Wednesday, April 17, 2013


When I was in college, I was anti-sleep.  Not an insomniac, full on against the act of sleeping.  There was too much to fit in.  There I was, on arguably the most beautiful college campus in the nation, with a busy school schedule, work, and a social calendar to maintain.  Sleep was not mandatory.  In fact, my freshman year of college I usually only saw sleep once every 46-52 hours, and for no more than 4 hours at a time.

We fell over trying to go pay for the pizza.  I won't tell you if alcohol was involved, or if we were tired (or both).  It was hilarious though.
If you're doing the math, I would stay up for over 2 days, take a nap, and do it all again.  No, I don't know how I pulled it off.  No, I would not recommend it to anyone.

When you're up that long, you kind of learn to do things at really odd hours.  Food was only open during the day, so at night I drank soda and coffee for calories, or the security guard at the library would share his pizza with me.  What, you didn't date the library security guard in college, because he was the only dude you regularly saw???  I guess that's what happens when you spend that many nights in the library.

Another thing I learned to love was running at 3am.

Yes, I just heard all of your sharp intakes of breath.  I know all of you are tsking at me about safety.  And again, 27 year old Kristen doesn't condone this behavior.  However, she is really sad that she can't condone it.  Those runs were some of the best, most freeing runs of my life.  Those were the silent runs when I had my thoughts and the sounds of my feet on the pavement to listen to.  Those were the runs where I renewed my faith in all things good and positive.  Those were the runs where I took the time to figure out who I was, and where I wanted to be.  They weren't fast, and I will never know how far I ran most of those nights.  I had people join me a few times, but for the most part, I was on my own.  I never felt unsafe.  Not one time.

I went to a school that had never had a confirmed blitz rape.  That is a staggering statistic when you consider IU Bloomington had 40,000 students at the time, and is one of the biggest party schools in the country.  That is not to say that bad things didn't happen, it's more to say that a girl could walk/run by herself anytime and feel relatively safe.  Much safer than at a party, or on a date, or at a bar, or any number of other places.  The streets were safe for women, and there were call boxes all over the place.  For a girl who grew up learning about the dangers of blitz rape on the news, it was so wonderful to feel that safe.

I don't regularly see 3am anymore.  I hardly ever see midnight anymore.  But if I did, I would still yearn for those runs.  Sometimes I want to stay up extra late, just to go and clear my head.  Except that I no longer live in a world where that is even remotely acceptable.  Even having a GPS enabled phone, I feel intense fear about running alone unless it is broad daylight.  I live in a world where the police tell everyone in my neighborhood to not go certain places after dark.  Where people hurt random strangers for seemingly no reason.  I live in a world where people get seriously injured while reaching for their dreams.  It's unbelievable, and it's utterly devastating.

Yet I hope and I pray that someday, somehow, we can go back to a world like the one I lived in during college, a world where my daughter can go for a soul renewing run at anytime, and always feel safe.


  1. I have absolutely no idea how you ever, ever got so little sleep. I would die a hundred times.

    I agree - we have to make the world safer for 3am runs (though I won't be joining you that late!).

  2. I'm with Kim, I would have been a slobbering sad mess if I was getting so little sleep!

    I also went to college in a really safe place, at the fact that my college was all women made me feel that much more safe. While I don't think I ever went anywhere at 3 am. I certainly felt extremely safe on my campus late at night - and that was indeed a blessing.

  3. That's so funny! I am such a night person, but I am not against sleep. I prefer to sleep off the daylight and then stay up all night. My favorite thing in the world is taking the dogs for a walk in the early wee hours! There is one man always out walking his dog at like 1am. We always pass each other and have become late night/ dog walking friends! You and I.... we need some late night adventure together!

  4. WOW... I can only imagine how peaceful it must be to run at 3 AM. I am sure that the streets are clear and you had no one to worry about during these runs.

    I know that I would not be able to do a run when it is dark because I would constantly be on the look out for some bad person that decided to take advantage of a girl running alone. It's quite sad how something so innocent can be ruined by fear.

    YUP I would LOVE to run at that time, BUT let me be honest. I would never be able to wake up/ stay up for a 3 AM run!

    XO Lourdes


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