Monday, 7 February 2011

Pavement joggers and why I don't understand them

With the fear of showing off a gaunt face in photographs and getting ever closer to being able to smash melons with a paunch, I decided to join the joggers' brigade. 

Don't get me wrong - I don't take any pleasure in this. There's something unnatural about shifting my weight from one narrow, creaking ankle to the next while temporarily leaving the ground; the piercing, freezing air hitting the back of my throat as I plod along to an irrelevant destination - but apparently it's necessary for a gym-shy 25-year-old who sits in front of a computer all day to prevent him from dying at the hands of a chronic self-inflicted illness.

I limit the number of humoured and sympathising looks I receive from pedestrians and fellow joggers - it's always the keen ones who scoff the most; the lean, striding show-offs - by jogging in my local park. By virtue of being a park, it is full of open space, which is a rare and welcome luxury in the south London urban jungle and completely the opposite of, say, a comparatively narrow Walworth Road pavement accommodating hundreds of shoppers, prams, dogs and solidified vomit.

Who, then, are these facially-intense joggers decked out in high-vis jackets who insist on hurtling down said pavement in their quest for cardiovascular perfection? 

Disregarding the rest of the human race, approximately 99.9 per cent of whom are travelling somewhere necessary, useful or fun, they dart from paving slab to paving slab at breakneck speed convinced that 'pain is weakness leaving the body' and that they're better people than the flabby masses surrounding them.

Their choice of route is baffling and irritating for any pedestrian not wanting to be in a fluorescent yellow and orange personified pinball machine. It gives me a slice of comfort to know that, by the law of averages, one of these fitness freaks slips on a greasy discarded KFC bucket at least once a week. There's some irony there somewhere.

Pic credit: justinburt

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