Armed to Exercise

I hate that this is a conversation that has to be had, but women: How do you defend yourselves? A few of my close friends, strong friends who exercise and have taken self-defense and martial arts courses, have shared their personal self-defense tools and tactics with me, and I thought that it was worth passing along. I would also like to hear what makes you feel safe and comfortable, for examples, do you feel safer with a gun around, or less safe? Would you actually be comfortable using a pocket knife as a weapon? I have carried mace in the past, but doubt that I ever would have had it accessible enough to use it in an emergency. That is the magic of these tools.

This kitty keychain can be bought at Walmart, and is simple to use. Running at night? Walking home from the train alone? You already have your keys in your hand, now loop your fingers through the eyes of this cat to strengthen and sharpen your punch.

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Another friend swears by this simple tactical pen shaped  device, which you hold tight in your hand. The metal inside your fist strengthens your punch, but the tip can be used to jab or *gulp* stab the aggressor. She made the point that, while we can’t imagine ourselves gouging out a persons eye, that if that adrenaline kicks in and we are in a life-threatening situation, it is nice to know that you have the option? 31CO6IfmrwL._SL250_.jpg

This seems totally crazy reading these words about getting captured or having to stab someone… but every woman has felt uneasy walking home alone, and knows that queasy feeling, a sense that you might not be safe. These small tools are enough to bring confidence that if needed, you can get away and seek security and safety.

The only way that any of these devices work is if you have them in your hand at the moment you need them. The same goes for pepper spray. So be sure that if you rely on any of these, you keep them on your keys or just in your hand whenever you may possibly need to use them.

 

Related: Beginner to Badass

Unrelated:  How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Inside the Bag: At the Gym!

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I am partaking in the Brooklyn Boulders “Beginner to Badass” program (read about my badass climbing sister here) and for the first time in my life I have to pack for the gym before I leave for work!

Here is what I am bringing to the climbing gym (where I also take yoga classes and catch up on work at the co-op space).

  1. My daypack, which is super compact and folds into itself. It has a space for devices (I keep my shoes here, in a Tom’s bag), and I tuck my keys and snacks in the front little zipper pocket.
  2. A glossier bag with deodorant, a hair tie, castile soap, and lotion for chalky hands dried out by climbing.
  3. My glow-in-the-dark Nalgene from Ball State University’s Outdoor Pursuits!
  4. A good read for while I wait for my climbing buddy!
  5. Allbirds are the shoe I change into for running or just walking around the gym (climbing shoes are not comfortable to walk in!) I also need funky socks to climb in.
  6. Snacks! Bananas and Clif bars for sure.
  7. Comfortable clothes! I always wear a comfortable t-shirt, sports bra, and shorts. A bandana is nice for crazy hair and sweaty foreheads. It is also a great back-up wash cloth.

Not pictured are the shoes, harness, chalk, rope, and carabiner provided by the climbing gym.

Do you have any essentials that I didn’t include? What do you take to the gym?