New Years Resolutions are never easy to keep. Seven years ago I decided my goal would be to learn Chess. To date my only knowledge of the game is that trampling the opponent’s peaces with a toy dinosaur while making roaring noises is sadly not a winning move. My only successful New Years Resolution so far has been to stop smoking which was very easy because I had never started (so officially I still failed).
This year I decided my task would be to exercise more, eat healthier and get in shape. These goals were not easy either. Every short jog was an exhausting marathon which left me in desperate need of an oxygen mask and a stretcher to carry me home. Every snack left on a co-workers desk was a tempting offer, triggering a whisper of a voice in my mind telling me to blame its sudden disappearance on the greedy office mice.
There was several times where it seemed I would give in and fail. However, I have managed to be good and things have slowly gotten easier. I am able to resist the temptation of liberating co-workers snacks (the mice beat me to it anyway) and I no longer need a paramedic team on stand by in case I keel over during my evening run. My health is slowly improving and I can now out run every enthusiastic dog who think I am inviting them to take part in a friendly game of fetch the jogger (as they drag their owners behind them). Soon I might turn into Stuart Austin, The Six Million Euro Expat.
However, jogging has a darker side as well as a good side, its own Ying & Yang or Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hide.
On the one side a jogger is someone with a mission. As they run through the streets and fields in their trainers and tracksuit they are someone trying to improve their health through exorcise. You can see the determination and commitment on their faces as they speed by. These are qualities to admire.
However, all that changes the moment any jogger slows to a walk. Suddenly they no longer look like a jogger. Suddenly they look like a Chav. With out the act of running they simply look like someone walking around in a tracksuit as a fashion statement. The fact that they are still out of breath could be mistaken for the results of a quick get away from a shop security guard. At least that would explain some of the strange looks I have got in the street.