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Be Careful Out There

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Spark email this morning contained a link to an article about Inspirational Workout Songs. I agree that music has the power to motivate us. I would even choose my fitness classes partly on the type of music the instructor used.

However, the photo with the article showed a man and a woman running outside.

I left a comment about the importance of being aware of your surroundings and decided that after my run I would share in my blog a scary experience of my daughter’s.

Little did I know that I would return from my run with an experience of my own.

I didn’t get very far when I heard a soft “jingling” sound approaching from behind.
I turned around to see a small dog running at high speed.

OK, the dog was small, but I remembered him. Last winter he jumped up on me and ripped a hole in my new tights. Now I was in shorts, it would be my skin messed up this time. Fortunately, I heard him coming and was able to react.

My aggressive attitude slowed him down and he darted across the street to “greet” a large black lab being walked on a leash. Cars fortunately stopped, but the lab reacted defensively. Now the lab’s owner was yelling at the dog too. She told me where the owner lived.

We walked over there together. The dog followed and I told the owner about my tights and that he should keep his dog contained.

Now back to my daughter’s story.

When she was a college freshman she was out for a Sunday morning run. A man came up behind her and grabbed her. She elbowed him off and ran to a Seven-Eleven store where she found a police car. She rode with them and they got the guy.

So yes, music is motivating and inspirational, but consider the effect of not being able to hear a mugger, a dog, or even the warning bell of a bicycle before it’s too late.

Everyone thinks it won’t happen to them, until it does. Be fit but stay safe.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:

    My SIL recommended pepper spray to me if I ever walk or cycle in her area because of the dogs and coyotes (in my area most dogs are on leashes because people don't want their pups getting hit by cars). It might be a good thing for all of us?

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    I've always kept one earbud out. I like to be able to hear. I have been nipped by a dog without music even once though...I've become even more wary of dogs than I already was (I don't really like dogs, I tolerate my family's dogs but that's it, the barking always got to me...I prefer meows and purrs by far).

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MARYJEANSL 7/16/2014 10:45PM

  I got bitten by a dog while bicycling once - I'm very glad you were able to get away. I love dogs in general, but I have learned the hard way to be extremely careful of dogs I don't know. You are so, so right about taking care.

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WATERMELLEN 7/16/2014 7:03PM

    I so agree with you . . . and gotta say, glad that little dog owner didn't take a swing at you either!!

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KANOE10 7/16/2014 9:21AM

    I am glad your daughter is safe and that you told that owner about the dog. Good advice!

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SPINNINGJW 7/16/2014 7:31AM

    I wear one earbud with my RunKeeper app on my phone. Sometimes the 5 min update startles me, but I am aware of my surroundings, usually listening to birds chirp, or frogs if I am by the lake.

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PHEBESS 7/16/2014 1:18AM

    There are also stories I've seen in newspapers where a jogger went to cross a road and was hit by a car or bus, because they had their music on and couldn't hear the vehicle was right there when they turned to look.

I definitely walk without music if I'm outside!

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KAREN-IS-HERE 7/15/2014 8:32PM


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ONEKIDSMOM 7/15/2014 7:36PM

    Good cautionary tale! Thanks for putting it out here for all to see!

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TRAVELGRRL 7/15/2014 7:30PM

    I like music too, but usually keep one earphone out. Your cautionary tales are a service to everyone -- thank you for sharing.

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MJREIMERS 7/15/2014 7:12PM

    Very scary!! I don't run with music at all. I have had too many times where people aren't paying attention and have almost hit me. Parking lots and crossing driveways seem to be the worse. I wear neon colors when I run, so I am bright!!! People just don't pay attention.

I hope the dog's owner listens. If not, maybe a complaint needs to be filed. I'm relieved to hear that not only was your daughter able to defend herself, but that they caught the guy. She is very brave!

Thanks for the blog. Stay safe out there!!

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LINDAKAY228 7/15/2014 5:21PM

    Wow so glad your daughter is safe! That is a scary experience and could happen to anyone. Some big dogs I don't trust but there is a lot of those little dogs that I REALLY do not trust! Sometimes they are meaner (or bark obsessively, not related to the running experience but just threw that in because it is true) than the big dogs. Hope the owner takes to heart what you guys told him.

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TERI-RIFIC 7/15/2014 4:25PM


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RUDITUDI2000 7/15/2014 4:11PM

    Totally agree! Thanks for the reminder. I usually wear only one ear plug and keep it down low. Recently I've just started carrying my phone, playing music on low via the speaker phone.
Safety matters! We don't stand much chance against a car!

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WILSONWR 7/15/2014 2:55PM

    Great blog about the dangers of distraction. (That was fast thinking on the part of your daughter - that is definitely scary!)

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ALICIA363 7/15/2014 2:31PM

    Good advice!

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KANSASROSE67 7/15/2014 2:02PM

    How scary for your daughter...and great that she had such of presence of mind to react quickly.

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DR1939 7/15/2014 1:51PM

    emoticon It worries me when I see people walking or running with their ears plugged up. It is very dangerous, even midday in a busy area.

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PHOENIX1949 7/15/2014 1:30PM


Ever so often an unleashed dog would come menacingly bounding toward me and my walking buddy. I started carrying a stun gun with me -- not to use on the dog -- BUT, the electrical popping sound stops them in their tracks and if they don't immediately go the other way, a second popping sound would usually solve that. Win, win in my book.

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50YEARSAWIFE 7/15/2014 12:48PM

    I agree also. I have heard of several instances where people were accosted because they had they earbuds on and music blaring.

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BA5454 7/15/2014 12:47PM

    Ack! Such a close call for your daughter! I make it a point to never run with music now and after years of actually wearing ear buds I've finally come to the conclusion that I'm okay with it. Thanks for the reminder.

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KRISZTA11 7/15/2014 12:44PM

    Scary experiences, huh!
Totally agree.
I always run without music, I naturally love silence an being aware of my surroundings, including what is behind my back.

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POINDEXTRA 7/15/2014 12:28PM

    Great points! Earbuds block out so much important sound around us. When I do wear them outdoors, I only wear one, so I can still hear the sounds around me.

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