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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Actively Co-existing

       Outside my office is a beautiful trail called “The Greenway”. It stretches for miles, is wide enough for bikers, joggers and walkers together. It combines a great taste of both nature and city infrastructure. The other evening after work I decided to take a walk along the Greenway to just think. I was walking along and thinking about some big life questions when suddenly a man appeared out of the woods about 200 feet in front of me. Now, being the realist I am, I quickly studied the man as he appeared to be wandering more than walking. 
He stopped to look at the creek beside the trail, turned and stared at me and then continued his seemingly lost approach down the Greenway. I quickly sensed that if this man were to speak to me, it would be with wrong intention. Even so, I continued to walk back to my destination. The man looked at me as I approached and said, “Excuse me sir, do you walk here often?” I looked back him and sternly said, “No, never.” and I briskly walked away. 
The point of this event is that we live in a safety obsessed society because of people like that…Was his intent legitimate or were his motives undermining me being naive if I had answered the question? Either way, I walked away and took my EQ with me. 
See, we all know that sketchy people hangout in freely accessible outdoor environments because they can get away with it and it is their right to do as they please. But the real issue here is this: Would I walk that same route at the same time again and expect a different result? Probably not. If so, it would be classified as ‘insane’. Either way people like that easily mislead innocent individuals by scaring them away from free outdoor physical activity opportunities. We need more people holding signs saying, “I hope you are having a great walk and enjoying this God given beautiful day”. Maybe that would make things seem safer?
Ultimately, taking risks will run you into some form of adversity. Being mindful of your adverse situation is always the best practice, but do not let it deter you from walking a different route or from exercising entirely. The world needs good people who are out running and walking to model physical activity and make a difference in improving the health of our society.

Ryan Fahey

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