“Do you run or jog?” This is one of the most infuriating questions I get slapped with whenever I mention the sport I’m into. At first I used to answer “a bit of both” because frankly I didn’t know the difference and I didn’t care to ask. The question always annoyed me for several reasons, one of which was it seemed as imbecilic as asking someone “Are you a couch potato or a lazy lump of breathing mass?” or “Do you masturbate or molest yourself?” or “Do you breathe or live?” The list could go on, but I digress.
At some point into my craze, I looked up the difference between the two, officially. Many modern sources have stated that the difference lies in the pace, with running obviously being the faster of the two. However, an interesting source named the origination of the word “jogging “as a playful British term that entered the scene in the mid seventeenth century (http://runrunlive.com/the-difference-between-running-and-jogging), to describe movement.
In the 1970s, jogging became a term associated with non-competitive running, and the rest is history. Here’s my issue: when I think of jogging, I picture couples dressed in matching 80s track suits, flitting through park lanes, smiling and chatting about last week’s cocktail party. I don’t know where this comes from, but I have a feeling it all started with ads for track suits. So I blame the world of advertising for ruining the connotation of something that should be beautiful (not referring to track suits themselves; those belong in the past and/or hell’s fire). When I run/jog, I come back home red, sweaty and in pain, all of which don’t fall in line with the picture of the track suit wearing couple.
Even the sound of the word works against it. It takes your mouth longer to say “Jog” thank it does to say “Run”. Run is associated with so many states of emergency. For example, when you’re in danger, you ‘run’ for your life, hence the seriousness of the term. No one ever jogged away from a tiger or charging hippo. Let’s take another example: Diarrhea. We’ve all been there; don’t roll your eyes just yet. There’s a reason it’s called the “runs”; if it was a jog you would have time to stroll to the bathroom with your dignity intact, instead of charging like the previously mentioned hippo to avoid standing in the middle of your office, covered in feces, with everyone pointing at you, laughing and uploading your misery onto social media. Also, people don’t jog away from their problems; the expression is clearly “running away from your woes”.
Despite all this, it needs to be said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with jogging. As a term referring to movement for the movement’s sake, it stands for something great, and the only thing ruining it are the idiots that ask for the distinction. I am proud to say that while I do run, I will henceforth have no issue being labeled a jogger. However, if you do ask me which of the two I do, prepare to jog away for your life.