Walk Don’t Run!

I’m so glad I didn’t decide to start jogging as my New Year’s resolution. I’ve just been for a walk in the park and some of the new joggers already show the look of having made a big mistake. Even during a short 30-minute stroll I noticed several people equipped with new gear and good intentions, but most of them look like accidents waiting to happen.

I saw one poor woman dragging herself up a hill and I couldn’t decide if she was jogging or simply staggering. She caught my eye and I could sense a desperation in her, a kind of pleading, if you will, for permission to stop, lie down and give up altogether. I saw another guy who was walking in a slightly skipping sort of way, but oh so slowly, and if confronted, you can be sure he would have sworn he was jogging. Trust me, he wasn’t. He was walking and slightly skipping very slowly, and he looked a sorry sight. In fact, I was tempted to stroll past him to prove a point as to what normal jogging speed is and isn’t. But his spirit already looked broken, and my attention was already wandering to other poor souls dotted around the place making their various bids for weight loss.

Many joggers can’t even run properly even when they are fit. I see bandy legs and flat feet swinging out all over the place on most people. Tall people are the worst. They’re like flailing giraffes. The only decent joggers I ever see are usually students around this area, and they probably don’t even know they’re jogging. They’re so young that their bodies are still programmed to run everywhere the way toddlers do. Plus, young people are always in a hurry anyway. They’re either late for a lecture or heading for the next sexual encounter.

And why don’t joggers smile? It’s because they’re not enjoying it. Have you ever seen anyone jogging and smiling? Exactly. Anyone seen jogging and smiling should be arrested and taken to the nearest mental hospital. Unless they are are student, in which case it simply means they no longer care about the lecture or made it on time for that sexual encounter.

Nope. Jogging isn’t for me, and I really would suggest no jogging for you either, unless you really, really love jogging and/or you’re under 21. I gave up jogging ages ago, and the same goes for unrealisitc New Year’s resolutions, especially ones relating to fitness. Probably everyone over the age of 16 knows that get-fit New Year resolutions are usually broken by the end of January anyway. And you know what? That’s ok. At least you tried. But please don’t keep trying if it’s going to put you through pain, guilt and other forms of hell as you drive yourself into the ground – literally, if you drop dead with your headphones on.

I’m not saying all this because I don’t need to lose some weight and get fit myself, because I do. But if you’re going to change something, I think you have to be really honest about how long you can make the effort for, and think hard about the most enjoyable way of going about it.

One final tought. If we must insist on making resolutions, whether it’s about getting fit or something else, why on Earth do we start the minute the Christmas holidays are over? If you’ve managed to have a break whereby you’ve done absolutely nothing except fun stuff for a week or more,  eaten and drunk more than you should, and you’re trying to get yourself back to work and your routines, why add to the stress with resolutions you’re not in the mood for? It’s still dark and cold, too, so that’s not exactly inspiring either. Personally, I think we should tell ourselves that New Year’s day is just a day like any other, made special only by historians who measure time, and not the start of anything other than your new diary. My advice is to take it easy (but don’t go mad) for a month or so, and then start your new resolutions when Spring is in the air. Think about it. Isn’t it great when you feel Spring coming? The lighter mornings, the warmth, the promise of summer. Isn’t that the time to start anew and, like the trees themselves, turn a new leaf?

As for me, I confess I did make a New Year’s  resolution, but that was to change the way I work and strike the work–life balance once and for all, and I really believe I can do it. Why? Because, for once, I’m taking small steps to achieve a goal which ought to leave me more relaxed and give me a good time. I won’t deny myself or cause pain along the way, so if I want a glass of wine or a piece of cake, I’m going to have it. If I think I’ll miss the bus, I’m not going to panic and run – l’ll wait for the next one. I won’t go lazy and I won’t go wild, but I won’t go without either, because that just makes me miserable, and goodness knows it’s hard enough out there with the recession, information overload and an ever-changing workplace. Life is for living, and life is short. Sure, you might lengthen it by jogging, but maybe you won’t. Whatever you do, just make sure it’s something that makes you smile whilst you do it, and always know the difference between a jog and a stagger and a walk and a skip.