Clinica Sierra Vista WIC

Jogging Kills Brain Cells

by Tracie Grimes
Tracie is a monthly contributor to Kern County Family Magazine

Now that the weather is getting colder, I’ve noticed a lot more people stumbling alongside the streets of Bakersfield. They seem to be doing it on purpose. I know this, because they have cute little outfits, iPods strapped to their arms, and water bottles in hand. I believe they are engaging in an ancient ritual that started as a form of torture. It’s called “jogging.”

I know I should be out there with them, sweatin’ to the oldies (now called “old school,” but come on, let’s call a spade a spade), but I just can’t. Oh, I’ve bought the outfits, the iPod, and the water bottle, so I feel like I’ve given it the ol’ (not old) college try. I’ve even attempted to quicken my walking speed to a slow jog-ish movement, but it only resulted in my collapsing on the nearest lawn, clutching my chest while gasping for breath, and pouring the water over my face. It wasn’t pretty.

They have the right idea. They want to get in shape. I want to get in shape, too, but I’ve just come too close to death while jogging. I am a firm believer (well, maybe a “firm” believer isn’t quite accurate. I guess I’m more of a jiggly believer) that running, jogging, or trotting along at any speed other than a brisk walk, really, is just not healthy.

Case in point, my mom was a jogger – more than a jogger really – she ran marathons. Yes, my seventy-something-year-old mom was running full-blown, sweat-pouring, coma-inducing (runners try to tell you this state is called “releasing of endorphins,” but again, let’s call a spade a spade), dehydration-causing, 26-plus mile marathons. Oh sure, she was running through fun places like Disney World, San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas, and St. George, Utah, but she was running. It’s not like you can stop and ride Space Mountain while you’re on a trek to cross a finish line in a certain amount of time. I don’t think you can even see well enough to focus on the fact that there are actual rides in Disney World, because your eyes are full of sweat and your brain is a little befuddled (from all those “endorphins”). And, you can’t ride it afterwards, because you’re most likely in the Emergency Room hooked up to IVs. That’s what happened to my mom the last time she ran a marathon. She ended up in an ambulance on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride to the ER. Wooo-hoo! This is why I have crossed jogging off my list as a way to get into shape. Sure, my mom looks good – thin, well-toned legs – but, she can hardly walk. And, most days, while she was still a runner, she smelled like Ben Gay and spent a lot of time in physical therapy.

I guess when you come right down to it, jogging is just not my “thang.” I’m still looking for exactly what is my thing when it comes to exercise, but jogging is definitely not in the top running (pun totally intended, LOL!). I agree with Dave Barry who says, “Jogging kills brain cells.” I have so few to spare that I’ll have to choose my form of torture, I mean exercise, wisely. There’s gotta’ be some form of movement that will make me want to put on my big girl cross trainers.

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