Yesterday I went to work with Andy. It was a gorgeous day and I had no pressing plans and just wanted to get out the apartment. I mentioned on my blog before that Andy is a musician. Specifically he plays the steel pan, and summer is the busy season for him. Many times I will accompany him to various gigs, and I can discover a new area of the city or a new town while he is working.
As he was entertaining the crowd at a community centre, I went out to grab a coffee and explore around a bit. After finishing my coffee, I noticed a sign that said “Nature Trail” that veered off the sidewalk. There was a staircase made of logs in the ground leading the way to a scenic path of wood chips, shadowed by mature pine and oak trees. What a lovely path, I thought. Maybe I should go and see what’s up there and get a little walk in. As I walked up the log stairway, a little brown squirrel scuttling in the bushes made me stop in my tracks. I looked down that path, and watched the oak leaves dancing in the gentle summer breeze. I am not sure what is was, but the path suddenly seemed desolate to me. Something made my sixth sense alert, and I decided not to go on the trail. Instead I returned to Andy at the centre as he finished up the last few songs.
This morning I was watching the news. Something I decided not to do for a while because I find the state of the world a downer now. Bombings, racism, shootings, mass murders, hate crimes and terrorism. It all gets to be too much at times. This morning I did watch HLN after my daily devotion, and the story I listened to made my heart drop. A young lady, 30-year-old Karina Vetrano, was killed on her evening jog. Karina and her dad would jog together every evening. On this particular evening Karina’s father was experiencing back pain and decided to rest. He also advised Karina not to run alone. Unfortunately she decided to take a solitary run and her lifeless body was discovered not far from her running path. It is appeared that she was strangled; her running shorts pulled partway down. The cause of death is yet to be confirmed.
I cannot imagine how devastated and grief-stricken her family must be feeling right now, especially her father who discovered her body while out looking for her when she didn’t come home. But I am sure Karina thought it would be okay to run alone and was just doing something that was routine. Those who love to exercise and feel those endorphins simply don’t like to miss a workout. I have had friends cancel plans of Yoga, Zumba, power-walking and jogging on numerous occasions but I still went alone. I really did not want to miss that post workout after high or working for those goals. Let’s face it, exercise makes up feel great and can be a huge stress relief. I learned later that Karina was helping to care for her ailing mother who has cancer. Maybe running was her release.
This post is not to scare anyone, or tell you not to achieve your lifestyle goals. I love exercise as much as you do! I firmly believe that there are good people in this world, but on the flip side there are also evil, heinous people in this world. Those who will not think twice about ending the life of another person. Karina’s sixth sense was not alerted yesterday evening, but her dad’s absolutely was. I saw the path they used to run on, and there was a part that looked to be in a wooded, desolate area. Something made her father feel uncomfortable about his daughter running alone in this area.
This post is to implore you rather to:
- Of course, always listen to your gut instincts. If something feels off, there is a chance that it is.
- Listen to your loved ones/running buddies. You may think that all is safe and sound and have the need to get out there and get after that 10K, but someone in your walking club, hiking or running group may feel otherwise.
- Be mindful about posting your routes on social media, especially if your accounts are not set on private. Sure, we all want to say we ran “so and so trails” or in “blah blah park” at 7:30 and it was a wonderful run and we do it every morning, but you can never tell who might be looking at this information. Especially consider this tip if you run alone.
As I looked at the photos posted on Karina’s Instagram on the news, I thought this is a young lady I would have followed if I discovered her account. A beautiful, vivacious woman who loved fitness, family and life.
My heart goes out to Karina’s family for this senseless loss, especially her devastated father, who she considered to be her best friend.
photo image resource: http://www.hlntv.com/