I am a jogger. I own the sidewalk and street but I prefer the sidewalk. I prefer the middle of the sidewalk because I own it, after all. Because I am a jogger. I am faster than everyone else on the sidewalk. I am stronger and younger and invincible. If I were to contract COVID-19, which I won’t, I would get a ventilator before those pedestrians in my way–because I am stronger and faster. I have more potential. I am reaching my potential, I am racing after it. I am a jogger. I cannot slow down. I cannot jog in place at corners so that I can maintain a six-foot distance. I cannot stay inside and jump with a real or invisible rope for half an hour. I cannot stay inside and do burpees or jumping jacks or run in place on the floor or on a treadmill or on other machines. I cannot go on a stoop or rooftop or parking lot or park and perform other aerobic exercise. I cannot ride my bike or rent one of the city’s shared bicycles.
I am a jogger, an outside-only jogger. Outside I am moving so quickly that I cannot calculate six feet between myself and slowpokes who walk. I keep moving. I am a moving missile, rocket flying horizontal.
I listen to music on my earphones. I do not hear people walking behind me. I do not see them walking toward me because I am looking down or forward in an inward stare. I am imagining myself winning a marathon. I am imagining myself climbing a hilltop, ruggedly hiking a rugged trail or scaling a mountain. On top of the world.
I am not concerned about getting the virus because I am healthy and strong. I am not concerned about spreading the coronavirus because I feel fine. My lungs and legs carry me forward. I will never go backward. It I were to get sick (and I won’t) I wouldn’t feel it. COVID-19 would not stop me in my tracks. It would wash over me like a short and weak spring shower.
My heart is pumping perfectly. I am a well-oiled and carefully-maintained machine. I run forward. No one and nothing can get in my way—not pedestrians or race-walkers or dog owners; not emergency orders, not fear. My strength is internal and external. No one can slow me down. Nothing can stop me, no one alive or dead.
Credit: “Clueless Jogger Manifesto in the Age of Social Distancing” is also co-published in Pendemic.
Image: Joggers by Ed Dunens CC BY 2.0
- Clueless Jogger Manifesto in the Age of Social Distancing - April 14, 2020