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.)