I was walking the hound through the park this evening – wide path, but very dark (no lights here), and woods on both sides, nobody in sight. I wasn’t carrying a torch, because I like night, and there was enough ambient city-light for me to see where I was going. Suddenly a man-shape looms out of the darkness ahead of me, and a guy in running gear walks towards me, and as he passes me says “I’m going to be charging back up here in a minute. I just wanted to tell you so you didn’t think I was chasing you.”
My first response was ‘Oh, no worries’, but then it clicked just what he’d said so I turned and called ‘Thank you!’. Seriously, thank you, man-shaped person, for considering my need to feel safe and unthreatened. For appreciating that what you are doing (sprinting along an unlit path through the woods), whysoever you are doing it, could, through no fault of your own, cause a lone female (admittedly with a large dog) to feel startled and unsafe. More of this consideration, please, men! And less of the ‘Well OBVIOUSLY I’m not a rapist/mugger so I should just be able to go running at night without explaining myself’ defensiveness.
About thirty seconds later I did hear pounding footsteps behind me, and he did charge past me at full sprint. And if he hadn’t warned me, it would certainly have alarmed me. But it was fine, and I shared a joke with him as he walked back past me to do it all over again. So again, thank you for making sure my evening walk was worry free.
You scared the shit out of the dog though ;)