A Light Rant: City Sidewalk Joggers.

posted in: Rant 10
What a great place to jog! A beach! Go girls, go! Photo: Wikipedia.
Now that’s a great place to jog! A beach! You go, girls. Photo: Wikipedia.


I was going to write about how I’m what’s called “a hard stick,” how at last week’s infusion appointment and today’s infusion appointment, the gals nicked a vein and/or my IV blew and ow, ow, OW does that hurt. Did I cry? Sure, I cried. I cried like a wee babe. My bruises are gnarly. But boo-hoo, Fons. Boo-hoo. Perhaps you should think about someone other than yourself!

Capital idea, old chap. In fact, you’ve given me an idea, Mean Voice I Just Made Up. This the perfect occasion for a light rant I’ve been meaning to deliver. Yes, I shall channel my personal woe into a light rant regarding those who jog on busy city sidewalks. Thoughts of myself are already evaporating.

Before anyone gets upset, let me plead my case — and please note that I’m delivering a “light” rant. My rant is a light one because my ire over this issue does not run that deep. I’m only interested in examining a simple annoyance. If you jog and you are already bristling, if your hands are already poised over the keyboard to upbraid me, wait until I make my point. If you’re still mad, know that I have braced myself for chastisement. Sort of. I hate chastisement.

To the rant!

I have no quarrel with joggers or jogging. There have been seasons in my own life when I enjoyed a nice jog. I may jog again, though the last time I tried it was too cold and my knees hurt. But I totally get the joy of the jog, the runner’s high, finding “the zone.” And city folk who jog — or out-of-town joggers just visiting  — should totally jog in the city! I’m not anti-city jog. In fact, I think city jogging is a terrific idea! Just think about all the great urban spots begging to be jogged: Central Park in Manhattan; the miles of gorgeous lakefront here in Chicago; San Francisco’s hills and that Embarcadero thing. For a jogger, a city is a runner’s paradise.

Except that paradise does not include the entire city. I’m thinking specifically about congested sidewalks in the downtown area. Jogging on Michigan Avenue, for example, on a Saturday afternoon is maybe not the best. There are so many people there. They are walking and talking and shopping and eating things and trying to navigate the north/south or east/west of the narrow cement path they’re treading. When joggers come along — they are so often in pairs — it’s a problem. You’re walking along, thinking about your errands or how you need to call your mother and suddenly a man in neoprene is running at you and you have to jump out of the way. If you don’t jump out of the way, he gives you a dirty look, like, “Excuse me. Ever heard of jogging?

It can’t be a good jog, the busy city sidewalk jog. Can it? Duckin’ and divin’ and getting slowed down by the packs of high school kids and the ladies who lunch, the throngs watching the mimes and the picketers outside the AT&T store? Wouldn’t you rather find a boardwalk or a stretch of sand dunes? A track of some kind?

For all those who disagree with me, you have the floor. Make your case for jogging on busy city sidewalks. Someone will probably convince me I’m wrong and I’ll change my mind. (I’m either very open-minded or a total pushover, I’m never sure.)

10 Responses

  1. Judy
    | Reply

    You make a valid point! I don’t jog anymore either, so easy for me to agree with you! I originally stopped jogging because of a Morton’s Neuroma. Then a few years later I developed a prolapsed bladder. Now I have Plantars Fasciitis–I am obviously done with jogging for this lifetime!

  2. Dayna Williamson
    | Reply

    I don’t mind if they jog as long as they have respect for everyone else using the sidewalk. We live in the country. No sidewalks. We get some joggers but mostly cyclists training for races. When they are in a pack they take over both sides of the road. I don’t want to blow the horn for fear of startling someone but they need to pay attention too. Give us cars some room! Hope you are feeling better after your transfusions.

    • Jane Berg
      | Reply

      I have the same circumstance and I am a bicyclist. Bicyclists need to obey the rules of the road and ride single file if any autos are around – in fact if other cyclists are around to allow them to pass if they are riding faster.

      • Neame
        | Reply

        Ditto, Jane. I even confronted said bicyclists (there were two) and got dirty looks for my trouble, but verbal approval from other walkers. The cyclists got off their machines and walked like the rest of us. It was dangerous.

  3. Marcie Weiler
    | Reply

    You should try living in the Denver Metro/Front Range area. We have joggers, runners, and bikers, many with those funny things that have young children being pushed or pulled along. It’s challenging to not have an accident whilst trying to avoid them. 3MFM

  4. anne beier
    | Reply

    I understand your frustration. I want to put this out there, even though it’s a small tangent, but it can effect your health, and it did mine. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I ran on city pavement and did high impact aerobics on a hard floor. In my early 40’s I developed early onset arthritis and osteoporosis. I’ve had three hip replacements, (one was a re-do), and spine fusion. It is hereditary. But if I had only known that I was predisposed to this back then, I would not have run on pavement, or found a different cardio exercise to do.

  5. Kathryn Darnell
    | Reply

    OK here it is from our orthopedic surgeon (two knee replacements in the last 2 years)….for every year you jog you damage your knees at least three years. He said “Take a walk, long walk”. So if we print out little cards and pass them out to the folks who knock us over! Well, just a thought to add to the light rant while we duck out of the way of passioned and knee damaged joggers. Let’s just take a walk and smile.

  6. Pat Hicks
    | Reply

    Dear Mary hope you are feeling better. I’m hoping today the security letters will work. Been having difficulty with that. I agree with you 100 %. The whole needle process sounds painful, you have to put up with a lot. I hope you are getting some TLC . I had a dream of Claus reading your blog and hopping on a jet to come give you some of the TLC. I know it was probably a crazy dream as most men I know wouldn’t even think of it. Take care and keep writing. Luv and Prayers for a speedy recovery.

  7. Linda
    | Reply

    It would be fine with me to advance this from a light rant to a medium one and include cyclists.
    I live in a rural area and the roads are narrow and often there is farm equipment moving from field to field and lots of hills and then there are groups of cyclists. I do understand the joy of the open air and the freedom of jogging or cycling across the state or country. However it can be dangerous and jogging thru a crowd of people or riding a bike slowly up a hill in the middle or 1/3 part of a narrow country road with 20 or so cars behind you is not a safe idea. I am not suggesting one cycle thru corn fields or jog only in a park, just that a congested or narrow pathway might not be the best course.

    • Marion
      | Reply

      Haha, I was totally going to add cyclists! My beef is in the city and I know it’s a lost cause beef but it’s scary when they hog the road and – it feels like- dare me to hit them. I don’t want anyone to get hurt.

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