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Self-Confidence Revisited…

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It’s funny that I was thinking about self-confidence yesterday and then stumbled across the below article. Sure, I wouldn’t run after an attacker, but I’ve got to admire the success of the woman who knew what she was capable of (and the fact that she’s a marathon runner – something I’m trying to be – made me smile a little more).

A little back story, the rapist she ran after has been terrorizing San Diego women for a while. She was far from his first victim – but she has become his last. He later killed himself in his prison cell.

My favorite quote was from her husband, “That’s the kind of woman she is, very strong — doesn’t back down.”

When it comes to our goals… may we always be very strong – never backing down.

Woman didn’t hesitate to run after attacker
By Brooke Williams
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
2:00 a.m. July 4, 2009
MISSION VALLEY — The woman who survived a suspected rapist’s attack at knifepoint in her garage on Wednesday said she didn’t hesitate for a second to run after him.

Christina Hennigan, 33, was doing laundry in the garage of her Mission Valley home when a man identified as Thomas James Parker, 39, grabbed her from behind, wrapping his arms around her so she couldn’t move. Parker, who was later arrested, hanged himself in his jail cell yesterday.

Hennigan said her attacker put a kitchen knife to her neck, the blade almost touching her skin. On his hands were black gloves with rubber grips.

“Lie down with your arms behind your back and don’t say a word,” Hennigan recalled the man saying.
So she did. Then he closed the garage door, leaving them in the dark.

As Hennigan lay with her face on the concrete floor and her hands behind her back, she heard him fumbling with a bag of supplies.

“It really freaked me out when the garage door closed and he started breaking out the zip ties,” she said.
The second stall in her garage was empty, and Hennigan told the man her husband would be home any second. He slammed her head against the floor.

Hennigan started screaming and tried to hit the garage door button on the wall but missed.
Then to Hennigan’s surprise, the man hit the garage door button, allowing light to fill the garage and took off running.

“I think he got spooked,” Hennigan said.

Hennigan said she didn’t have a second thought about chasing him. As a marathon runner, she knew she could keep up with him.

“I knew that I was probably going to be near him,” she said. “I kind of figured this guy wasn’t that fit — he didn’t look like a runner.”

She was right. But when she caught up to him, he turned around and hit her in the face. That was the first time she saw his face.

Hennigan, who was barefoot, kept running. She was determined to get identifying information. At one point, her attacker darted across Friars Road, narrowly missing being hit by cars.

On the other side of the street, an off-duty Border Patrol agent saw the chase and parked his car in the turn lane. He hopped out with his gun and handcuffs and chased Parker, eventually arresting him.

Meanwhile, Hennigan’s 29-year-old husband, Matt, a pre-med student at the University of California San Diego, was shocked to hear a voice mail from police asking him to come home quickly.

When he learned about how his wife chased the assailant, Matt Hennigan said, he was amazed but not surprised.

“That’s the kind of woman she is,” he said. “Very strong — doesn’t back down.”

Christina Hennigan said she went running the next morning but didn’t wear headphones like she usually does.
“I am already changing the things that I do,” she said. “When I drive home, I keep the car running until the garage door closes behind me, and I’m more cognizant of my surroundings.”

Hennigan said the incident will stick with her, but she won’t let it hold her back. That’s one reason she went running the next day.

“It was to prove to myself that I can do this. I can begin my life again, too.”

Union-Tribune

Look this article up at: http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/jul/04/woman-didnt-hesitate-run-after-attacker/


3 Comments

  • Reply nancy |

    Wow! This woman boggles my mind! It is amazing she had that much boldness.

    I was raised by such fearful parents, it has hindered much in my life. This article made me feel a strength I have never known. Thank you Beks for posting it, it’s a wonderful thing for me to contemplate.

  • Reply Mar |

    Nicole, Nancy, and Beks, you NEVER know what you can do until you are confronted with the need to do it. I had someone push his way into my apartment in 1980 with the intention of raping me. He kept telling me how much I was going to enjoy this and I kept thinking how much he was NOT going to enjoy it! I convinced him that I couldn’t breathe so he took his hand away from my mouth and I started screaming, moving my head to prevent him covering my mouth again, and trying to hit him with my elbows (he was behind me with his arms wrapped around me). He finally said “Oh, sh*t, this isn’t worth it” and ran out. I went out and started screaming. The police didn’t catch him that night, but his luck ran out a few weeks later when he attempted to rape another woman.

    All of this is to say that you really, really don’t know how you’ll react until the situation presents itself. And however you react, well, that’s the right reaction for you!

So, what do you think ?