I’ve joined the local gym. I say the local gym, but actually it’s the only gym around here. Now I’m a gym person, with a special gym bag, special gym kit and special gym trainers. It costs a fortune doing all this. The monthly membership and the purchasing of the uber-expensive attire, so I look like I know what I’m doing, and don’t look like the kid at school who forgot his gym kit.
I’ve joined a gym because exercise is good, and can help banish the demons. Exercise is good because it can help keep you alive for a bit longer and keep all your bits in working order. Exercise is good because it gives me something to do with some free time I have, and I’m sure, if I exercise a lot, then I’ll be naturally tired in the evenings and will sleep well and soundly. Something I sometimes have a problem with.
But it costs a lot of money. And, really, I can exercise for free can’t I? If I think about it? Go for a long run and that’s good exercise. And it’s free! Free is my favourite flavour.
But no. Sadly I can’t. Because I can’t run. I can’t run without looking like I’ve escaped from somewhere.
This morning, on the way to the gym, I saw a man and a woman on their morning jog. Whenever I see a jogger my heart sinks a bit because I just can’t run like that. I’m simply not designed for it.
Male jogger was running along, knees high, back straight, arms tucked in. Female lady jogger was doing the same. They were running stride for stride, her hair in a ponytail flicking up and down like the tail of a galloping horse. I bet they’d run 62 miles already and they didn’t even look like they were even sweating.
And they just looked so bouncy!
Bouncy bouncy running bouncy down the road. Like they’re on springs or something.
If I tried that?
You know that inexplicable thumping noise you sometimes hear in the distance. A kind of repetitive thump thump thump that makes you stop and go ‘What is that? Industrial machinery? A small earthquake?’ Well that’s me. Jogging. When I run I sound like a herd of stampeding elephants crashing through the Arnedale Centre. Stomp stomp stomp. My feel hitting the ground like I hate the pavement.
My arms? Well, I can’t do that tucking my arms thing. I did that once when I decided to take up jogging again and, first time out, a few hundred yards in, I tripped, and as my arms were tucked up I kinda hit my face on the floor as I fell.
How do you do that tucking up the arms thing? How? I just can’t.
So when I run I sound like a stampede, and my arms kind of flail a bit. Down by my side at first, like I’m doing Irish dancing and then up and around as I gradually get into it. A bit like Mr Tickle doing the Great North Run.
Except it isn’t great. It’s ghastly and must look terrifying to those who see me approach. A few people I’ve seen, as I charge along the pavement, have crossed over the road, and not using the zebra crossing either. Which is a bit insulting.
I once saw a local group of joggers doing their evening routes as I went into town. It was dark and, I may have laughed a bit when one of them ran along and bashed straight into a wheelie bin they hadn’t noticed.
Evil of me to laugh, especially as I would probably do the same, and look incredibly stupid while doing so.
The joggers who jog and have to stop at traffic lights and keep on jogging while they wait for the lights to change? Their knees still going, their arms shaking out by their side? It’s always tempting to start whistling a bit of Riverdance at them but I’ve relented.
Okay, so I might have done it once. Or thrice.
But it’s all because I’m jealous. I just can’t do it. That @motherventing suggested I video myself running and insert the footage here, probably because she wants a reet good laff. That WILL NEVER happen I assure you. Because when I run I resemble an injured pigeon/octopus chimaera and sound like I’ve got a grudge against the pavement.
I was meeting my ex-wife once, when we were married, and I ran towards her only to reach her to find her bent double in hysterical laughter. Through the tears and the giggles she told me I looked like a teddy bear trying to run. Which was nice.
But jogging is free. It’s in the open. And, if I go out early enough in the morning no-one can see me. Perhaps I should stick to that and become someone bouncy?
I have a couple of weeks left with this membership. I can cancel within a month and not suffer any financial penalties if I decide that it’s all a bit too much to pay and not have to pay a cancellation fee.
So, if you hear a thudding in the background at 5am,waking you and your kin from your slumber, and it sounds like your house is about to collapse, then you’ll know I’ve cancelled my gym membership.
Exercise. Are you a gym bunny, a bouncy jogger, a 30 day shredder, or a Zumba fiend? Or someone who gets all their exercise from being a parent, running around after children all day and doing the school run. Or is the sexytime your exercise? A bit of horizontal jogging? Please let me know what you do, and when you do it. Which sounds ruder than I meant but I’ll go with it.
Oh, and thanks for reading.