Now that I have your attention – I am not going to stop running. Running is my decompress, destress, think and process time. But due to some interesting developements, I will need to rethink where I run!
We were recently notificed by the police department that a level 2 sex offender has moved into the neighbot hood! He is almost literally in my front yard. From the general area that was given in the notice, it is less than a 2 minute run from where he is living(geneal location) to my house. The street on which he lives is my 800 meter track for speed work. It is the “perfect” track – all I have to do is roll out of bed, walk to the end of my street and there it is! However now it might not be the best location for my track.
However that is really small potatoes. What is really hard is helping my youngest process and deal with this. She also rode that loop on her bike – generally alone. But this is a sneaky predator and due to her physical limitations – she would be easy pickings for him. Not only does she have physical limitations that would make it almost impossible for her to fight off an attacker (and this one is rather large – she wouldn’t stand a chance against him), she has processing issues. She doesn’t process quickly or accurately – so she might not even realize she is in danger – and that is a big concern to this mom.
The hardest thing to hear as we were talking about this around the table came from my youngest daughter. After hearing the news, she said, “I can’t ride my bike.” Well yes and no – it does mean she can’t ride alone and we were just heading into giving her a bit more independence! But the boys will have to step up and ride with her and protect her! But it is crushing to hear the fear she feels from this person living in our neighborhood.
So with changes in the neighborhood come changes to our routine. While I probably could run the 800 meter track periodically for speed work – I need to set the exampe for my youngest. She trys to be like me in many ways. I need to communicate to her how to be safe and model what that looks like.
My heart is sad as I think about what is taken away from my youngest but so thankful that we have been notified by the police department so we can take steps to protect her. But you can be assured that if I every see this man moving towards my youngest – the momma bear will come out with her claws!