The Art of Winning Blog

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Protect Yourself, part II

My latest column in Women's Mag is now available! Check out Women's Magazine in your local coffee shop or online. I think this issue looks great and is larger than previous isses--a testament to Aimee Heckel's great work! You can check out my article here.

I wanted to repost my November article as a blog. It was orginally published in Women's Magazine and can still be found online. I'm currently planning my February article so please send me your Saftey Questions!

---Begin Story---
With Thanksgiving around the corner, we tend to engage in a little reckless behavior to shore us up for the winter: a few extra calories, a splurge on something warm and some searching for a partner to see us through the cold nights. This search, while often worth it, can leave us vulnerable to heartache, disappointment or even violence.

So what do you do when the moment comes and you realize, "This is not the person I want to spend 10 more minutes with, let alone the rest of the winter?"
You leave.

In college, I got out of a bad date when the cops came looking for my date’s roommate, and I ducked out the door right under the arm of the policeman. Whatever works.

When it doesn’t work, and there are no police around, you need more options. Self-defense books talk about avoiding danger and fighting back with lethal force. But what’s a girl to do if she’s already in a private location and things get out of hand? This is no stranger or dark alley. This is a place and a person who seemed safe — maybe exciting — just minutes ago, but things have now turned ugly.

First, some rules for your mind:
No, you don’t owe him anything.
Yes, you can do what you want.
Yes, your desires are most important.

Second, some tricks for your body:
Pinky fingers are weak and handy. Grab one and twist.
Grab on to any piece of flesh and twist.
Use elbows, knees and palms. They are your strongest and most reliable weapons.

Third, some strategies for your spirit:
Be crafty. Back carefully to the door while lying and saying things like "Gosh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize the time."
Be slippery. As you head toward the door, be just out of reach. Be very welcoming, maybe make another date you’ll never keep and slowly slide away.
Be strong. Fight, spit, claw or yell your way to the exit.
Be smart. Call on your resources to help you process, connect with something beautiful and don’t let fear hold you back.

Most importantly, don’t ever believe you’ve lost the ability to control the situation. Each moment, this moment, is a choice and an opportunity.
---End story---

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