I heard the term again… and I felt my skin just crawl a little and my eye started to twitch.
“How’s your jogging going?”
I tried not to groan out loud. The intentions of the one asking were pure and genuine and I smiled and answered their question.
It’s a term a lot of people don’t think about. And they don’t mean a thing by it.
I think the only ones who DO think about it are runners.
But in my head it conjures up visions of middle school gym, wearing horrible ill fitting gym suits that smell of sweat, and lazy, unmotivated kids who don’t want to run while the coach is yelling at them to do so… therefore they break into this lazy shuffling… jog. Long ago, back in the day, I was one of those kids.
Jog.. the ” I can’t muster much more than a fast walk or shuffle.”
Jog… that awful thing “joggers” do at stoplights 😛
What is it that makes those of us who view it as “running” twitch a little?
Maybe I should explain how I told it to a friend once…
A jogger doesn’t go out before daybreak, and before breakfast, to knock off a 10 miler.
Nor does a jogger sign up to run long races, like marathons.
When I’m pounding out a fast 5K, I don’t call it jogging.
I’ve never finished a long run and felt like I went jogging.
Running has very specific goals and events to train for. For me these things become very concrete.
Jogging doesn’t enter that equation for me.
I looked up the etymology of ‘Jogging’. As a word it is a gift of the British from the mid-seventeenth century that had none of the emotional overtones. It simply meant to perambulate in some form or other. Saying “I went for my morning jog” was just a tad more whimsical way of saying ‘walk’ or ‘brisk walk’.
It would seem that during the first running boom of the 1970’s ‘jogging’ was just a way to describe running for your health with no particular competitive inclination.
It seems “Jogging” was originally intended to be a subset of running; a less strenuous, less serious form of running. It was running for the non-competitive masses.
I think for me personally, although I don’t view myself as “fast”, a 9-10 minute per mile pace is moving along fairly well and I most definitely don’t consider doing that pace for …lots of miles… jogging.
Maybe, running meshes more with my competitive spirit than jogging. For me, jogging is what I might do in a warm up. A kinda loose, loping, easy trot.
For me running is strong and powerful and challenges me in deep and real ways. It requires much from me on any given run.
As a runner with specific goals I’ve made some serious sacrifices to get there. I’ve left a lot out on the road. I’ve met new challenges head on. Hard work has been invested and when “jogging” is applied it seems to diminish the sacrifices in some way.
Jogging just seems casual, pull on sweat pants that say you aren’t going far, maybe a loop around the block.
Personally, when I slip into my running gear, it’s all business. I don’t wear my athletic clothes around during the day and I never wear them just “for fun.” They are work clothes. When I put them on it’s all business for me.
Running is definitely about the passion I ( or we collectively) feel in our hearts. Not that it defines us, but perhaps, in some way it does.
It defines passions, vision, and personal goals that at some point have seemed daunting to us.
But no matter what you might call yourself, being out there, and getting it done is all that matters at the end of the day.
However, for me, you’ll find me out for my daily run 😉
What about you? If you run, does the term “jogger” ever bother you ?