A lot can happen…

… while you’re waiting for your CCW permit to come in the mail. For me, 25 days have passed and in that time, some good things have happened:

  • I lost 13 pounds (I’ll be one of the few whose ID says she weighs MORE than she actually does).
  • GB got a promotion.

Some bad things have also happened. For example:

  • A coworker’s house was robbed.
  • More than 615 crimes were reported to CrimeReports (the site the Reno Police Department recommends) for the Reno, Nevada area.

While I’ve been waiting for my CCW, residents of the town I live in have experienced gang violence, shootings, sexual assaults, robberies, etc. I have been blessed not to have any of those recent crimes happen to me and that my friends and loved ones affected by crime were not injured. But I did have an incident in my life reminded me of how vulnerable I can be.

I was walking around a local park on its flat, one-mile trail. I like to walk to get some exercise, some sun and to just take a break from work and school. I don’t listen to music when I walk, talk on the phone or text. I look around. Constantly.

I’m not looking around to enjoy the scenery; to watch the soccer, baseball or football games going on at the park; to smile at the games kids play on the jungle gyms; or even to people-watch for entertainment. I’m being situationally aware. Reno has its share of people who hurt women. We put one in jail not too long ago, but others are out there. 

While I was glancing around, I caught a glimpse of a man over my right shoulder. Each time I rescanned my area, he was still there. Off to my right, not directly behind me but off from me at an angle. I gave him a look that said “Hey you. I see you. I know you’re there. You can’t sneak up on me.” He looked directly back at me and then he altered his gait. He began walking faster and he changed his angle. I saw from his speed and direction change that he was setting himself up to intercept me if I didn’t change my speed or direction. I slowed down and I stared at him, following his progress into my path very closely. He slowed down. I wasn’t going to speed up, putting him crossing behind me, so I dropped a step or two each time he looked away from me, but I maintained the same speed. This put him crossing 10 feet in front of me without him realizing it until it was already happening.

He entered into my path several feet ahead of me. He stopped there with a confused look on his face and turned to head me off. He stared at me. I stared at him right back. “I know you’re there. I don’t know what you’re up to, but if you come at me, I’m not going to go down easily.” Then, he turned away from me and exited the park and crossed the street at a quick pace.

I don’t know why he was in the park. I don’t know what his reasons for being there were. I don’t know why he suddenly left. I do know that he gave me the creeps and that I didn’t want him around me. I’m glad I was paying attention at the park and not day-dreaming. I might have found myself unarmed and in a very difficult situation.

A lot can happen when you’re waiting for your CCW permit to come in the mail. Hopefully an assault won’t be one of those things.

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