Jog Jog Jiggy Jog

16 07 2008

Ten years ago, there were three things I never could have pictured myself doing: Having kids (I convinced myself that I was ‘too selfish’ to be a mother); quitting smoking (oh how I loved my cigarettes); and running (unless I was being chased. Which happened more than I care to remember.) Clearly, the last decade has brought sweeping, previously unimaginable changes. I quit smoking almost seven years ago, have mothered my formerly selfish self to smithereens for the past five years, and just the other day I went for my very first run.

Well, technically not my very first. At the ripe old age of four I was an avid pretend runner. I wore hot pink terry cloth shorts and sang my little heart out as I trotted around our yard. Jog jog jiggy jog/ jog jog jiggy jog /jog jog jiggy jog/ all day long. Turned out I liked singing the song far more than I liked the actual jog jog jiggy jogging. And then there was high school gym class. But that was not so much running as it was my feet being dragged along by my teenage-hormone addled brain, attempting to propel me closer to guys with cute asses (oh how I loved cute asses.) As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not exactly the athletic type. Or the co-ordinated type. Or even the remotely physically competent type.

And technically, what I’m doing is not quite running. Yet. It’s more like short bursts of my signature short-legged, run-like trot interspersed with longer bursts of my signature short-legged, walk-like butt waggle. With awkward clenched-fisted arm flops, and a grimace of thinly veiled discomfort thrown in for effect. What I’m actually doing is called the Couch To 5 K program. It’s designed to ease non-runners into the wonderful world of running, allowing for the gradual improvement of stamina, speed and form. And that’s what I’m after here: a better form. My foray into running was inspired by the trauma of seeing some recent photographs of myself. The kind that make you pause as your scroll through the pictures on your camera, and think ‘Whoah, who’s thunder thighs are thosoohmigod, THAT’S ME! DELETE! DELETE! DELETE!’ Unless of course, the pictures are on someone else’s camera, in which case all you can do is cry. Or kick that person in the shins and take their camera before they go and splash your fat ass all over facebook. And just as those photos revealed too clearly that my healthy eating habits were not doing the trick in getting my pre-Squiggles body back, I received the extra inspiration I needed to start exercising again. It arrived in my email inbox in the form of my weekly Bliss Note, which just happened to be about the joys of running. It came just in the nick of time, before I did something really stupid. Like try to take up extreme BMX trick mountain biking.

My first run around the neighbourhood went something like this:

5 minute brisk walk- No problem.

1 minute jog – Not much problem.

2 minute brisk walk – No problem except that my pants keep falling down. (Mental note: Get new running pants.)

1 minute jog – No problem except that I need a drink of water but forgot my bottle at home.

3 minute brisk walk back home to get water bottle. Neener and Roo are thoroughly impressed by my profuse sweating and water glugging abilities.

1 minute jog – I notice several crows circling overhead and become very concerned that they know something I don’t. Like they can smell the sweet stench of soon-to-be carrion in my novice jogger perspiration.

2 minute brisk walk – No problem except I am now very paranoid about the crows who seem to be following me. So, like a good paranoid lunatic, I caw at them until they leave me alone.

1 minute jog – Getting….a little…tired. Wonder if maybe the crows were trying to offer me a lift back home, and kick myself for rejecting the offer.

2 minute walk – Small svelte woman, obviously a real runner, zips past me. Jealousy of her cute ass propels me forward. (Oh, how I’d love a cute ass.)

1 minute jog – I worry that it looks like I’m chasing the small, svelte woman running in front of me, and that people passing by may start yelling to her “Look out, there’s a big girl chasing you! And she looks hungry!”

5 minute brisk walk – I am hungry. And tired. And still alive no thanks to my loose pants or the crows. Better quit while I’m ahead.

All in all, it wasn’t too bad. Made me feel pretty damn proud of myself, actually. But the best part came when I arrived home to see Neener doing laps on the lawn. When she saw me, she shouted a little breathlessly “Mommy! Look! I’m out running just like you!” And sure enough she was. Falling down pants, awkwardly flopping arms, face screwed up in a funny grimace and all. Suddenly I got a bit of a second wind. So Neener and I ran around on the lawn and sang our favourite jog jog jiggy jogging song together. And now I can’t wait to do it again.

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4 responses

21 07 2008
Jenny

Amy, This is hilarious… you go girl. I’m an on again, off again runner still to this day. Trust me, it only gets easier each time you’re out. Those crows are there to support you silly.

21 07 2008
domesticblister

Yes! The crows are cheering me on! Never thought of it that way. I feel much less threatened now.

21 07 2008
lisa

Hey, if you like to (or feel like you should) run and you want to meet new people, join an Ultimate Frisbee team. My husband and I play on a team here and it’s great exercise, a good chance to be outdoors, a great way to meet people and on and on and on.

Oh, we started a section on the for parents with kids who have special needs and I’d love for you to join in. Our brave moderator Jodi has a child with special needs and she needs some cyber shoulders to lean on.

21 07 2008
lisa

Crap. My HTML skills here didn’t work. That’s the ParentTalk Forums on the ParentsCanada.com web site (above).

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