opinions nearby.

It's either misguided people who think complimentary cat calls are going to make you feel good, or it's idiots who are just trying to make their buddies laugh. If the former, acknowledging it approves the misconception that I want some stranger's attention, and getting rude is an overreaction to something that came from good intentions if not thought through. If it's the latter, any reaction at all gives them their desired result; if I smiled and pretended to appreciate the attention, they might be encouraged to escalate, and if I react negatively, they've succeeded in upsetting someone and have more to laugh at. No response or acknowledgement means they failed completely and tends to send them off to find something else to do. The one time ignoring the comments resulted in someone approaching (two high school brats), pulling my hands from my pockets with mace in one did the trick.

7/17/14 9:43 A

I get cat-called at sometimes when I workout outside. And so does my husband when he runs without a shirt on, although he says it's mostly stares and not so much calls. I guess us ladies are more subtle.

For the most part I take it as a compliment.

I also hate working out inside when the weather is nice.

RUBYREDSTAR19 Posts: 6,440
7/17/14 8:00 A

It pisses me off so badly!! I use to carry mace with me, I've gotten the honks, I've had people slow down, try to run me off the road, hoots and hollars. I even had a truck follow me, stop far away and then tailed me. I now run in open areas and always have a plan of escape whereever I am going

LIFENPROGRESS SparkPoints: (114,733)
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Posts: 4,275
7/15/14 11:34 A

If people are rude -- I chalk it up to their own negative feelings of self-worth. They make offensive comments because that's how they feel about themselves. Their's is a false bravado.

MC0387 SparkPoints: (1,824)
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Posts: 40
7/15/14 11:25 A

I don't think there is anything enjoyable about being harassed while trying to exercise, Robbiey.

ROBBIEY SparkPoints: (397,321)
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Posts: 12,104
7/14/14 8:05 P

Take it for what it is worth. Enjoy the feeling.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 3,293
7/14/14 7:01 P

This is only degrading if you decide to think about it that way.

I lived for many years in cultures where this kid of thing is an everyday experience, though generally not done in a crude way. You can enjoy the attention, ignore it or make it into a crisis in your head.

-CORAL- SparkPoints: (40,297)
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Posts: 2,322
7/14/14 6:49 P

I find I get less harassment if I don't make eye contact with people. I mainly get hecklers on the waterfront park downtown where a lot of homeless people hang out, doing drugs, or just lounging around. When I stopped making eye contact with them, I don't get people yelling vulgar things at me while I'm running.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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7/14/14 4:49 P

I'm with Zorbs on this one - I'll either ignore or present a finger (or two). As an urban dweller, I have to deal with this just walking down the street by myself on a regular basis. Frankly, it's never about/directed at you, its stupid neanderthals making other stupid neanderthals laugh.

MIAMEOWS SparkPoints: (5,524)
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Posts: 187
7/14/14 4:36 P

In the past I had gotten some hurtful catcalls. Which was terrible and really hard to let roll off my back. It hadn't happened at all in years, until last summer/fall when I was walking to a bike trail. All of a sudden I was getting complimentary catcalls! I had no idea how to react, but I remember the 3rd or 4th time it happened I just laughed and said to myself "well, I guess the diet is working!"

The best one happened this spring. I was jogging on that same road and a guy pulled over and asked me if I needed help! I was like "what do you mean??", and he asked if my car had broken down?? hahaha I had to explain that No, I was jogging on purpose. For exercise. LOL

FLORADITA SparkPoints: (63,888)
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Posts: 541
7/14/14 4:26 P

Positive or negative comments are never pleasant, it is just so inappropriate but I believe that is the point, to make us uncomfortable. It is intimidation and a power trip, even when they yell something supposedly complementary it is gross, why should anyone be subjected to a strangers comments on our appearance etc. I always pretend I don't hear them and never make eye contact. A friend wears sunglasses and ear phones but without her ipod and never stops or makes eye contact with anyone. She says this keeps her focused on her running and nothing else.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (195,969)
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Posts: 26,975
7/14/14 4:16 P

This has happened to me plenty of times. When I was obese, I did get a lot of negative comments. I tried to ignore them. I've found that most people (when they are alone) don't bother you. However, get a whole bunch of jerks in a car and the next thing you know, you're getting colorful metaphors shouted at you.

These days, I tend to get more positive comments than negative ones. You will too. For now, just ignore the idiots driving around with nothing better to do than harass women trying to get in a workout.

Don't let the idiots bother you. Every single one of the people shouting rude comments from a car either have a weight issue themselves OR will end up with one when they get older. Everyone thinks this will never happen to me, but the universe has a way of setting things right. Let that be some comfort to you.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (191,913)
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Posts: 15,781
7/14/14 3:58 P

I get honks (always "complimentary" ha!) and such on occasion and the automatic reaction is double middle fingers.

DROPCONE Posts: 1,592
7/14/14 3:50 P

It's happened to me. I mostly ignore it. I process it enough to determine that whoever is yelling at me is, in fact, saying rude and unnecessary comments (as opposed to warning about oncoming traffic or something). Then I make sure they are far away from me & don't present any kind of threat other than being able to yell at me. Then I ignore them. I'm not very confrontational though.

The thing to remember is that such actions are never about you specifically or personally. You just happened to be the person they picked as a target to harangue because they felt like yelling at someone to bolster their fragile sense of self-worth. It could have been anybody. It is a shame that people behave this way, but it is not a reflection on you at all.

In terms of personal safety, people who harass on the street are almost never going to be a real danger to you, unless you let them in your head.

7/14/14 3:22 P

I go through this. I run outside 5 days a week & I have had people yell at me. I generally have my headphones in & music playing so I just disregard it. I have had few creeps drive past me multiple times in a short time period but I always carry my phone & a small pepper spray. If you like to exercise outside, don't let anyone ruin it for you!

-CORAL- SparkPoints: (40,297)
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Posts: 2,322
7/14/14 2:56 P

Since there's nothing I can do about it, I try to ignore it. It's annoying but hopefully (generally) harmless. If it really bothers you, maybe wear earplugs and listen to music. Just be extra vigilant about traffic.

LOOLAH Posts: 888
7/14/14 2:39 P

I am a little hesitant to put this up here, but have any of you ever had the issue of men, or ANYONE in general, cat calling or yelling at you from their car windows while you are outside exercising? This has happened to me several times, one of them last year which was rather heartbreaking (a group of teenage boys had driven by and yelled out "Big 'ol a**" at me.) It happened again last night and for a moment I thought about not walking outside without my husband. This thought immediately made me furious though. I should not have to be escorted by a man so that people will respect me. I enjoy walks on my own while listening to music or taking in the beautiful scenery. I know that I am not supposed to care what people say and many would take some of these things as a compliment (ie, whistles). The fact is, the unwanted attention is unnecessary and demeaning. And to me, walking around the track at a gym is boring when the weather is beautiful.

I guess I am simply curious as to what your reaction is when something like this happens. Do you get angry? Not really care?

Edited by: LOOLAH at: 7/14/2014 (14:50)
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