Exercise! - How to avoid creepy men outdoors??

07-03-2008, 09:44 PM
Ok, so I'm really out of shape and I really want to get back in the game. I use to run on ocassion awhile back, but since then have slacked off completely. I'm trying to ease myself back into it slowly, and I took the plunge yesterday. It wasn't too bad, except I got a really bad cramp in my lower right abdominal- but hey, that's understandable.

Anyway, I have a bit of a dilemma:
The men around here are creepy/disgusting. I got "cheered" at twice.. >:o
I left around 9:00pm last night when it got dark out. (I know it's not the best, but I got followed once by a landscape guy in his truck when I went in the afternoon. The next thing I knew, he was out of his car FOLLOWING me, and I had to cut through 2 random backyards to get away from him.) creepy, yes. And I'm a teenager, which is even more creepy to get 'attention' like that from older men.

I've also had guys scream the most disgusting/obscene things at me before. Getting honked at also sucks. I usually ignore it and crank up my ipod to it's highest sound capacity.

I know it would be a lot easier if I just got a treadmill, or a gym membership, but I can't. I'm a broke college student. I also can't find ANYONE to go with me. :?:

I need your advice!!!
2.) what should I do in the event of another creepy man???
any other precautions???

07-03-2008, 09:52 PM
You actually don't want your IPod that loud...both to preserve your hearing, and because you need to hear if someone worse than creepy is walking behind you.

I'd get some pepper spray. And keep it easily accessible. Just in case. And I'd try different routes, to try to determine which one had the least folks that set off my skeeveometer.

07-03-2008, 10:13 PM
I'd say change where you're running. If you're some place with a lot of people and some creepster is following you it's easier to get help, and I think a lot of time other people being around discourages them.

That sucks though. Some (homeless) guy came up to me in the muni station today looked me up and down and went "oh yeah" right in my face. YUCK!

07-03-2008, 10:31 PM
Is there a high school near by that you could use their track? Also, make sure you have a cell phone on you or possibly bring a friend. I strongly discourage walking at night, I understand the creepy guy during the day -- but it's much easier to get away during day light.

I had two guys follow me once when I was walking almost two miles making nasty comments -- luckily I was walking to my cousin's house, so they carried on when I got there. Yuck!!

07-03-2008, 10:38 PM
can you get a big black dog to run with you?? If you lived near me I'd lend you mine.

07-04-2008, 12:06 AM
Never walk alone or after dark. Carry pepper spray, or better yet go to the High school and use the track or to the community center and use their treadmill. If you must walk outside, please don't go alone if you have such creepy disgusting men following you.

Can you do videos & DVD's in the safety of your home? I have some that go unused that I could send you.

07-04-2008, 12:26 AM
I would agree as far as trying to exercise earlier in the day/in more crowded places. Once when I expressed surprise that there were far more creepy guys on public transportation at about 3 in the afternoon than at 11:30 at night, a friend of mine replied, "Yeah, but what are they going to be able to do at 3 in the afternoon?" The same applies here, I think. Better to be uncomfortable but safe. I'm really sorry about the situation, though. I hope you find a way to feel safer.

07-04-2008, 12:49 AM
Yikes! Umm... #1 I would AAAAALWAYS run with my cell phone in hand and fully charged. Always. And I would tell someone where I was going/for ab how long etc.

I too get honked at when I go jogging alone, sometimes, though thank goodness nothing truly creepy has happened ::knocks on wood:: and I feel some of the honking is for my bouncing boobage, which is no better than honking cuz a chubby girl is running, but still...

I prefer to go jogging with my fiance (the best option -- no one will bother you when you're with a guy, esp. not a tough-looking Albanian guy lol) or with a friend of mine (we still get honks, but it's safer). Maybe you could
find someone nearby who'd like to join you at least a few nights a week?

Good luck -- men can be so gross. But ALWAYS have your cell at hand (not just if you get followed, but also if you hurt yourself a need help). Always.

07-04-2008, 01:10 AM
I like the pepper spray idea. Don't spray it into the wind!!! practice with it. Are you near a school you can walk at? Do you belong to a church or anything? Those are goods places to scare up a workout buddy. I would definitely walk during the day. There are more witnesses during the day, scary but true. I walk with a fanny pack. Holds my phone, keys, water, and room for pepper spray.
If all else fails, act like a crazy woman. See if you can scare them more than they are scaring you. Where do you live?

07-04-2008, 01:48 AM
It is NOT worth it to run at night.

I'm in the same situation - young, poor college student, weird neighboorhood, no one to run with. I keep my ipod pretty quiet, and I run around 5 am before the sun comes up.

The creepies are usually gone by then, and the people you do see out are usually professional and on their morning routine to work and much less likely to cat-call you.

Pepper spray, a fog horn, a neighbors dog, and five am. Those are my recommendation.

Unfortunately for me - that's still not enough to make me really feel safe so I've switched from teh C25K to Yoga Booty Ballet dvds so I can stay inside. I'll try the C25K back out when I'm back at school and can use our university's fitness center after class.

Good luck and be SAFE.

07-04-2008, 02:24 AM
I used to do the same thing too. I wouldn't do it now, just because things have definitely changed in the past ten years. I would carry one of those really loud whistles with you around your neck. My pepper spray came with a free one. Try that sucker out.

This sounds bad as well, but try to avoid looking like a target. My best friend, who is about 5 foot 1 has been held up by gunpoint and mugged and she also had two men pull sawed-off shotguns in her face when we were younger. She is pretty meek and really doesn't look like she would ever put up a fight. She avoids dangerous situations, but smart criminals, and believe it or not, a lot of them are very smart, seek out women in vulnerable situations. The Association for Women's Self Defense Advancement has a very helpful website. Just read it once. It will stay with you for a long time.

07-04-2008, 01:14 PM
Can you go for a run early in the morning? On the days when I run, I get up at 5:30 in the morning. I do run at home on my treadmill, but in my neighbourhood, there is no one around at that time of the day - except an odd person walking a dog.

07-04-2008, 01:31 PM
Read the book The Gift of Fear (http://www.amazon.com/Gift-Fear-Gavin-Becker/dp/0440508835/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1215188763&sr=1-1). Most libraries should have it.

I also second keeping the volume low on your Ipod. Better to hear what is going on around you. Pepper spray, a whistle and a cell phone would be great as well.

I would go drive a few different routes and then pick a few and try a different route every day. You don't want to get into the position where people know when you are going to be there. Keep switching things up.

I don't know where you are located but have you checked to see if there are any running clubs nearby? Maybe meetup.com to try and find a running partner.

Good luck and try to stay safe.

07-05-2008, 01:43 AM
Ugh, story of my life. My town is full of creepy men and sometimes it is uncomfortable just walking a few blocks. Honestly, I don't like to jog outside, even when I take a walk, I rarely use my mp3 player for the same reason that I may not know what is going on around me, if I am in danger, if someone is calling and needs help...
So, I'm into my treadmill but I admit that gets boring.
There is a park nearby with a 2-mile track on it that I go to if I want to just go for a leisurely walk outside.. there's always tons of people there (there are tennis courts, soccer fields, and exercise areas) so you feel safe. I suggest you try the same, try a track or a park with a lot of people in it and go during the peak hours. Usually there are policemen patrolling the parks as well, so that is another bonus. I don't even walk anywhere late at night, much less jog, although I could be paranoid.