Since getting back into running I have been for a few jogs on the road, but most of them have been in the gym on the treadmill. I’ve been pretty happy with this because:
1. I can monitor my progress in the gym
2. If someone is on the treadmill next to me I find myself pushing to go further
3. Jogging on the road comes with baggage
Let me explain point 3…
Over the weekend, I decided it would be nice not to exercise on my own. After an hour warmup on the Nintendo Wii (and finally completing a few of the balancing games which I’m normally rubbish at *hooray*), I left the flat with my sister to go on a lovely jog/power walk to have a catch up and a natter. With rain almost upon us and the sun at bay, it was perfect weather. We decided to go the ‘scenic’ route down the nearby canal.
Although it is often on the main roads where you get the occasional distracting wolf whistle or cry of “hello ladies” from construction workers (terribly sorry for the stereotype but that’s just from my experience!) it was this pretty ordinary day on the canal that we got an unfortunate reminder of what people think of us. With hurls of abuse such as “you gingers should die” and “go home you evil ginger mingers” I was almost put off from carrying on. The lads, who were fishing on the other side of the canal, then started to throw bait in our direction.
Unfortunately, this isn’t really new to my sister and me.
Being a redhead comes with its downfalls, and for me, sensitivity to heat/sunshine is a major one – and if you read my blog regularly/follow me on Twitter, you’re probably sick of hearing about it! Sorry!
But one trait that is pretty consistent, particularly in the UK, is bullying. I got this a lot at school, as do most kids, when you’re young. My sister had her hair set on fire on public transport when she was young. I’ve had rubbish thrown at me in the street, all up until I was at university. I feel it has made me a stronger person, and I try not to dwell on it too much these days. I’m not fishing for sympathy.
However, when I’m just out with my sister at the weekend, trying to get some exercise, I really don’t expect to be harassed. Especially when I’m trying to better myself. Why would they put someone down like that?
I’ve seen people who have been yelled at when they are running, for no particular reason. I, not so long ago, saw some chavs shouting “fatty” at a jogger. She wasn’t massive and luckily had her headphones in so was nonethewiser. I feel bad for those who maybe don’t have the luxury of a gym membership, and really want to make an effort to get some fitness into their lives, because I know there will always be nincompoops (crikey I love that word) around to put you down.
If you shout things at people running on the street, unless it is cheering someone on as part of an arranged fun run, then you should be ashamed of yourself. This is a polite request to be nice in the future.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be back in the gym listening to Tim Minchin…..