That time I was afraid I would run into the Soggy Bottom Boys

Fear is something I struggle with.  Not in an everything scares me sort of way.  I have more of an unnatural aversion to fear that I suppose you get when something that you think you won’t survive happens and you are still alive.

There are a few things that still scare me.  Anything that relates to the safety of my children and  mice in my house are two at the top of my list.  One thing that rarely scares me that I notice seems to frighten other people are strangers.  I have a constant running story in my mind about most everyone I encounter, I think this helps.  It also helps that I have worked with such a variety of people in my life from the very poor to the extremely wealthy and most of the time no one is any more or less dangerous than another.

I guess is why I didn’t think twice when an electrician who was fixing some light fixtures at my house told me about a new running trail I should try, I didn’t think twice.  I did ask if he thought it was safe for a woman to run alone…..that seemed like and appropriate question.  He told me a specific parking lot to park in and said if I started there, I should be fine.  I parked where he suggested and only then did I realize I never asked which way I should go to avoid the urban campsites he warned me about.

I just guessed and went west….it seems like since civilization developed from east to west, this would be the safest route.  About a mile into my run, I realized that this was exactly the terrain he described when telling me where to avoid.  I began to get a funny feeling but I kept on going.  I was fine.  What kind of crazy person did I really think was hiding out there just to see me run by and snatch me?

Finally, I did see someone approaching who brought me comfort.  A man bicycled by me and I laughed out loud at the thought that a strange man dressed in head to toe spandex could bring me such comfort in the middle of nowhere.  I carried on and finished my run in the 40 mile an hour Oklahoma wind only have expecting to see the Soggy Bottom Boys down by the Oklahoma river I ran beside.  I figured the worst that could happen is they would offer me some whisky and try to seduce me……because that is a thing, right?

When I returned to the safety of my care, I realized a few take-a-ways.

  1. It may not be the best idea to ask a young single man if a particular place would make a woman feel uncomfortable.  The answer always seems to be no unless they are a father or a husband and then it is an emphatic yes.
  2. I feel more safe in a crowded city I am unfamiliar with than the middle of nowhere in my own city.
  3. Fear makes you very creative.
  4. O Brother Where Art Thou is a darn good movie.
  5. Sometimes it is good to feel a little fear, it makes you feel alive like jumping into a cold pool.
  6. I will go back, but I think I will run the other direction.

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