My assignment today had me in one of the rougher neighborhoods of Fort Worth, trying to report whether the city's gang prevention initiatives in a particular neighborhood was working.
You can read about that story in a few days because I've yet to write the piece. But I can say this: It'd be pretty hard to be a runner in some of these neighborhoods. There was a known crack house just a few blocks away from a state-run daycare center, and at one of the parks, pit bulls were running around like squirrels. Sidewalks and buildings were marked, or tagged, by the gang members who run those blocks.
I've never even thought twice about the neighborhoods where I run. I don't carry mace with me. I leave my apartment unlocked when I don't feel like carrying my keys with me. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I had to "watch my back" every time I ran.
The thing is, I grew up in some gritty Dallas neighborhoods in the 1970s and early 1980s and never gave my surroundings a second thought. It was all I knew.
Once I graduated from college, I moved into the nicest neighborhoods my money could buy, so things seemed so foreign today.
I'm glad I live where I live but today reminded me to not take things for granted.