The Joglet

On one of the occasions in my youth when I was dragged onto the school sports field, I was made to take part in a 100m race. At the end of it, the games master looked at me and said, with genuine puzzlement, “Quentin, what on earth were you doing with your feet?”

From that moment on, I’ve known that I was not a natural runner. And since almost everyone I know who has done any serious running, including my father, has ended up with knee or ankle problems later on, it’s not something I’ve had much inclination to take up.

Recently, though, I’ve been doing a little bit of it again. Actually, to give the name ‘running’ to what I’ve been doing is a bit like describing Christopher Robin’s hoppity-hop as ‘flying’. I’ve sort of given myself permission to get out of bed and put on some sporty clothes and go outside before breakfast as a way of waking up. In fact, this normally translates into a pleasant tour of the nearby meadows consisting of about two-thirds jogging and one-third walking. No Olympic aspirations here. But you know what? I come back feeling good, heart racing, and feel much more awake for the rest of the day.

And so I’m proposing a new fitness activity, which I predict will take the world by storm.

  • Do you feel you ought to take some form of exercise but are too embarrassed to be seen pretending to do anything seriously sportif?
  • Do you feel that you probably couldn’t run more than 50 yards in one stretch anyway?
  • Do you find all that messing about with changes of clothes in the middle of the day to be a bit too time-consuming?

Well, rejoice! Your solution is here! When you get up, instead of jumping straight into the shower, put on an old tee-shirt, shorts and trainers and go for a joglet. It can be as long or short as you like. 10 minutes is just fine. The running/walking proportion is up to you – it’ll probably change over time and depending on your energy levels. No pressure, no embarrassment.

Tell your doctor, with pride, that you go for a joglet twice a week. By naming this new activity, we give it respectability. By not pretending that you’re running, you don’t need to feel ashamed of your initial level of stamina. In fact, be proud that you’re doing something much more energetic than all those walkers. If this catches on, you can come back to Status-Q for all your joglet merchandise in future…

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser