Feeling Empowered Through Self-Defense

I have been wanting to take some kind of self-defense class. Although the trail I typically go jogging on is fairly popular, I always have that nagging worry in the back of my mind. I’m not constantly on guard worrying that somebody will assault me, but the thought is there. These what-if type of thoughts especially arise when I am out jogging with D in the stroller.

I was fortunate this week in that my husband came across some information about a free event that was taking place Saturday at Greenlake Park in Seattle. The event was organized by Fighting Chance Seattle, a martial arts dojo located in Ballard. Jordan, the owner of the dojo, wanted to have the event as a response to an incident that took place in October where a woman had been assaulted while walking around Greenlake. This is terrible, but what was even more terrible was how it was reported by the news. Apparently the message that was conveyed was that women should be afraid; that it’s not safe for women to go jogging alone, especially at Greenlake. To combat this message, an event for a free 1-hour hands-on self-defense course was organized, specifically for female runners.

I was excited when my husband told me about this event and of course I attended the class. The class, called Run Prepared, focused on some key tips on how to be an aware and empowered runner, and how to avoid being a “crappy victim”. We were then shown five different strikes and how to escape three different holds which we then got to practice with the instructors, who, I might mention, are students of the dojo who volunteered their time for the event. The class felt very empowering as I stood alongside 35 women learning how to kick butt and protect themselves should they ever need to. By the end of the class I had a good grasp on how to defend myself and how to avoid finding myself in a dangerous situation to begin with. I left wanting to learn more and am looking forward to taking a full self-defense class.

Today while out on my run, I put what I learned yesterday into practice. I was more aware of my surroundings and focused on making myself not look like a good target. I actually felt more confident as a runner which helped when I came across two men on the trail. They weren’t typical trail-goers. What I mean by that is that they weren’t out for a jog, bike ride, or out enjoying each others company while on a leisurely walk. From what I gathered from their loud conversation, their car had run out of gas. As I ran past them, one of them began catcalling, which pretty much never happens on this trail. Instead of feeling fearful or anxious, I felt mad. How dare you? I thought. Instead of hunching down and making myself small, I made myself bigger and I ran harder and faster, all the while in my mind I replayed the self-defense tactics I had learned the day prior. After I got home I realized just how much one hour had changed my disposition. Just applying some tips and tricks to be more aware of myself and my surroundings while having some defense moves in my back pocket just in case has made me a more confident and empowered woman.

I highly recommend taking a self-defense class. As women, we have the right to feel empowered and confident and to not be afraid. To learn more about Fighting Chance Seattle, check them out here. Also be on the lookout for a documentary about the event yesterday to learn more about what was taught.

StrollerRun14 Weekend Recap

National Stroller Running Day was in full swing at our house this weekend. I love taking D along with me for my workouts. He enjoys tagging along, and I get to demonstrate to him how important it is to live an active lifestyle. We kicked off the day by going to a Stroller Strides class on Saturday. My hamstrings were begging me not to go. They did not appreciate all of the squats and lunges, but class was fun and it was a great way to start the weekend.

D got tuckered out on our run even though he did none of the running.

D got tuckered out on our run even though he did none of the running.

I decided to keep the momentum of National Stroller Running Day going by taking D out for a jog on Sunday. My legs thought I was crazy but they decided it wasn’t so bad once I started running. About 10 minutes from the house on the way back, I noticed that D was leaning over the side of the stroller looking at something. I was curious what he was looking at and had myself a look. Turns out he was fast asleep. I guess I’ll take that to mean I’m getting better at running with the jogging stroller.

My body is taking a sigh of relief today as it takes the day off from any sort of exercise. I think a warm lavender bath is in order.

Did you do anything fun for National Stroller Running Day?

National Stroller Running Day

These past few months have been a whirlwind. We moved, my husband started a new job, and D has continued to keep us on our toes. It feels like there is always something needing my attention. Being a stay-at-home mom, there isn’t really a lot of “me time”. Even as I write this, D is taking a break from playing and is now nursing. Now that fall is officially here, it’s even easier to find an excuse to not exercise and eat some Halloween candy instead. That being said, I have learned to make it work. No excuses.

I have a jogging stroller and there is a lovely paved trail within 10 minutes walking distance of our home. My jogging stroller desperately needs an upgrade. It was bought second-hand and according to the manufacture date on the label, it is 10 years old. It’s very basic; no cushioning for D and no bells and whistles. It does the job, though, and gets us around. Today I looked outside and thought, “Ugh, I don’t want to go out in the rain.” I shooed that thought out the door and bundled D up and strapped him in the stroller. I put the rain cover on over the stroller and we headed on out. By the time we were halfway through my jog it had stopped raining, and I felt fantastic as we got home and walked through the door. Nothing beats a good stretch after a run.

I was gifted a coupon for a free week of Stroller Strides classes at our local Fit4Mom community. Stroller Strides is a 60-minute total body workout that incorporates the stroller and your surroundings. I love the idea because there is no need to worry about childcare since your child comes with you. I have some friends that do Stroller Strides and they all love it. I am also in love with the idea that the program is consisted of a group of moms demonstrating to their children that fitness is important. I will report back as to how I like it!

For you parents out there that love hitting the pavement with your little one in a stroller, mark November 8 on your calendar. November 8 is National Stroller Running Day. You can find a stroller-friendly race near you by visiting Run Stroller Run. If you’re not feeling an organized race, just go on a jog with your little one or see if a friend wants to tag along. BOB (those drool worthy strollers), Fit4Mom, Linkouture, and New Balance are sponsors and partners for the event. There is also a giveaway you can check out over at Mom’s Little Running Buddy (I am hoping the odds are in my favor and I win a gorgeous BOB Revolution Pro).

If you need a little push, check out the RunDouble app. I have it on my Android and love it. It uses GPS to track your distance and saves your stats so you can see how you are improving. I can also listen to Spotify while it’s running and it will continue to give me announcements on my intervals. It has different programs, including a Couch-to-5K, 10-K Starter Plans, 5K Improver, 10K Event Training, and Half Marathon Event Training. The first couple weeks of the Couch-to-5K program is free and then you have to purchase the app. For $1.59 you can get the full Couch-to-5K program, or for $3.20 you can get ALL of the above programs.

So get your laces tied, pop open that jogging stroller, and go hit the pavement. What are you waiting for?

Out on a jog on a crisp fall day

Out on a jog on a crisp fall day