Sometimes being a woman really sucks. It doesn't matter how strong I am, the weakest man will always be stronger. That scares the crap out of me.
|Except this girl. She could probably beat up a guy...|
There have been many times where I feel uneasy about a stranger near me while I'm alone, but it's usually me just being paranoid. That doesn't mean they're all false alarms; I have two particular examples where being paranoid may have saved my life. But really, I'm not trying to exaggerate or anything.
A couple of years ago I was going on a run. I was about three or four miles into it, and I was running on a fairly busy neighborhood road. I was running on the sidewalk to the right of the street when a beat up car rambled up to the street I was crossing. He turned onto the road I was on and drove past me. I didn't think of anything except that the guy and his car were gross and creepy looking. Then a minute or so went by and the guy was driving towards me. He must have turned around somewhere up the road. I still wasn't worried, but when he passed ANOTHER time and pulled into a driveway a few hundred feet ahead I got scared. I could see him pulling out of the driveway to drive towards me again, so I sprinted into someone's yard and hid behind their house until I knew he had passed.
That was pretty scary. I was stressed the rest of my run, but I was in a friendly neighborhood, surrounded by people that I could run to if it was needed.
This actually happened today, which is why I'm writing this post in the first place. This time I wasn't running, I was biking. Yes, another biking story. I'm starting to see a trend here... But anyway, I bike in pretty remote areas so that I don't have to deal with traffic. I was slowly pedaling up a hill when this car drove past. It was another clunker.
|It kind of looked like this, but worse.|
Now I was scared. I tried to keep my cool and reason with what was happening. It didn't make any sense though. Obviously he hadn't turned around because he had missed the address. But if he was turning around yet again, he would have pulled into the driveway and quickly pulled out. Instead, he sat there for over two minutes and waited for me to pass. All this went through my head while he was passing me for that third time and that's when I knew I should be worried.
I watched while he drove ahead of me. He was approaching a hill and going slower the farther he got from me. Right when he went over the hill, I turned around. It's hard to make a sharp and sudden turn like that on a road bike, so I didn't make the full turn on the road and went in the grass. I had unclipped my right foot, but not my left. So when my bike started to tip to the left, I couldn't catch myself, and I fell to the ground. I'm still new to clipless pedals...
But I didn't even have time to be embarrassed, I just needed to turn around and GO. So I jumped back on my bike and started to ride faster than I thought possible. You know when you're running for your life in nightmares? It felt like that, except I was on a bike, and I wasn't dreaming. I had a feeling that the guy had stopped at the bottom of the hill, but it was just as likely that he had turned around when he realized I wasn't going his direction anymore. I kept on checking over my shoulder to make sure he wasn't behind me. I got back to Westfield road, and turned left onto it. Every time a car passed me, I nearly had a heart attack.
I was legitimately terrified.
I got home safe, but I was still shaken from the whole ordeal. I kept telling myself I was probably just being paranoid, but I couldn't think of any reasons to that guy's actions. I told my mom about the whole situation, and I got scared all over again. I really don't think I was being paranoid. I'm pretty sure I was prompted to turn around and get away fast. Mormons call it the Holy Ghost, but you can call it what you want.
This isn't a funny post, and it's not exactly entertaining. I just had to share this with more than a few people. To all you women, don't fall into a false sense of security. We're not invincible.
Oh, and this time I decided that I'm REALLY done biking by myself.