The return of the jogger: the Nike side

By Jennifer Betts

So it’s January and everyone from Activia Yoghurt to those annoying ‘suggested posts’ on Facebook are urging me to get healthy, lose weight, increase my wellbeing, blah blah blah.

While I’m not opposed to a healthy approach to life, I will take the necessary steps in my own time thank you, right after I finish this Chinese and the remaining Quality Street, even the coconut ones.

But one of the worst things about January? The intrepid return of – the joggers! Not only that, but a new onslaught of new health conscious sprinters! Why is this a bad thing you ask?

Well for one thing, you can say goodbye to that nice, casual stroll along the beach or through the park.

The one that blows the cobwebs away, whilst revelling in the beauty of our fair city. That is, if you don’t mind the sound of choo choo choo breathing on the back of your neck.

Jennifer Betts has had it with joggers
Jennifer Betts has had it with joggers

Not only have I heard it, I’ve felt it on my skin – it’s like taking a stroll with a really fit pervert following you.

See, this overly-exaggerated exhale of air is code for ‘get out of my way!’ Not ‘excuse me,’ or ‘I’m sorry, could I just squeeze past you?’ Oh no, it’s an intimidating ‘move it.’

In the evenings and even on lunch breaks, my lovely stroll round my neighbourhood has become a serious invasion of my space.

How dare I want to use the path, or walk at an average speed?

And I sincerely apologise that you jogger had to run on the grass, getting your active wear mucky, just because I wasn’t quick enough in getting out of your way.

And to the guy that swore at me because I scared him as I exited my mother’s house, pardon me sir, but my visit had ended and I wanted to go home, but I will be sure to check that the coast is clear next time.

Small dogs suffer the joggers too. Especially the ones who like to run two and three abreast so that they can all sweat together and talk.

Trust me, when my four-month-old puppy eventually gets a kick in the head from a jogger that just can’t break his speed, I swear, I will buy you a membership for the local running track. I’m not kidding.

Yes joggers, there’s a running track. Apart from the fact that our small dogs are scared shitless when a herd of joggers descend on them, I’m starting to run on the spot for fear of breaking their flow.


I think when I eventually do cross over to the Nike side and become a jogger myself (yeah Jen, good one) I’ll adopt what manners I was brought up with, either that or I’ll throw Calteen bars at the die-hard fitness freaks.

I do commend people for getting fit, they’re great fun to watch running in the middle of the road with traffic trailing them, while I have a cigarette outside my local, my pint awaiting my return.

No seriously, go you for running in the pissing rain, with that look of sheer determination on your face, or evil prowess, I can’t tell the difference.

But please take into consideration that you don’t own the beach, the park, or the path outside my mother’s house.

Just imagine me swimming two feet away from you in your lane, or jumping into your arms when you’re doing something relaxing and you might understand my grievance.

I’ll just keep fit the best way I know how – dancing to Madonna.

Jennifer Betts might not do jogging but she does do Madonna dancing
Jennifer Betts might not do jogging but she does do Madonna dancing

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