Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I no longer feel like prey

I used to live in a high-crime, drug infested neighborhood in Louisville KY. When I walked my dog along my street, I noticed a new guy hanging out on a particular stoop – he made the ugliest, most belligerent catcalls I had ever heard in my life. Worse, there was an edge to his voice that told me without a doubt that he was the real thing and most likely would have no problem taking advantage of an opportunity if there were no witnesses around.

I was a member of the Neighborhood Watch, so I reported him with a description. The police officer said he sounded like one Joseph Schmoe – already convicted in a series of armed robberies and awaiting a sentence of 25 years to life. How charming! A couple nights later he dropped the last straw with a howl and “Ooh baby, I’ll take the dog AND the bitch!!” Something in me snapped, and I started taking martial arts lessons a couple weeks later.

That was two years ago. This story has a happy ending for me, because the martial arts training has had a powerful ripple effect through the rest of my life. Ultimately I was able to build up the momentum to leave the ‘hood behind and move to a sleepy rural town close to my extended family. I’m still hyper-vigilant about my surroundings, but I no longer feel like prey. I can’t say that I’m grateful to this maggot, but sometimes good things arise from bad situations.

~Submitted by Anna