No.21: Take up Jogging

Here’s a flancer-based equation:  

30% of your day sitting down +  30% being paranoid + 15 % innate A.D.D + 15% over-active imagination +10% ability to self-delude  =  take up jogging for one day a month.

On this one, epic day, the flancer will have woken up having decided that their indolent life path can only end in morbid obesity. That they can delude themselves no longer that ‘Five- a -Day’ in fact refers to fruit and vegetables,  not cigarettes, cups of coffee or visits to YouTube.  They will look in the mirror, observe mournfully the toast and cake crumbs and on their (topshop.com)  jumper from the day before, smell the Marlboro aroma of their unwashed hair and an epiphany will occur (after a short breakdown).  Everything that is wrong with their lives can be solved by going out and JOGGING.  A sudden, desperate need descends to join the ranks of happy, healthy humans whose circulation actually works and who move about outdoors (and not just to get to the car).   They want a piece of this happiness! And without further ado they put their trainers on, walk to the  car and drive to the shops to buy something to jog in.

At first glance, a Flancer’s wardrobe could be mistaken for the wardrobe of somebody that keeps fit anyway. Do not be fooled:  countless tracksuit bottoms (you can’t sit and write in a suit, for god sake), heat-packs (sitting = lumbar problems), water bottles (came free with the bulk-buy tracksuit bottoms), maybe a yoga mat (a Christmas present), small dumbbells (a fad) and such like.  Flancers never use any of it for it’s intended purpose because generally flancers are crap at sport. Rather than admit this, they will ardently insist that this slothish lifestyle of drinking and smoking is par for the course of creativity; observe! those Rive Gauche, artsy hipster-types! They spend months indoors eating nothing but Gauloises on toast and they produce masterpieces!  But this is simply obfuscating bullshit and if you point it out to them, they will probably cry, nod regretfully and on their next trip to the supermarket buy loads of bottled water and Ryvita.

Anyway, once they have returned from buying kit, the flancer will often discover that all the energy they had for jogging has been used up by going out and queuing in JD Sports for a whole twenty minutes.  The real fighters, however put on the kit and go for a walk. To the shop.  For fags. But the obsessives will warm up (which will traditionally resemble something that Mad Lizzie off-of Good Morning Britain used to do. Because people who never exercise resort to 80s-style  warm-up techniques* for some reason) and set off, after first taking fifteen minutes deciding whether to take their key, hide it under the door mat, put it in their sock or just leave the front door open so the paramedics can get in when they come back with them on a stretcher.

Then comes the other dilemma:  do you take your mobile in case (a) you get lost or (b) you end up in the local ghetto with no strength left to run from the yoots? Or, the real reason. (c) to call someone to pick you up.  By this time it will be dark. 

The flancer will set off, soon reaching the 200m mark. At this point, initial smugness is replaced by chest pains and the onset of migraine. Anger and hatred arrives at the 400 m mark.   And at half a kilometer the flancer is praying a bus will come along to throw themselves under to make it stop.

At least then they will get a lift back. Who cares if it’s in an ambulance?

TODAY’S FOOTNOTES:

*namely star-jumps, side bends or anything from group-exercise sessions at Butlins holiday camps Circa. 1981. Kinda like this only less choreographed  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeMJOPlK-0E

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