This is my new favorite quote. Today alone, I must have said this three times in a span of an hour. And yes, it was in that hour that I was actually jogging.
Let me back-up a bit. I don’t normally talk about JG much in the blog, mostly because he doesn’t like it if I do, but today I am willing to make an exemption at the risk of him getting mad at me. See when I met him a little over 13 years ago, he was on his way to becoming really fat. I know fat is such a mean word, I could say, obese, on the heavy side, words and phrases like that, but we he was, well in the universal vernacular, fat.
For years and especially when we got married I had compelled him to try and live a bit healthier, and watch his weight, and do some exercise, walk for a few mintes at least. I was truly deeply afraid that he was going to die of a heart attack and leave me a widow. And I wasn’t kidding because everytime we would see a doctor for regular check-ups everyone of them would be surprised at how he hasn’t keeled over yet with his shockingly high blood pressure.
I am also compelled to explain that convincing a very intelligent person to do something for you is very difficult. I remember epic fights wherein philosophical points of view of the freedom to choose the way you live is main theme of such heated debates. He would argue that life is short and the existence of heaven is yet to be proven so one must live as one prefers. I remember him saying that he would rather happily die young eating a huge Baconator burger and not wasting precious reading time, than live a long life forced to eat broccoli and all the garden variety food and exercising. Quality over quantity, and all that shitake mushrooms…
JG, bless his heart is a good man, a great one, unique in his way, and I would always say that I am lucky to have found such a smart, kind, principled, honest, and hardworking fella. Except for the fact that he had the eating habits of seven year old, who prefers everything fried and chugs sodas by the litres. I have mentioned in previous posts that travelling with him is such a great experience because of all the historical facts he knows and shares, what I don’t share are the frustratingly slow walks and how he refuses to go anywhere uphill or places where there are no elevators to take you up.
And as the years passed, I gradually just gave-up, hoped for the best, and over time succumbed to the carefree eating myself. Of course I am not being all self-righteous, although I liked eating vegetables unlike JG, I also liked eating instant noodles, chips, puffy marshmallows covered in chocolate, extra-servings of rice, and large fries and drinks to go with my Big-Mac. And since my husband pretty much did not care what I looked like, getting fat myself wasn’t an issue, plus the fact that I am not the least bit vain.
And so a little over a year ago, we found ourselves turning 30, and unhealthy. At this point I suppose at the back of our minds we knew the risks this does to our well-being. I stopped nagging him about it and while looking at pictures of me during my birthday trip to Ankara, I sighed at the fact that my neck has all but disappeared and that I hadn’t seen my clavicle bone in years.
But alas, one day during said trip, JG suddenly asks about this gym that has been mentioned to us since we arrived in Muscat and had ignored since then. And when we came back home one of the first things he did was sign us up as members, immediately followed by buying exercise gear, and started the slow and painful process of getting fit.
And so the jogging part. It is strange, but no other way to explain, except that my husband seemed to have caught a bug for running. It is as if the old JG who would happily leave his wife for a good book and a Baconator, has found a new mistress in the form of jogging. Now a days, he buys books about it, watches documentaries on the triumph of marathons, follows sweaty looking bloggers who reviews shoes, specially formed earphones designed to never fall off your ear, tips on how to avoid nipple chaffing, and proper techniques on breathing and running stance. HE RUNS EVERYDAY! Even in days when he is sick, even when the weather is bad.
At this point in the post I am happy to announce that he has since lost about 30 kilos off his weight, he is still in the over-weight section technically (in the BMI chart) but is now watching what he eats, hasn’t had a slice of pizza for months, and most-importantly is the proud bearer of a normal BP! A complete turn around.
As for me…
One of the things I took from this experience is that I suppose getting healthy and fit can never really be forced into a person. It is as if JG just woke up one day and decided that he was really going to do it, and on that aspect, I suppose I regret to say that my healthy AHA moment has yet to come. Which is probably why I detest jogging so much these days, especially about the fact that it seems to be working so well on JG and not on me. I think I like swimming better, swimming holds a special place in my heart because it was all I did back when JG was left in Tripoli during the whole arab spring phase four years ago. For an hour or two I was forced to just concentrate on taking in air and blowing it out at every stroke so I won’t drown, and in the process forget my concerns, and clear my head.
But to be honest, I really get what Anne Perkins was saying on jogging. I find myself bored especially during runs when my phone runs out of juice or when Freddie Mercury singing Don’t Stop Me Now has long lost its motivational beat. I get distracted by the littlest thing, and at times gets really irritated when dirt or worst a fly shoots into your open mouth, one you have to keep a gap because breathing makes the heavy feeling of your lungs and the burning sensation at your calves a little better.
The worst part, while jogging, unlike swimming, I am left to deal with the clutter in my head, the dishes I haven’t washed, the appointments I need to keep, loved ones I miss, regrets, embarrassing memories, shortcomings, failures. I know, I know, the inside of my mind is depressing, but tell me do you really think about happy thoughts when your heart rate is at double the normal pace, your mouth is dry of thirst, and your lungs heavy with the short puffs of breath you take?
Being the supportive wife that I am, I could not complain everytime I am dragged to this thing that seemed to have saved JG from an almost certain path to a cardiac arrest. Admittedly I too have lost some weight and is slowly getting my neck back, but more than that now, I too am curious to catch the bug, to get that high my husband seemed to not get enough of, and comes back for more every day.
Check back to me in a month or so, perhaps by then I can tell you differently, for now, I am just happy to get what ever benefits it gets me, and for making my husband seem almost perfect.