17 June 2018

Running

When I was a lad nobody went running or jogging. There were no training shoes and no one had ever heard of  sports brands like "Adidas", "Nike" or "Reebok". If such companies did exist we had never heard of them and nobody sprinted past in day-glo coloured lycra.

However, most secondary schools organised cross country runs that took place on bitterly cold mornings in late autumn. On our feet we wore football boots or canvas shoes that were known as plimsolls or sandshoes. They were especially water absorbent.

I detested cross country runs even though I was a keen rugby player. As  a rugby wing forward or hooker, the running was all about short bursts followed by little rests - not arduous and continuous forays through mud past leafless hawthorn hedgerows up around The Black Mill on Beverley Westwood. My lungs threatened to  burst through my rib cage. It was torture.

As a teenage schoolboy I had to travel by bus into Hull or Beverley every morning. Many of those mornings saw me sprinting two hundred yards down to the village  bus stop. There was never any time to spare. Nowadays I would never run for a bus. Apart from anything else I would be anxious about damaging my troublesome right knee and returning to square one in The Game of Pain.

No. I don't run anywhere these days. I just plod around like an Asian elephant upon a jungle track. But I notice so many runners around me - flashing by in the park or overtaking me on country lanes. There are runners everywhere. It's like an epidemic of running. Tight outfits, ear phones, plastic water bottles, face-hugging sun glasses and electronic wrist monitors that they stop to check out every mile or so.

Somewhat grudgingly, I guess I should say it's a very good thing. More people keeping their bodies in shape, keeping their hearts pounding, burning off extra calories. It's surely better than watching "Love Island" on the television while munching slices of pizza. However, if the running fashion had been around in my younger days, I very much doubt that I would have subscribed. Orange lycra simply does not suit me.

30 comments:

  1. purple lycra might be better?

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    1. Next time I buy a lycra bodysuit I shall think of you Kylie!

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  2. I stopped running after someone said I looked like a waddling duck. I prefer cycling, it's kinder to the knees.

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    1. I prefer recycling. That's even kinder.

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  3. Running/Jogging and "watching Love Island ... while munching slices of pizza" are not mutually exclusive. You can do one after the other. What's Love Island like? Someone mentioned it to me the other day. I'd probably rather go for a jog. Mind you, once you know the impact on your feet pounding the tarmac, tons for your elephant, you'll just run for the bus every so often.

    I share your hate for "organized" runs; in my case, marathons. Give me a sprint any time. And, if in search of happiness, gallop through grass in the morning dew - barefoot.

    U

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    1. I shall not be galloping through the grass in the morning dew any time soon Ursula! There may be dog turds, broken glass or snails there. As for "Love Island" it's like watching an alternative race of beings. Surely they cannot be human.

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  4. I hated " cross country" with a passion

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    1. You and I would have been the last lads over the line.

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  5. I agree. Running for pleasure was never done back in the old days. But whenever I see someone out, running in their lycra, headphones and pedometers, they never look happy. They always look like they'd much rather be vegging on the sofa with a pizza!

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    1. I quite like people who agree with me.

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  6. Does lycra suit anyone really? :D I too hated cross country.

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    1. As I do not wish to be accused of lecherous sexism I shall say nothing in response to your lycra question.

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  7. The media is to blame once again. It tells us to keep fit and running is good for you. These people are all going to suffer from bad hips and knees in the future from pounding hard pavements and there is nothing to say that they will remain fit. Tom was a very fit person, good bp, and not overweight but it didn't stop him from having a heart attack. Our parents ran nowhere and lived to their 80's.

    When I played badminton years ago (no comment please, lol) I remember buying a pair of 'green flash' plimpsole type shoes and thought I was the bees knees (once again, no comment please. lol)
    Briony
    x

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    1. I am afraid to make any comment in response to this comment as I do not wish to invite the wrath of Hurricane Briony!

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  8. I forged a sick note for 7 years in comp to get out of almost all physical activity (the exception was hockey), and only really ever ran for the odd train during most of my adulthood, but now, aged 56, having started helping out marshalling at my local parkrun (small p!)and then walking/jogging parkruns and then joined a fun friendly inclusive club, I have now lost nearly 6 stones, and am a CONVERT and a zealot! I'll never be fast but I smile all the time I run! And I am doing my first half marathon a week today!

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    1. That's a great story Andrea. Good luck with your half Marathon... though I believe they are now called Snickers.

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  9. I hated running as a kid, but in high school I did it a bit, and when I was about 30 I picked it up again. I ran at least weekly from about 1996 until about 2014. Then I decided to downshift to walking! Running can be fun, and those endorphins are real.

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    1. Fun? No way Jose! But having said that I certainly feel invigorated after a strenuous country walk.

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  10. When my younger brother was in high school, 50 mile walks were in vogue. A bunch of high schoolers would walk, for example, from Placerville to Sacramento. Jerry was more into running. He'd come home from school and go out and run on the backroads until after dark. He was the top scorer in the high school's physical fitness test. These days he's 69 years old and is pretty much the same as everyone else his age. Time is a great equalizer.

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    1. I love your last remark Jan - "Time is a great equalizer". I will remember that one. Thanks for calling by again. I hope you are well... Regards, Neil

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  11. All these people pounding about in their lycra are only storing up trouble for themselves with their joints - a lot of knee and hip replacements waiting to happen! :)

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    1. I have had the very same thought Jenny. Does Keith go jogging?

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  12. Running not for this one, the most I'll do is power push a supermarket trolley.

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    1. Ha-ha! Do you wear a shellsuit and trainers at the supermarket Fiona?

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  13. I've never been a runner or a jogger. A friend and I jogged around a nearby park early one morning back around 1972/73 to see if it was for us...it wasn't. That was the first and last time I jogged...I hung up my sandshoes after that, and fortunately hadn't wasted any money on lycra outfits, orange, red or any other colour.

    I can't run these days. Like you with your knee, my hips wouldn't allow it.

    Running around busy kitchens during service times and standing on hard surfaces for long hours on end did enough damage to my hips...I didn't need to add running and jogging for "fun".

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    1. At least you and your friend gave it a try Lee! I think running is overrated.

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  14. I ran until I was 71 ,but I did not have the flashy shoes or clothing. I enjoyed running. I didn't listen to music. I just tuned out and ran.

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    1. Was The Micro Manager running right behind you with a rolling pin?

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  15. I love running, but it is all entirely for my own pleasure, and I feel I need it to counterbalance the effects of a 5-day-week spent in offices behind desks and staring at monitors. My head, neck, shoulders, back - all benefit from the (very gentle!) running I try to fit in twice a week, once with my friend here at home and once with O.K. on the weekend.
    We are not competitive, and neither of us wears orange lycra... my running pants are black, my top is usually light blue, sometimes I wear a yellow one. I NEVER wear earplugs! To me, it is not only important that I can hear what is going on behind me (cyclists? cars? people with dogs?), but I also enjoy hearing birdsong.
    Water bottles? Not necessary for the average 6-8 km I run.
    Walks? If I was allowed only one, I'd choose walking over running any time, but thankfully, I can do both.

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    1. Phew! it is a relief that when it comes to the crunch, you would pick walking over running Meike. I don't like to see anyone in the streets - runners or walkers - with earphones in. We should be alert to what is going on around us.

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