A few weeks ago I posted this picture (on Instagram) of my jogging trail:
It’s one of my favorite places in town.
The wild flowers, trees and a giant rock wall entertain me as I trek along.
It’s somewhat of an escape for me. I put my ear buds in and am instantly lost in the music.
However, the trail has its downsides.
For one, it is very secluded.
Last weekend I got to the trail about 30 minutes later than my usual time. The sun was still up but I knew dusk was approaching. I figured I would jog half of my usual routine and make it back before sunset.
Well, I got about halfway down the 3 mile trail and noticed the street lights were on. I began to jog a little quicker, hoping to get to my car before dark.
A few minutes later, I had this urge to look behind me. When I looked back, I saw a black figure running towards me. I couldn’t make out any of the details (i.e. race, gender, build) but it made my hair stand on end.
Immediately, I shut off my music and called my dad. I could barely speak. I was in a full sprint, my lungs felt like they were going to explode.
When I finally made out the words: “I think I’m being chased by someone on the jogging trail!” He began to ask me specific questions about my location.
“I’m on a secluded jogging trail in the middle of the woods. I’m not visible to anyone other than the person behind me. They are wearing all black; I can’t even see their face. They might be wearing a mask. I am a mile from my car. I’m between Kerr Lab and 14th street, headed south towards Kerr Lab where my car is parked.”
At this point, I had convinced myself that I was about to be abducted.
I pushed myself harder. My legs felt foreign to my body. They were moving faster than ever before. I keep an eye on the person behind me. They were running too.
I prayed that God protect me. I imagined him making me invisible to the potential abductor. I believed that the Lord was capable. So I ran and I prayed. “Lord protect me. Lord protect me. Lord protect me.” I probably thought it a hundred times.
When I made it out of the woods, and I could see my car, I began to relax.
Once I was safely in my car, I looked down the trail. No one was there. No one ever came out of the woods. It was like I had made the whole thing up.
I have no idea if I was in any kind of real danger. I have no idea if the person behind me was even a male or a female. But my instincts told me that something was wrong. My instincts told me to run.
Later that night, my dad told me that he could hardly make out what I was saying because I was breathing so hard. He did say that he could hear the panic in my voice.
We were both a little shaken up.
Looking back, I probably should have been more careful. I shouldn’t have been jogging so late in the evening.
I haven’t been on the trail since that scary encounter. I’m not sure I will ever feel safe there again.
But I will pay better attention to my surroundings, and I will NEVER go jogging at dusk again!
I know several of you are runners, promise me you will not make my mistake!
Take care of yourselves!
Happy Hump Day!