Paranoid vs Vigilant

Since it’s Tuesday, I’m joining the link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner)

The Topic for today is: Distinguishing Between Being Paranoid and Being Vigilant

I’ll relate this to running, of course.

First it was Covid19.  Then this.

What I am saying is not meant to be critical of anyone. Everyone deals with dangerous situations differently.

So let’s start with COVID-19….

My hubby’s family acts as if COVID-19 doesn’t exist. No masks, Lots of hugging, Family indoor gatherings. etc. (and my MIL in 95 and my DIL pregnant!!)

If they were runners, they would high five other runners, congregate at start and finish lines of races and run side by side in groups.

I always wear a mask when I have to or think I should. I am always sensitive to others’ feelings and I want to protest them (and myself), of course.

But life goes on. I see my friends. I’ve gone to hairdressers, chiropractors, dentists, and even the mall. I run with my friends. They have been part of my weekly bubble since May.

I feel safe. I feel that I am vigilant. I do not put others at risk.

When is it being “paranoid?”

According to the dictionary, when you “feel that you’re being threatened in some way, … even though there’s no proof that it’s true.”

In other words, avoiding situations where you would never get COVID-19. Thinking that every cough is COVID-19.

Coronavirus Memes To Help You Get Through These Scary Times

Yes, the virus is dangerous.  I’m not downplaying that.  But the risks are not always as high some people believe. It is ok to go to a doctor or to the hair dresser. It is ok not to wear a mask when you are outdoors and not within 6 feet of others.

If a race is being scheduled, they have taken all the necessary precautions so that the runners are safe. You can run on bike paths and still be safe from the virus. Just wear a mask or pull up your buff when others get too close!!

Now onto the other dangerous situation. – being attacked while running alone.

A runner recently was attacked while running alone on a popular bike path – one that I run on fairly often (and alone sometimes).

on the Zim Smith bike path

I got many texts from non-running friends telling me to either NOT run there or to not run ALONE.

And yes, I will continue to do both.

Right after that attack, I went for a run on a nearby bike path and there was no one else there.

But my first thought was “Was I safe?”

That really annoyed me.  Of course, I am. It could happen but I can’t not run alone for fear that an insane person will jump out of the bushes and attack me.

Yes, that is being paranoid.

Just wondering … Do you protect yourself when you run alone (knife, pepper spray, whistle, other?)

Personally I prefer to run with others or where others are around. But it’s not always possible.

safe in numbers

Again, I respect you all and this is not an attack on anyone who feels differently!!

I’m also linking up here:

Formerly the Running Coaches’ Corner, it’s back with new co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Fauxrunner.

Happy Running! Any thoughts?  Do you feel vigilant or paranoid at times when running? Please share.

26 thoughts on “Paranoid vs Vigilant

  1. You are right, everybody is different.
    In our family, we only meet outdoors and don’t hug each other. We feel more at ease that way. I had my first COVID test yesterday (negative).
    I am totally with you on the “Am I safe” paranoia. That would annoy me too!
    I run alone very often and don’t take any self-defense items with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In terms of running, I’ve basically been running solo since March which has resulted in a lot of treadmill miles. When I run outside, I usually pick semi-populated places (like sidewalks) and I also make sure to run during daylight. I don’t run with anything for protection, but I can see why runners would as it provides an extra layer of protection.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unfortunately I don’t have a tm or a gym membership. I am also not motivated as much if I run alone. I also feel safer when others are around. When it is dark, I only run on the campus where there are lights and other runners.


  3. 100% agree that there’s a middle ground in safety vs paranoia. Yes for sure you and I would both be safer if we never, ever ran…safer from being attacked but at the trade off of health/quality of life…not worth it. I mainly stick to residential areas when I run but I’ve been getting out to the hike and bike trail as well once in a while. On the social distancing side, I don’t have the right to get anyone sick, so I mask up when I go out. I wouldn’t chose this for the rest of my life but it’s really not a big deal for the (year? two years?) that we’ll have to do it.


    • I agree. Sometimes though the middle is ground is hard to figure out and different for everyone. And this pandemic will end eventually.


  4. We’re totally on the same page. I sincerely think the media has really “ballooned” the fear factor with COVID. Yes, the virus is still present (and it’s a very serious health risk for many), but it will eventually go away. And, we all need to do our part to protect ourselves and others. As for running safety, I get so much flack from those who do not live where I live. Believe me, if I was in a more urban setting, I’d be running less frequently alone (especially in the early mornings). Ultimately, I do think we all want what’s best for one another, even if we don’t share the same comfort boundaries or live in identical locations.


  5. The media has definitely had their part in instilling fear in the public over COVID. Personally I’m not going to live my life in fear of “what if’s.” I certainly take all the precautions and where I work we have the option of asymptomatic testing for COVID, so I get tested once/week, and that adds to my peace of mind that I’m not going to spread it without knowing I have it. Like you said, everyone is different, and we should all respect that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I do have a small pepper spray that a friend gave me. It’s small enough that I forget I even have it in my handheld water bottle most times! I feel safe without it, but I feel it’s good backup to have. I have a friend who carries a pistol with her when she runs (is pistol correct? I don’t even know, it’s a gun…). I think that’s a bit overkill, but if that is what makes her feel comfortable, I’m fine with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think everyone just needs to do what they are comfortable with as long as they are not putting others at risk.I feel like there are still so many unknowns about the virus and that makes me hesitant to do certain things. Having a toddler who can’t wear a mask and still put everything in his mouth has made me very nervous about going places this year.
    As for running alone, I stay in places where I feel safe and carry a personal alarm. I used to carry pepper spray but Im not comfortable using it.


    • It was recommended to me NOT to use pepper spray for the same reason and to learn self-defense. I try to run in safe areas where there are others. Which may seem unsafe because of the virus. I run 6 ft from others and wear a mask when I am not (for the most part).

      I understand that it is very different when you have a toddler. The unknowns keep changing. First we thought you could get it from touch. Now only airbourne??


  8. ❤ Vigilance is good. We could all probably stand to be a little more so.

    I think the problem comes when your fears/worries/anxieties prevent you from living your life. Granted, there are some things we can't/shouldn't do right now in the names of community and public safety, but when those fears get the better of you, there may be something else at play. I say this as an introvert with generalized anxiety who is struggling with these questions and decisions every day. ❤

    Also, please stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As someone who has been attacked while running I will just say it’s not always paranoid to think that someone might jump out from behind a bush. I know this because it happened. I will say, being alone in the daylight doesn’t bother me. The dark does.

    What I’m finding with Covid is that as time goes on, and everyone is tired of it all, they get more relaxed about it all. I forgot my mask on my run this morning but I didn’t worry because social distancing is easy where I live. But we start making slips like that, start to be comfortable about our contacts and meanwhile covid numbers are jumping.


    • That is horrible. I hate to run in the dark. I also prefer to run where there are others.

      What I meant is that you can’t stop running because someone may attack you. It happens and it is unfortunate but rare.

      I don’t wear a mask when I run but I do wear a buff (which now that it is colder is less annoying) so I can pull it up when necessary. I do worry that people are not wearing masks when they should and going to big gatherings.


  10. I run alone and by my house. Due to working from home I don’t have to be out there running early when it is that dark. I do wear headphones when running and run on a major street. When I do run on the side streets it isn’t dark anymore but still am aware of my surroundings. I’ve been followed and that definitely scared me a lot. I used to run with pepper spray but now cannot find it. I am thinking of getting a whistle. I think it was Wendy that had a post with several items that one can purchase.

    Thanks for linking up with us!

    Liked by 1 person

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