I recently took up joggling (slogging) after 20 years away. Part of the motivation was the COVID-19 pandemic and wanting to avoid getting sucked into the medical vortex. Part was speeding recovery from several surgeries. Here is my diary.

Jan. 20

Dearest Wonder (that’s my wife): I have taken up jogging, and it is a grand activity. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. The wind is at my back. The freedom of the open roads. You’re right. I do feel younger. A mile of pure bliss.

Jan. 21

Dear Wonder: Had a slight cramp in my left calf today but otherwise all was right with the world. A mile of smiles.

Jan. 22

Dearest Wonder: The tiniest of blisters has popped up on my left heel, and I felt pain in my right hip, but otherwise I was fine. A mile of (mostly) joy.

Jan. 23

Dear Wonder: My back aches, I have a cramp in my left big toe and my right heel is on fire, but everything else feels OK. Maybe I need new shoes. Managed a mile.

Jan. 24

Dear Wonder: My right achilles tendon feels tight, my left knee aches, my right big toe rubbed on my shoe and my right quad is on fire. Otherwise, I am all right. Slogged a mile.

Jan. 25

Dear Wonder: My love handles do seem to be jiggling less. But at what cost? Today both achilles tendons tightened up, and both quads felt as if they had been pounded by a meat tenderizer. Finished a mile.

Jan. 26

Wonder: Now I know what the mail carrier goes through. Rain, sleet, hail and snow, all at once, greeted my jog today. My right big toe got a blister, and both knees are sore. My right and left calves cramped. Limped a mile.

Jan. 27

Wonder: I saw an old couple walking today. It looked romantic. When the couple passed me, they may have been alarmed by my moaning and gnashing of teeth. Sweat poured off me like Mill Creek rapids. Knees and ankles protested. My hips feel as if they have been attacked with baseball bats. Otherwise, I had a grand time. Logged a mile.

Jan. 28

Wonder: Whose idea was jogging anyway? The love handles look about the same size, and my pot belly is still bouncing wildly. Today my thighs started rubbing together, creating a rash, and my feet felt on fire. I got blisters on both big toes and a cramp in my butt. Another mile down.

Jan. 29

Wife: A dog chased me today, and I feared for my life, but then it ran by to nip a younger runner who had just passed me. More challenge, I guess. Whew! My blisters seem to be healing, and my pre-run stretching has helped my achilles tendons and quads be more flexible. I had more wind. Completed a mile and a half.

Jan. 30

Wonder: I understand now the joy of running. I stepped on the scales and had lost a pound. The sun was shining, the wind was at my back. My right hip ached, but once warmed up, I was fine. Finished a mile and a half.

Jan. 31

Dearest Wonder: Two miles today. I felt like Steve Prefontaine, the University of Oregon track star from the 1970s. I even raced my own shadow. Running by the empty stands, I thought I could hear cheering. No aches. No pains. No blisters. The knees held up great. Still buckets of sweat, but I like working out. Maybe I can enter a race someday. My shadow can still outrun me, but so what.