In March, just three weeks after taking a self-defense class, my biggest running nightmare became a reality. Four miles into a 10-mile training run, I stopped to use a park restroom. A transient sex offender was hiding in a bathroom stall. He assaulted and attempted to rape me.
At the self-defense class, we were taught to “fight like a savage” and I did, screaming “NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!” at my attacker as I fought back, willing to die to escape the unthinkable. Every burpee I had ever done paid off when I was able to get on my feet and out the door, locking my assailant inside until police arrived.
Part of the reason I believe I survived is because of the confidence that was instilled in me from a young age from participating in sports. I found my voice on the softball field and learned to stand my ground and be aggressive. My mom, Nancy, and I are choosing to run the Chicago Marathon in support of Girls on the Run so that more girls can experience the empowerment and confidence found through athletics, regardless of their ability to pay.
As a former resident of Lincoln Park, I look forward to running through my favorite city with my favorite running buddy, my mom. We plan to enjoy the day and take in every moment of the experience, the energy of the crowd, and relish in the glory of earning our finisher’s medals. We also look forward to throwing down at Chicago Oven Grinder and Pizza Company shortly thereafter! The start line is in sight and nothing is going to stop me from completing my first marathon. Not today.