Meanwhile in the woods…

It is no secret that I like to run and I have blogged about it before. I find it relaxes me and also gives my head enough space to wander and explore those places it doesn’t usually go. Many blog posts have been thought up and pre-written while running. Or my head just sings the song that is currently stuck in my head over and over, or, you know, a combination of the two. Today I came upon a few things I thought I would share with you, so here we go.

Bumble bees are awesome. I mean, seriously! They are the only insects I like, mostly because they are fat and still able to fly, they hardly sting you and are furry. They are just amazing. Sometimes I wonder if they think to themselves: “The laws of physics? Pfff. I can’t hear you over the sound of how fabulous I am!” If bumble bees can fly, really everything is possible is my take-away from them.

Unfortunately the bumble bee induced happiness only lasted so long and I ran into a women who claimed she was lost. She asked me for directions and I gave them to her (as it turned out, they were actually correct) and I was just a bit annoyed as she couldn’t even tell me where she came from. I mean, sure, wander through unfamiliar woods with your broken German all alone without a map. No wonder you get lost. Amateur!

Then I ran into a couple with a dog. The guy suggested I should smile while running and I wanted to insta-murder him. Not only was I running uphill, but the suggestion that I needed to smile while running is absurd. He would never have suggested that to a guy my age if he had passed him. It’s not like I’m running for him or really anyone. I do this for myself and screw you, mister! My goal in life is not to look pretty or appealing in any situation, least of all while I’m running uphill. My only concern is not to suffocate or trip over my own feet. Ugh. By then I was already on #TeamBringDownThePatriarchy.

This feeling was only intensified when a couple of minutes later I ran into this group of people and the oldest guy of them suggested I shouldn’t slow down but keep running. Fuck you! I know you’re not supposed to stop and take a break but it’s my favourite spot in the woods and I always stop there because it is beautiful and I love it. Sadly there were two old guys occupying my bench.

If there is one place I lay  claim to in the forest, it would be this bench.
If there is one place I lay claim to in the forest, it would be this bench.

Again the guy’s comment made me want to say something but I didn’t even dignify his remark with a comment because he didn’t deserve one. I’m an independent woman and I don’t need to be told by some random guy when to stop or not. This is a fairly common thing though. Men I pass while running telling me to go faster or not to stop when I stop. I have never encountered a woman telling me the same thing. I can also only hardly imagine men making saying the same to other guys they pass.

So why is it okay for them to comment about women but it would be weird doing the same to men? Because the patriarchy stinks and I hate the world! Because hundreds of years of being considered men’s property still makes them think they have any power of the so called fairer sex. I am so sick of these things.

Thankfully, I was already running as that would have been my way of coping with such idiot remarks anyway. That and blogging which I am doing now.

At the end of my loop, I ran into Bambi. It was really cute and wasn’t too afraid of me so I was almost consoled with everything again. Almost. Animals, interludes of stupid people, animals is basically how my sunday run went. And thanks for letting me rant, you truly are a great pal, internet!

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  • The animal parts of the run sound lovely, at least…

    I get pretty easily skeeved out by entitled men these days. It’s sad and scary and disgusting how common shit like that happens. I even had guys leering and whistling at me while they and i were each in fast- moving cars passing each other on the highway. Seriously, they should be paying more attention to driving and less to making someone feel uncomfortable and unsafe in her own freaking car. No wonder the accident rate is so high around here… :-P

    I’m envious of your wooded runs, though not of the encountered ppl. That, I am sympathetic of. *hugs*

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      The animal parts were really lovely.

      The more aware of the reactions of such people I am, the more they annoy me. A couple of years ago, this wouldn’t even have bothered me like it does now.
      Usually the guys here just use their cars to make you look their way, playing with the gas while stopping at traffic lights.

      • Yeah, I’ve become way more aware of all that pretty recently, too, thanks to my new internet family! <3
        The more aware and educated i become, more sickened and outraged and vocal i get about it. But the more us who get outspoken about it, the better. It can only help.

        Guys do the engine thing too, basically everywhere I've been. But the other thing, that had never happened before, or else i never noticed it before. Either way, #DISLIKE it here.

  • I do my random brain-wandering thinky time in the shower. Which is bad because sometimes I’ll be in the shower for like 45 minutes just randomly pondering the world and then realising that I’ve shampooed my hair four times. But also good because no one is going to tell me to smile when I don’t want to.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Random brain-wandering thinky times -> best description!! I do some of that under the shower but more the short term thinking. Some stuff just comes out after all the other stuff has been lifted. For me, the only way I found out how to even come close to some Nirvana state like presence of mind is by running. Physical extortian FTW!

  • GFM

    Ahhhhh, I can’t stand the ‘you should smile’ comment. Good on you for not insta-killing him.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Yes, ‘go smile yourself, idiot’, is what I want to say but usually don’t.

  • wlreed

    If someone told me to run faster, I would take it as a threat and mace them. Oops. I’d interact with the world more if it wasn’t for people. But your bench is very pretty, I can see why you like to take a breather and be zen there.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Not sure what to mace them means but okay. Usually I just ignore people like that but sometimes, like the above, I just get too fed up about it.

      • wlreed

        Mace is a spray. I think it causes a burning sensation when it gets on you. Sorry, I didn’t realize that was only an American thing. I used to read about women traveling alone that would carry a small can on a keychain in case they were attacked.

        • It’s similar to or a type of pepper spray. Police carry it as part of their “non-lethal response” weapons, and have been known to overuse it against protesters. It’s also a very common self-defense tool, especially for women. Other versions are sold as a bear repellent, especially common in Alaska.

        • Wilhelmina Upton

          Okay, got it. I was just confused as I was looking for a verb but since it’s a noun, makes so much more sense.

          • wlreed

            That was a very American slang-y thing to say, I didn’t think. Sorry I caused confusion.

          • Wilhelmina Upton

            Don’t worry. There was a time I didn’t ask such things but I do these days. How else is my vocab supposed to grow, right?!

  • makeupandmirtazapine

    This is why I like swimming, I can still do the writing/thinking in my head but if people try to talk to me they’ll get their mouths full of water so they don’t bother.
    It used to really freak me out when men, and it’s always men, used to try to start unsolicited conversations with me or offer me ‘advice’, etc, when I was really poorly. Now when they piss me off I respond like I’m really unwell. I say things that’s are completely unrelated to anything whatsoever, or just random strings of words, and then keep saying random stuff as though they’re perfectly normal things to say and I can’t understand why they don’t understand. They go way feeling uncomfortable pretty quickly. It’s quite probably the wrong way to respond but it makes me feel better, and hopefully it will put them off bothering other women in future.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Swimming is great too but I don’t like indoor pool so it’s only an option for me in the summer :)

      Well, those people should feel awkward because they make us feel awkward so whatever you’re telling them is okay as long as they go away and don’t feel like they accomplished whatever mission they had.

  • Return to the ’80s (Paul)

    Ugh, how annoying!! It seems like there are a lot of assholes out there these days. You try to do something nice and peaceful for yourself, and idiots seem to ruin it! I just recently got back into running. I used to run for our high school cross country team and was the captain. 25 years later I started going to a personal trainer at my gym, and she got me back into running. I even ran my first 5K race in 25 years this past December. I’m a guy, so I don’t get all the catcalls that you would.
    Just keep at it, and keep running! And try not to give those idiots a second thought.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Good for you for getting back into running! I find it very liberating to just being able to lace up my shoes and check out of life for an hour or two until I return from the woods.