You never think it’ll happen to you until it does.

I wake up each day with a mission: to reach more people, more of you, with an introduction to the company I’m a part of and the solutions we provide with our products.

I spend countless hours brainstorming with our marketing team. I travel the country attending events in an effort to educate the masses on the dangers of inattentiveness related to headphone use, while preaching the benefits of ours (AfterShokz). I exhaust our ad budget telling our story. Mainstream media reports on the issue, though there’s little research on the topic and what does exist is outdated. News outlets will cover lives lost — but there’s a gap in follow up as it relates to products or activities dedicated to solving the problem.

Here’s where shit gets real...

I went for a pre-dawn run this morning. I’m proud to say serious workout time has become part of my daily routine as I train for the United Relay of America. I consciously grabbed my husband’s Apple earbuds as I left the house, because I knew my Trekz Titanium were stashed in my locker at the gym. My music was loud, as it is always, because the only way I can run is when I lose myself in something else.

I paused before crossing Hwy 6, looked both ways to make sure it was clear, and just as I stepped into the street a car came barreling down and nearly clipped me. I barely saw it in my peripheral vision (no headlights). I didn’t hear it AT ALL. All I heard was Kanye. The car sped by, without even bothering to swerve. After I stopped shaking (and cursing the oblivious driver), I turned around and walked home. The whole way back I blamed him (or her) for driving so fast, so recklessly, for not even bothering to swerve or slow down. I tried to recall details about the vehicle, make/model/color/license plate, as if I was going to track this person down and reprimand him for being so obtuse!

I started blurting out the details of this experience to my husband the second I walked through the door. After a hug and my assurance that I was fine he said simply, “You, of all people, should know better than to run without your AfterShokz.” And I certainly can’t argue that point. Now that I’m several hours outside the incident and much more calm, my perspective has shifted. Sure, that driver was probably pushing the speed limit; and yes, it wasn’t quite bright enough outside to be driving without headlights on. But I was just as reckless! I preach the dangers of inattention every day, yet couldn’t have been more inattentive in that particular moment if I’d tried. #fail

And here’s my point in sharing this...

The company I work for makes a very good thing. Though we call these things headphones, what they really are is much more. Our products solve a problem that many of us run into in some capacity all the time (whether we’re running, strolling, cycling, driving, cooking, you name it!). But we take it for granted. Or don't realize its worth until IT PROVES ITS WORTH. Don’t pull a “me” — if you’re going to run outdoors (especially roadside), you need to keep your ears open. If you don’t have your AfterShokz handy, skip the playlist today! Better to be safe than sorry. I won’t make that mistake again.