This week has been a struggle in the running department. It’s a combination of hot, humid weather, too much on my to do list, and just being worn out. But, I ran.
Early in the week, I nearly made a snarky social media post, because I had been noticing men taking more than just a passing glance at me while I was running. It bothered me — my immediate thought was that they had no right to assume that I was out on the sidewalks of my town trying to be eye candy just for them.
But, the to do list won, and I never made the post.
I did, however, keep thinking about those stares and my reaction. Why did it offend me so much? I dress more than modestly for my hobby — I wear capris and a t-shirt. I even get the same kind of stares when I wearing a Camelbak for my long runs. (I have to be careful about heat injuries and dehydrating.)
Was I giving in my culture and my personal history again? I obviously assumed that the men looking were thinking sexual thoughts. How could I know that?
As I continued studying my reaction, I started thinking about the what-ifs.
- What if these guys were, like my husband, simply trying to identify movement and color they had noticed as they were driving? (Yes, that is what my husband does — he stares at everything except people working out as he drives. It’s an interesting experience!)
- What if some of them were actually thinking that it was refreshing to see a woman with her body modestly covered?
- What if they were wondering how in the world I could tolerate the heat with that much clothing on?
- What if I noticed guys staring, but I blew off women staring? I’m not exactly dressed in common running fashions.
- What if I made a point to practice giving people the benefit of the doubt and assume their intentions and actions are innocent?
The runs are still hot, humid, and difficult, but much more pleasant than at the beginning of the week!