Thursday 15 January 2009

I did something remarkable tonight, something that I have never done before, something that would have my friends holding me down under a bright light and demanding to know where the real Clyde is. Perhaps I was inspired by the New Year, or maybe it’s because I stood on a set of talking scales and they laughed? It’s something I’ve resisted, something that public transport has done me well enough for all these years. That’s right: I went jogging.

For someone who has no sense of personal dignity when it comes to dance floors or pub bars, I am completely self-conscious whenever I attempt any form of exercise. I think it’s because I so obviously don’t look the part. Everyone else is glammed up in sexy shorts and tight t-shirts, and there’s me rugged up as if it’s wash day. And my shoes aren’t right – they’re so white they glow. I know that they tell you to make sure you wear bright colours while jogging at night, but somehow I don’t think they were referring to footwear. If anyone knows of an organisation that scuffs up running shoes for a nominal sum, please could you pass on the number?

At least jogging is free. It makes a nice change from the gym membership I got a year or so back (I went seven times). Those gym owners, they’re not smiling from the endorphins pumping through their system; they’re smiling ‘cos of idiots like me who gleefully pass over huge wads of cash for no reason what so ever. If I’m going to throw away my money then I’d rather buy an AbFlex.

I reality, this jogging caper, all I did really was my usual walk a little bit faster with the occasional burst of running in between lampposts… sort of like a dodgem car, but no where near as aerodynamic. Also, about a quarter in, I had to sit down on a handy park bench as I thought my heart was going to leap out of my head. My glasses had even fogged. I had another little jog when I reached the harbour’s edge and then pushed myself ever so slightly – one more lamp post, you can do it, the end of the path is only a few more lamp posts, nearly there – and, amazingly, I made the distance. I celebrated with another little rest and admired the views (Note to self: must bring wine next time).

I walked the way back. The whole trip took me a little over an hour, and, actually, I must admit that I do sort of feel pretty good. And I’ve sweated – my t-shirt is drenched through. Inspecting the stains on the t-shirt I feel I’ve achieved something. I’d get the thing framed if it wasn’t for the pong.

But here’s the strange thing: I’ve already planned the next outing. As I was heading back, next time, I mused, I will go fully around the park and jog the last half; I’m sure there’s suitably located park benches. Then I could walk the little bit back up the stairs and hill to home. I could even get an hour in tomorrow night before the pub. In no time at all I’ll loose that extra bit of tummy, be a stone lighter, and have taken the smug gleam off my running shoes.

But I suppose it’ll all depend what’s on telly.