I hate jogging.
There I said it. Despite the fact that I know that jogging can thin out your butt and your thighs within a matter of days, it’s one of those sports (is jogging a sport?) that I’ve always dreaded. And I think the reason why I hate it so much is because of my fourth grade gym teacher.
Here’s the sad thing. I don’t even remember his name anymore. But I remember exactly what he looked like — he was short with wiry black and gray hair, black rimmed glasses and he wore sweat suits to school every day. He was actually a really funny gym teacher and made many of us laugh while we played dodge ball or attempted to climb ropes. But it was jogging that pretty much put me over the edge.
At the time, I was pretty chubby. In fact, that was the year that the boys started to tease me. A kid named Keith (yes, I remember his name) and his friend Larry (yes, I’ll never forget him too), decided it was funny to start calling me Stubby Beth. And that name pierced through my heart like a dagger. At the time, I didn’t think about how gym class could help me shed pounds — it was just another reminder that when we all slipped on our shorts and t-shirts, the boys had their chance to tease me. And tease me, they did.
But let’s get back to my gym teacher. Every day when we’d start class, he’d line all of us up and then make us jog around the gym. While we jogged, he’d make us recite this poem:
Jog, jog, jog
Move your hands, move your feet,
Not too fast, not too slow
Jog, jog, jog
Whenever I’d come rounding a corner and my gym teacher saw me, he made fun of my technique. Here was one of my favorite lines:
“You look like you’re milking a cow.”
And yes, while I did in fact look like I was milking a cow, there were never any words of encouragement from our sarcastic gym teacher. Just insults and jokes that he thought would encourage us to run faster, keep our arms in place and get through class without passing out.
I somehow made it through that class but when all was said and done, I wound up hating jogging and all that it stood for.
I hated that I was winded every time I jogged one lap around the gym.
I hated that my gym teacher made fun of me whenever I passed him by.
I hate the fact that after 30 years and change, I still remember that stupid poem but can’t remember my teacher’s name.
And I hate the fact that I still remember the names of the kids who teased me and made me feel fat.
Which brings me to today. Today I started jogging again. Yes – jogging. I actually jogged for three songs on my iPhone. Approximately 12 minutes of jogging before I wanted to pass out or throw up.
I know jogging is hard. But I know that if I can keep with it, my thighs will thin down again. But that’s the key – keeping with it. I know no one will ever call me Stubby Beth again and no mean gym teacher is going to critique my running skills but every time I pick up my pace on the treadmill, I am instantly transported to that gym with that teacher and those boys.
And that dear readers is why I hate jogging. But despite my ill will toward running, I will keep trying. For the sake of my thighs and the sake of my butt – I will run like the wind and hopefully this time around, no one will think I’m milking a cow.
I hate jogging.