In the town where I used to live (which was one of the safest towns in the country), not long ago, a man attacked a woman with a knife, stabbing her in the neck. She survived, but he escaped and the whole town was in shock. That kind of violent crime was practically unheard of.
The crime was particularly worrisome for me because I ran on that trail alone nearly every day, and had done so for years. The woman was attacked in the middle of the afternoon and I could easily have been running on that trail at that time. It was only pure chance that led me to run on a different trail that day.
It felt like a violation…those trails were my safe haven from stress and the stabbist (as my friends and I dubbed him) had ruined that sanctity. He had turned my sanctuary into a place of fear. I refused to be scared away. I’m stubborn like that. I continued to run on the trail, though I carried a mobile phone and ran without music.
The possibility of a second attack was on my mind when I was running on that trail, and I considered what I would do if I came across the stabbist. Run away! was my first thought and instinct. But then I thought, I can’t just leave him out there…the next person who came across him might get attacked.
No, I thought, I would just have to tackle him if I ever saw him and wrestle away his weapon and THEN flee. Now, if you knew me, you would be laughing here. I am a genuine pacifist, gentle through and through. I don’t even like dodgeball because you have to throw things at people.
I told a good friend about my stabbist plans and she responded, “No! No tackling! You stay a good distance away and taunt him. Then when he comes after you, run a bit farther and taunt him again.”
“How would I taunt a stabbist?” I asked seriously.
“Hey stabbist!” she cried, “Yeah, you! Stabbist! Come and get me, stabbist!”