Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cool Woggings

I have long believed that getting fit is just a fancy, more socially acceptable way of injuring yourself.  If someone screws up their knee pulling aeroplane parts across a beach at sunrise while being yelled at by a sadistic drill sergeant (and paying for the pleasure) it’s somehow impressive, but you blow out one slightly important bodily hinge while joyously kicking snow and you know everyone will find you faintly ridiculous for the length of your limping.

This is a really kind-hearted artist's rendering of what I look like after exercising

That’s not an excuse for my complete lack of fitness (as excuses go, I’ve made better), but rather more of a philosophical viewpoint.

Obviously the real reason I’m unfit is because I’m lazy, but for the first 20 years of my life I was lazy in a less obvious way.  I’d always preferred team sports over the individual pursuits, and it was easy to assume this was because I was a naturally social person (an absurd assumption really, when combined with the well-known fact that I don’t like people).

Retrospectively I realise the real reason I so excelled at softball, basketball, hockey, cricket and touch football was because they actually involved a superb amount of standing.  You may think to yourself that basketball, hockey and touch football in particular actually involve a ludicrous amount of running, but you’d be wrong – not the way I played them.  I am an excellent stander (for no longer than 60 minutes).  When a whole team of people are running around madly, it can actually be considered an asset to be the one person who will always be reliably found standing in the same spot.

The only time I’ve managed to become some version of athletic was by complete accident.  I hiked the Machu Picchu trail and I can only assume the lack of the oxygen in the air made me more efficient at breathing or something (because that’s how those things work, surely).

When I went to university I got a bicycle and briefly became determined to be one of those people who rode everywhere (you know, Dutch, but with a point), and promptly failed.  I lacked the necessary balance and grit to ride up hills and inevitably ended up walking my bike most of the way.

That was 8 years ago, which is how long it took for me to recover from the mortification of being overtaken by toddlers on tricycles.

So here I am, in my late 20’s, newly emboldened to try to become fit.  I’m attempting this through running, but you know what they say, you have to wog before you can run.  Where do they say that (Mother Painefull wonders to herself as she engages in her weekly furniture rearranging session)?  Cool places mum, that’s where.

This is a rather sarcastic artist's rendering of what wogging looks like, the kind of clothes I do it in, and what sports bras do to my breasts - thanks Phil, you douche

I’m sure I don’t have to explain what wogging is, but I will.  It’s the pursuit of personal transportation through a combination of both walking and jogging.  And because it’s pretty much a science, I can tell you it can only become such a hybrid once 10% of the journey is done with jogging.  Of course, once the jogging takes up over 50% it becomes jalking (please don’t argue with me over the naming system, I have put a rather sad amount of thought into this – I think ‘brunch’ and ‘liger’ prove that the dominant feature gets leading naming rights, don’t you?).

But as I mentioned, it’s been 8 years since I attempted any meaningful and regular exercise, and 2 new facts have emerged:

1. Wogging is actually incredibly boring
2. Without my glasses I am basically blind

As such I’ve had to invent games to make it more interesting, and fortunately wogging blind provided the very first one.  This game was called ‘Man-Woman?’  Without spectacles I can’t even pick someone’s gender until they’re standing beside me… with that in mind I tend to lose at this game more than I win.

After tripping over several hoses, 2 branches, a crack in the pavement, and an orange safety cone I started wearing my glasses while wogging, which meant coming up with a new game.  This one is called ‘Engage!’.  When playing this game you get a point for every time you get someone to respond to your greeting while you wog.  This has the added bonus of alleviating some of the concern of people who look at me as if I’m dying as I heave past them, gasping for air.

You lose a point for every fail, and get bonus points if both members of a couple respond to your engagement, or if you can somehow get someone to spontaneously high five you as you go past (it’s only happened once, and it was a wonderful day).

I wouldn’t say I’m getting fit, so much as I’m getting moderately less unfit.  And the public nature of the whole thing is helping with my innate laziness.  The ease with which I get mortified in front of strangers, combined with the amount of construction workers sitting around listening to talkback radio in my suburb, means I spend much more time jogging, and trying to look nonchalant while doing it, than my body really wants to allow.  For some reason I’m really determined that these predominantly overweight men think I’m running the whole way (in reality I doubt they notice, but it’s somehow important to me to think they do… like it’s important to me not to make eye contact with the cashier while buying tampons).

Painefull Out