Why I hate jogging

rocky joggingI was out running last weekend, early in the morning. One of the routes I take is along the water, it’s peaceful. I was in the zone, just me, the lake and the sound of my breathing, when I heard another pair of feet pounding the pavement. To look back would have totally wrecked my stride so I listened, it wasn’t long until those feet passed me, and man did they pass me. This guy was running at double the pace I was running at, holy crap, I thought to myself, look at that guy go. I have to admit that my pride did give me a bit of a twinge. My first instinct was to speed up, at least give it a shot. But then I thought “Gus, you smoked longer than that guy has been alive.”

You see, I smoked for thirty years, quit two years ago. Don’t worry, I am not gonna ex-smoker you to death. I thought it would be a great way to help me quit if I started jogging, so that is what I did. Oh I am not going to pretend it was easy. There are some people who just quit, they say ‘that is enough of that” and they quit. My wife quit this way. I hate those people. It took me two years of ‘the patch’, pills, lying, crying, sneaking, back to smoking, back to the patch, then I finally got it. So one of the things I thought I would do to reward myself would be to get in shape, what better way to get in shape than jogging right? Right!

So I put on my running shoes and some shorts and hit the pavement. I figured now that I had quit smoking I should go like stink, run like the wind. Well I made it about two blocks, more or less, bent over and coughed until I barfed all over the street. Hello neighbours, it is me Gus, don’t mind the barf, I just started jogging, pretty good huh!

But I tired again a few days later, against my egos better judgement, and a couple of days after that, and so on. I can run for about 30 minutes now, on a good day. My lungs still hurt, my knees hurt, my back hurts and I keep waiting for it to get easier! When am I going to be one of those guys that pass me at the speed of light and don’t even look like they are breathing hard. (I have this crazy, whistling wheeze after about 20 minutes).

I have no illusions that I am going to become a marathon runner, and that is ok. My face doesn’t get red anymore when I bend down to tie my shoes, my wife tells me I look better, and the neighbours have gotten over the barfing incident. The way I figure it, as long as I keep at it, maybe, just maybe I will stick around to see my grandkids graduate. That is good enough for me.

Gus

Birthday Blues? Not this Guy

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Photo courtesy of Mrs. Gus

When did turning on the air conditioner become better than opening the windows? I said to my wife as we rolled down the highway the other day. I won’t write here reply here, but it made me laugh, that is probably why we’ve been married so long, we make each other laugh.

My birthday is fast approaching. I have no problem with turning 46, as long as…well I will get back to that in a moment. The only age I ever had a problem with was 30, for some reason in my mind turning 30 was the definitive “you are now a grown up!” age. But 46, HA! (I scoff), a walk in the park. However, birthdays make you reflect. Has it been a good year? Have I moved forward or backward this year? Have I become wiser, am I happy with where I am, should I make some major alterations in my life or steady as she goes?

As we get into middle age (although some people call their 50’s middle age, I don’t get it, lets face it how many of us live to a hundred), you do feel your mortality. It is not a blaring bill board, but you realize there is an end of the road. That is not a bad thing, not unless you are unhappy with where you are and where you’ve been. Do not worry I am not going to launch into a “The Power is in YOU!” speech, but I will say there is still time. As long as you woke up this morning there is still time. So long as there is still time, there is still time for change. If there is still time for change, there are still things to look forward to and work towards (are you still following me here).

That being said, as I have grown older I have also learned to experience the moment. This one was harder for me to grasp. It is something I have had to work on and am so glad I have slowed down a bit to appreciate things I would have totally missed 10 years ago. I have learned so much in my 46 years but I have so much left to learn. You know how that old saying goes, “I have learned enough to know I don’t anything”.

So I am turning 46 and I have no problem with that as long as… I remember to open the car windows sometimes to feel the wind, run in the house, turn the music up to loud, laugh out loud lots, dance in the kitchen when I am cooking…….

Gus