Don't be a Victim
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Don't be a Victim

My hubby and I went for a long bike ride at a local bike & hike trail recently. Beautiful scenery and great ride!  My legs were really tight afterward, so I took the opportunity to stretch while Hubby put his bike on our rack to go home. Something caught my concern: two men were coming up the walk not far away. One of them said, “I wish I had a woman to go home to," in a drunken accent. I realized they had spied me out.  No one else was around, just two of them and my hubby and I. I finished my stretch as if it were the last one I needed, then wheeled my bike over to Hubby. The self-defense instructor part of me was tweaked.

1. The first step to assault was done—spied me out.

2. The second one commenced—engage the victim.
The first one, whom I heard speaking behind me, decided to engage me, not Hubby, in a conversation. When he realized I was on alert, he ended the conversation and got in his vehicle to leave.

3. The second one also tried to engage me in conversation. “Was the first ready to drive away if the second tried to abduct me?” went through my head. The first one had pulled out of his parking spot, then sat in the drive waiting for his friend.

4. Not only did he strike up conversation with me about the bike rack, but he also addressed my hubby in the conversation.

Paranoid? Absolutely not! If this were not a potential attack, then no harm-no foul. My instincts have served me well all these years, though. Their gazes were on me, not my hubby. By the time he gave up and put his stuff in the vehicle his friend was driving, I had a good physical description of both of them, location, vehicle, and license plate #. I am telling you this to bring awareness to your surroundings when you are out. I normally don’t write about self-defense on Totally Fit 4 Life, but felt it important to help you avoid becoming a victim this summer.

Here are things you can do to avoid becoming an assault victim:

1. Be aware of your surroundings. Are you being watched? Is there anything unusual going on? Location?
2. Stand tall with good posture. Look confident even if your legs feel like jelly.
3. Address anyone who begins a conversation with you. Look them in the eye, but be aware of what is happening around you. Is there a weapon? What movements is he or she making? 

4. Note anyone else who may be with the "talker". The "talker" is not your immediate concern, the other people with him or her are. But don't think the "talker" won't do something.

5. Catalog in your mind a description of the person, vehicle, location, etc. for identification if you need it for police.

6. Look for a possible exit. Use it if you feel uncomfortable with the person who is talking to you, but pay attention to where they are when you leave. (it could be the gas station building, store, your car, any safe place nearby).

7. If this person or another begins to reach or grab for you, defend now! Do not hesitate or let the grab take full hold. The tighter the grasp, the more difficult to get away.

I would recommend taking a self-defense course locally. Do not depend on mace or pepper spray, or any item to use to defend yourself because it could fail or be used against you. They are good to have, though, and could potentially be your only way out. Learn to defend yourself bare-handed from any and every position possible. Your life may depend on it.

May God bless you!

May God bless you!

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