For the love of jogging

Did I tell you that every evening at 5 I meet TCG below his office? His office is 35 minutes of walk from our home.  I jog to his office every day; it takes about 20 minutes to go downhill and 30 minutes to jog back up. This is how I get my daily dose of exercise and I love it. Jogging out in open as opposed to treadmill is the real deal. The feel of cool breeze brushing against your face, when you are all hot and sweaty, is a joy only someone who is used to outdoorsy exercises can tell you. Even back home in India, I used to go jogging every day, out in open…for a good 40-45 minutes. I used to live in a big complex, where I had the luxury of jogging my way to good health. .  People in the society used to know me as “the girl that jogs all the time”.. haha..Not kidding, I jogged everyday unfailingly, right till two days before my wedding.

Jogging feels so good, jogging clears your mind, and kicks in that endorphin which gives that all-good feeling about yourself and flushed red cheeks. It has been 3 days today that I haven’t jogged. The weather decided to play foul. It hasn’t stopped drizzling for the past 3 days. And I am one of those kinds who feel extremely guilty for missing a work out. For the past 8 years, I have been following some kind of the workout regimen or the other…gym, yoga, walking, jogging, cycling, floor exercises…I have done it all. And throughout these 8 years, I have had phases where I feel extremely guilty if I had to take short break from exercising for whatever reasons.

You see, I used to be a fat child. I have worked very hard, and literally slogged my ass out, to lose all the baby fat and to be the person I am today. When you have worked really hard to achieve something, you know its value in true sense.  I am someone who has been on both the ends of the spectrum. I am someone who has gone from being fat to fit. I know how lethargic and sloth-y one feels when fat…and I also know how active, agile and good one feels when fit. Do you blame me?

There are some people who have it all easy and who are blessed with superb metabolism. They can devour as many cheese burgers, milkshakes, ice creams, fries, chocolates as they want…without so much as putting on an ounce. And then there are some people like me, who put on weight even if they think chocolate. For us, it’s a constant struggle.

I am someone who is constantly thinking weight and calories. How much I fuss about weight is something all my friends can tell you. I am butt of all their weight/calorie related jokes all the time.

Picture this. We are all out in a restaurant. And by some freak incident, I give into the temptation and decide to order a chocolate milkshake. Next, I see 5 jaws dropping in front of me, I see 2 mouths making a big ‘O’ and at least one or two remarking, “Are you not counting calories today?” Sigh. Do I blame them? NO. Because the amount of fussing I have done about calories after I lost all the unwanted weight initially justifies their reaction.

So I am very happy to be jogging once again in NZ. I see oldies, well in their sixties and some even in their seventies jog with such an élan.  Their spirit to remain fit, even at that age, is truly inspiring. Dressed in shorts and racer backs, these few old ladies and men pass by me every day while jogging and smile at me. Their smile, energy and attitude are infectious. And I have also seen many ladies, well in their eighties, walk with so much ease and grace, it can put us young adults to shame.

Side note: Even at that age, the ladies here don’t step out without their makeup. Their hair nicely done, bright shade of lipstick setting their lips apart and a stylist pair of sun glasses perched snugly on their noses…and I love this spirit. Because I hate how I sometimes step out of the house myself…wearing pitiful rags and no makeup at all…only because I feel too lazy to take the effort. And then I wonder, what motivates these old ladies to be so prim and proper, even at 80. And I realize…they simply do it for their own selves.

So the point is, I have missed jogging. I want the rains to stop so that I can get back to jogging and stop feeling miserable about missing workouts and guilty about eating sinful foods sometimes.

And about NZ in general, I have made an observation. Strangers here are very warm and cheerful. You will almost always catch them smiling. The people on roads, the people in the markets, the people on the phone, and the people behind the cash counters in the stores…they are all extremely warm, approachable and happy.  They greet you, smile at you, help you, and talk to you very easily.  Isn’t that incredulous? No wonder then New Zealand ranks very high on the happiness index of the world. And not to forget, people here are also very health conscious and adventurous, age no bar.

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