Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Marathon Sports’

It’s impossible to be a runner for too long without hearing the stories of women who’ve been harassed, catcalled, or even injured or assaulted while running. It is a chillingly common experience for my fellow female runners, and it is completely unacceptable.

Everyone should feel safe when they run – which seems blindingly obvious, like something we should be able to take for granted. But we can’t, because of the evidence: so many women report being antagonized or hurt while they’re out running. The sport I love, which has brought me so much joy and freedom, becomes a context for pain and fear when people threaten or assault female runners.

I usually feel safe when I run here in Eastie, or in my parents’ neighborhood in West Texas, or even on the High Line in New York. But I definitely think twice before heading out the door: do I have my phone? Am I running in a well-lit neighborhood, especially at night? What will I do if a suspicious person approaches me? Here in the city, close to home, I worry less – but I still go through that mental checklist.

Here’s the thing: the onus should not be on me to ensure my own safety while running. It is everyone’s responsibility to treat others with care and respect. I am not “asking for” anything by going out for a run, except space to do it. I shouldn’t even have to think about harassment or threats, and neither should the many women who have endured painful or dangerous experiences while running. (It need hardly be said: as a white woman, I’m far less likely to suffer harassment or worse than women of color.)

My local running store, Marathon Sports, is sponsoring the #LetHerRun virtual 5K this weekend. I’m participating, because I believe everyone should have the right to run without fear, and because the proceeds will go to aid victims of domestic violence. Join me?

Read Full Post »

heart sneakers trail

Around the time I started running, I also started a series of boot camp workshops with my friend Erin Madore (who now owns and operates Savin Hill Fitness Studio in Dorchester). We met on Monday nights in the basement of a spa in Quincy, and that initial six-week series spawned a year and a half of working out together. I’d never done anything like a boot camp before (see also: convinced I was not a gym rat), but I came to love that group of women, and the strength, flexibility and joy we found in sweating together.

About a month into the first boot camp series, I noticed some occasional twinges in my knees, both when I was running (still very slowly) on the river trail and when I was doing squats and lunges in boot camp. I hadn’t injured myself, that I knew of, so I asked Erin about it. She listened patiently, then turned her keen blue eyes on my ancient New Balance sneakers. “Honey, how old are those shoes?”

I was embarrassed to tell her – and frankly, I’m not even sure I knew how old they were (multiple years, for sure). I still wasn’t sure this running-and-workout thing would stick, but I knew I couldn’t keep doing it in broken-down shoes. So I took myself to Nordstrom Rack (and the attendant overwhelm) the following week, and came away with a new pair of shoes. And – most of you know what I’m going to say next – it made such a difference.

Since then, I’ve gone through a few more pairs of shoes; I buy new ones about every six months. I’ve switched from Nordstrom to the helpful folks down the street at Marathon Sports (shop local!), and from New Balance to On Running. As I write this, a new pair is on its way, and the violet ones I’ve been wearing since April will become my walking shoes.

One reason I love running in general is that it helps me pay attention: to the sky, the light, and how I feel in my own body. Wearing down a pair of shoes, and knowing when it’s time to order new ones, is a part of that attention. It’s fun to pick out a new color and I love the feeling of springy new sneakers on that first run. But mostly it’s a reminder: running is one way among many that I take care of my body. And keeping my feet (and knees) happy is definitely critical.

Read Full Post »