Jogging: A Cold Hard Look at the Two-Footed Menace

The Common, Hill Top.

Dronfield harbours a mixed-bag of evening plans on a Sunday. Most will eat a cumbersome, unforgivingly stodgy, gravy-ridden meal with their immediate family of gaggling part-time alcoholics, suffering conversation so dry it makes the Atacama Desert look moist. Then wheeze their cholesterol-laden potato-sack-excuse of a body over to the sofa for the next 8 hours of relentless rehashed talent competitions, soaps where people with strong regional accents have sex and/or try to murder other people with stronger regional accents and a documentary on Channel 5 (need I say more). After the idiot box stops pumping pulp drama into their bloated podge-ball heads, they will eventually fall asleep with the fire on and the dog licking their face. (On a side not, people who let their dog like their face and encourage it, really? I mean, really? Sort it out.)

A lesser portion of Dronfieldians will go to the pub, because it’s not alcoholism if you’re in denial, and the remaining sample, the select few – self-righteous shits –  will go jogging.  Sweaty, sanctimonious, short-wearing, sculptured bastards: Joggers.

If you drive down Gosforth Drive on a Sunday, you are sure to spy one of the protein shake guzzlers in full flow, needlessly exercising while the rest of us are complicit beating our already-abused organs into submission from a Russian roulette heart-attack inducing lifestyle-buffet of heavy drinking, social smoking, using taxis for walkable distances and avoiding moving as much as possible with the exceptions of sex or when a Stevie Wonder song comes on Radio 2.

They all say hello as they sweat past each other, drowning out traffic noise with their iPhone armband accessory kit, listening to Ministry of Sound remixes of recent club classics despite being 37 and not enjoying this music during their jogging virginity. Joggers are prone to buying things which makes them better at looking like a jogger, so the fleeting moments they don’t spend jogging or correctly filling in self-assessment tax forms, are occupied by  looking at  jogging things: Trainers, tight blue shorts, sweat-bands, tight white tops, jogging magazines, distance tracking apps and water bottles.

The hallmark of any serious jogger is a large regularly-used water vessel with big branding on the side, I’m told unless you have one of these with you, even in situations where you aren’t jogging, other joggers won’t even recognise you are a jogger, so you must take them to work, to the petrol station, to Sainsburys and that running shop in Meadowhall which I hope goes bankrupt.

Joggers are at their most dangerous after the hours of 7pm, usually at the time when you’re stood outside a pub with a pint of Stones about to toot your twentieth cigarette into your grey decaying amateur lungs. They don’t look over – joggers are smarter than that – they simply run past, with high-visibility strips across their chest like the wounds across Bruce Lee’s chest in Enter The Dragon (wow, what a great film that was). They don’t need to look at peasants like you, they are happy to regularly exercise, possibly extending their life by a further 5 years, to watch their vapid children spawn more equally-uninteresting offspring who will also be joggers one day.

I hope they jog off a cliff.

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