Until recently I felt the act of jogging to be the preserve of the teenager.
Slogging around sludgy country trails in the rain wasn’t territory that a portly 40-something could encompass within his grasp.
In fact exercise in general was something I had relegated to the back of the memory.
I think in later years the sight of blokes running around in tracksuits conferred an air of the stereotypical nere-do-well gentlemen of a certain city of the north-west.
Lycra-clad cyclists and runners always gave me the impression they would secretly rather be wearing their mam’s tights.
But as my paunch expanded and my breath shortened I decided something would have to be done.
I wasn’t prepared to spend £400 on a gym membership.
No that would have to be syphoned off into the routine maintenance of the hungry bottomless pit of metal and rubber I laughingly call my car.
A friend of mine I noticed had suddenly fallen into the habit of entering first 5k and then 10k runs and tapping me for sponsorship.
He hadn’t stuck me as being particularly athletic, so I asked him what had given him the idea.
“Its’ c25K - an app on my phone.” was the answer,
It’s like having a personal trainer who guides you through from walking for 30 minutes, to running a bit, then gradually increases the running until you can run the entire five kilometres in 30 minutes.
So I tried it out and it wasn’t too difficult at first.
Through my smartphone headphones I have the voice of a haughty young lady exhorting me to stop and start and push my wheezing frame to greater glories around the streets of my neighbourhood.
After a couple of weeks, I decided to try our my new regime early in the morning before going to work.
And I found the experience strangely enjoyable, though I suspect it wouldn’t be in the pitch-black of sub-zero February.
Now I’m running the entire distance, albeit at a conservative pace. Halfway through, you realise that you feel much more alive and your newly-oxygenated brain can think more easily.
And a happy side effect is that I have lost nearly a stone, so running takes less effort than it did.
So its good news for a change and I’ve finally found a use for the confounded smartphone.
Normal ranting resumes now.
* Note to TV documentary makers. If you didn’t preview at was going to happen later on every two minutes, assuming I had the attention span of a goldfish and then abuse my telly and my eyesight with a bombardment of microsecond long flashgun photographs and subliminal psychedelic interludes, I might actually watch the results of your efforts beyond the first ad-break.