Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 30
Balancing Life, Work & Family
Technology Helps Ease Safety Concerns
By Julia Nickey, Director of Engagement Marketing,
Penn State Health St. Joseph
love to run. When I'm not running, I'm
often thinking about running. It's a habit
that started about six years ago that is now
just part of my life. It's low maintenance,
cheap, and can be done just about anywhere
at any time. It's the cure for winter cabin fever,
work burn out, temporary children-induced
insanity, and all around life disconnection.
And for me, it's generally an individual sport.
Meaning, for the majority of my runs, it's me,
myself, and I. While that has many benefits,
the one constant weighing on my mind is
safety. Am I safe on this trail? Is someone
going to pop-up from behind and grab me?
Is that trio of 20-somethings going to attack?
Why did that runner just turn around to pace
behind me? And then there are the really crazy
thoughts which get amplified by the serial
killer/true crime/cult podcasts that I listen
to during these runs. I know, dumb in many
ways, especially because I won't hear someone
So in my mind, I'm physically fighting these
people off and getting away. But would this
really work in reality? I've considered carrying
a knife - which would have to be carried in my
bra?! - in case I need to battle. I've even talked
with my guy running friends about weapons
they bring in case something happens; but
as males, they don't have the same concerns
I do. The same concerns every woman has
in just about any situation in which they are
alone or with unfamiliar company. I do have
some comfort in knowing I run with a GPS
tracker and if I go missing my family would
have the smarts to get access to see where I
am. But it probably doesn't work like that.
So let's fast-forward to a "rest from running"
day where I was attending Women2Women's
Spring Renewal Expo. As I was checking out
30 Women2Women Fall 2017
Am I safe on this trail? Is
someone going to pop-up
from behind and grab me?
the vendors, I came across one that offered a
perfect solution to my "what can I do if it's
not safe" dilemma. Damsel in Defense® is a
direct-selling company whose mission is to
equip, empower and educate women to protect
themselves and their families. Independent
Damsel Pro, Susan Reitnauer, had an entire
table full of personal protection items, even
ones specifically for runners. As I shared my
story, she suggested a pepper spray attached to
a mini fingerless glove, called Hot Lil' Hand.