Posted By venita on May 8, 2009
January had an intense start to the New Year! Work was crazy as well. And my boy’s gymnastics season kicked off. It was two meets, with one being at Disney World. It was an amazing week in Disney World. My youngest thought it was the coolest thing ever to meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and many more characters. And my son took 5th place (for his age group) overall during the meet. The great thing is that I can now reflect on these things. I can reflect on and spend time with my children and know that they are healthy and loved. But, for the briefest moments on January 4th, 2009, I thought I would not get to spend another moment with my children.
I left my house at about 11:20 am MST, headed down our dirt road. I have run that same road for almost 8 years. I was headed south and had past at least 4 houses. As I came over the tiny hill near our friend’s house, I could hear gun fire. I have grown use to hearing gun fire, as we live in the county and shooting on your property is legal and acceptable. Until that moment, the one thing I have always assumed is that my neighbors (while doing shooting practice) were practicing safe shooting habits.
At 11:30 am MST, I realized I had been tremendously naïve. All at once, I heard not one, not two, but three bullets whistle in front of me. In that split second, I realized I was under fire. I dropped down on the road in the dirt and started screaming STOP Shooting!!! STOP Shooting!!! Please STOP Shooting!!! At the top of my lungs, I screamed and screamed and screamed. And the shooting continued. I could hear bullets ricochet off rocks that were closed to my head. And all the while I kept screaming STOP Shooting!!!
Some how I realized it wasn’t going to stop. So, I got enough wherewithal, found my cell phone, and called home. The phone just rang and rang. I knew my husband was there. But, it just rang and rang. Finally, he picked up the phone. And I just started screaming, please come get me. They are shooting at me. I was hysterical, there is no doubt.
He threw our kids in the car and drove out to where I was. The gun fire finally stopped. I now suspect it was because they could see our car coming. I could barely get in the car, because I was so frighten that I could still be shot. When we got home, all I could do was lay down. My kids were so worried about me; they didn’t know what to say. My husband was so mad; he didn’t know what to do with himself. He asked where the shots were coming from, I told him where I thought they came from.
He tried to contact the owners, but their number was disconnected. He called our other neighbors that live two doors north of the house. One is a police officer here locally. She called and spoke to the owners and discovered that their children were outside shooting. The mother had no idea that they were firing at the dirt road.
When she would subsequently question her son, he indicated that he didn’t know I was out there. Or that he had fired at me.
I can tell you now that life is extraordinarily brief. And we can go outside just worried about our everyday lives and by someone else action, what is most dear to you can be taken from you. It took me three weeks, before I could run on our dirt road again. It has taken even more to feel remotely secure about running on our dirt road.
But, this is the one thing I know. I have been chased by my neighbors’ dogs, I have just missed stepping on countless rattlesnakes and I have just been missed twice by my neighbors’ speeding down our dirt road. And I keep running. And I will keep running!!! As Americans have a constitutional right to own and carry arms, I too have a right to run on our dirt road.