Escort trainings are a lot of fun.
We did a training Saturday with about 8 new people. Half of them had been “on the sidewalk” for the first time that day.
It was a tough day to start escorting. Pouring down rain ~ pouring. And you know we don’t do umbrellas. The protesters do ~ and of course, why wouldn’t they? The umbrellas form one more semi-intimidating barrier, and more than one escort has gotten poked with the spokes of D’s umbrella.
Someday, she’s gonna put somebody’s eye out.
Escorts, on the other hand, try to avoid the Clash of the Titan Umbrellas by not using them, so I am steamy in my rain cape, which only half covers me. I’m wearing my orange vest over it, but it’s a cape, so the vest fits funny, the cape is all bunched up so it’ll go through the armholes.
Plus, with the hood up, I can’t hear much, and my voice is muffled so people can barely hear me unless I’m looking straight at them. It makes me a little cranky.
And it occurs to me as I write this that it might be time to invest in a real raincoat.
There was a 5k ~ or maybe it was 10 or 15K, I don’t know ~ run last Saturday too, sponsored by the urology clinic down the street a block from the abortion clinic. The rain didn’t deter the faithful runners, which just adds to the chaos and confusion.
Also, some of the runners apparently don’t get downtown much, so they park anywhere there’s an opening. They don’t look for fire hydrants or notice ‘No Stopping Any Time” signs.
Then there’s the moment when we have to weigh the question “Runner or Client?” Sometimes it’s easy, they’re in running clothes and clearly bouncing with enthusiasm for a run in the rain. Or they’re wearing Not a Runner clothes and looking anxious. Sometimes, we just have to ask.
I was not sorry to leave early to go get ready for the training.
Anyhow, four brand new people, and four who have been escorting less than 3 months were at the training, along with some old escorts. It was a great group, with lovely food, hot coffee, and dry space.
We try to do trainings once a quarter, but this year, we’ve been asked to schedule two more “new escort” trainings this month and next for groups of people who couldn’t make it to the one on Saturday. That’s pretty exciting.
I think maybe all the push against abortion is generating some push back ~ well, I know it is, but I think some people who may not have felt an urge to do anything before, feel moved to act now. That’s the silver lining to all the talk about personhood amendments and such.
So welcome to the new escorts ~ we’re glad you’re here, and we look forward to getting to know you!
If you’re interested in escorting, you’re welcome to come any morning Tuesday through Saturday, about 7:00 a.m. Tell an escort (in the orange vests) that you want to escort and we’ll give you a vest and ask you to observe to get started. Email us if you have questions, or just want to let us know you’re planning to come down.