Trusting My Intuition
By Maricella
Oakland, CA

I realized my fear and anxiety about getting mugged was growing and I hadn’t done anything to address my growing fears… I wondered, “If it happens to me, what would I really do?"

Three months ago I took a self-defense course from “Alive & Kicking” and it was one of the best investments I’ve ever made. I’m a 51 year old woman with a lot of life experience. I don’t go into situations that look unsafe. I use a lot of common sense, and always try to walk with confidence and awareness of the environment. In recent years however, more and more family and friends have experienced robberies. A turning point came for me was when my parents were held at gunpoint during a robbery. I realized my fear and anxiety about getting mugged was growing and I hadn’t done anything to address my growing fears.

I took part in a six-hour self-defense class, which opened my eyes to a myriad of options available to me when confronted with violence. I completed the course feeling very empowered and ready to face a possible attack or robbery with new ideas rather than the very limited two to three scenarios I’d previously had in my mind. Still, I wondered, “If it happens to me, what would I really do?”

Two days ago, I found out exactly what I would do, because a young man tried and mug me. I had gotten out of my car about a block and a half away from my work. It was 11 AM. As usual I visually scanned the area and didn’t see anything suspicious. I noticed two men standing on the curb waiting for the light to change so they could cross the street. One was tall, the other short. The larger of the two men crossed against the light while the other stayed on the curb. I could only see their backs. So far, I didn’t see anything unusual for the neighborhood. It’s a place I know very well, as I’ve worked in the same building for over 15 years.

I was only a few steps away from the young man, who was still on my side of the street, when he whirled around to face me. The look on his face was menacing and full of threat. I knew immediately what was going to happen. I was afraid, but prepared and determined. I decided not to try and turn and run back to my locked car, as I didn’t want to turn my back on a possible assailant. In micro-seconds I took in information as best I could. He looked young, perhaps 17 or 18. He was shorter than me by an inch or two. He indicated that he had a gun, but somehow I knew from the shape poking outward from under his heavy sweatshirt, that it wasn’t a gun. He said, “Give me your purse,” and grabbed hard at my purse handle.

Both of us pulled on my purse back and forth. I yelled as loud as I could, moving toward him, not away, and came in close to his face, screaming, “Get back!” over and over and over. I elbowed him three times successfully. He pulled back about four feet away and said, “What do you mean, get back?” He also looked up and down the street where onlookers from a few blocks away were now alerted that something bad was happening. The guy suddenly looked confused and afraid. I tried to knee him in the groin then but he was too far away for me to make contact. He moved further away from me until he was fully across the street, when he then turned and ran away.

People from inside the building heard the yelling and four people were immediately at my side. Within about 2 minutes a police car was at the stoplight and I let the officer know about the attempted robbery and gave a description of the young man. My knees and hands were shaking from the adrenaline I felt. Within moments, the police car drove off in the direction that the robber had gone in, and my hope is that he will be caught.

Immediately afterward, and in the two days since it happened I’ve retold the story to co-workers, family, and friends. Each time I talk about what happened I’m filled with a sense of empowerment. I feel proud of myself for using the skills I learned in the course. My one concern is that I had to make a split second decision about whether the robber really had a gun or not, and I think about what would have happened if my judgment was wrong. My intuition said he didn’t have a gun, and my hope is that if I needed to have made the decision to hand over my purse, I would have known to do that too. Our intuition and judgment are much more powerful tools than we realize. I know from first hand experience that I can’t be easily victimized but I have no illusions of invulnerability! Thank you Alive & Kicking!!! I would not have known my own abilities if you hadn’t given me the forum to explore them.

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