As much as I found it boring, I used to jog a couple of times a week… initially on my own, at some point with a trainer… but I never really found it as engaging as cycling or skiing. It’s effective for boosting your heart rate, but it’s also effective at stressing your knees. And it’s more boring… the world goes by a lot slower than when you’re on skis and/or a bike.

To alleviate the boredom, I used to jog to different destinations all the time… take a different turn here and there, see some new sights… different houses, different construction sites, different shops. Engage the brain a bit as well.

And then I came up with something even better.

Imagine a map, and stick a pin on your home. Then imagine a little string tied to the pin… the length of which corresponds to how far you want to jog every day before turning around and heading home (assuming you jog in a straight line, back and forth). If you intend to jog 5km a day, the string should represent a distance of 2.5km…. because 2.5km in one direction, then 2.5km to get back home.

If you put on your high-school math hat for a moment, you’ll recall that the area of a circle is Pi x Radius squared… in this case, 3.14 x 2.5 x 2.5 which is around 20 sq. km… a nice slice of potential real-estate to take in.

But what if you double that radius? What if you run those 5km in a straight line? How much bigger is that potential circle? Close to 80 sq. km… 4 times more cool sights to explore. Of course, then you have to get home… so what I used to do is find a Car2Go 5km from here, reserve it, and jog to it… and drive home. For the price of the Starbucks coffee that I didn’t get instead, I’d just drive home. Sometimes, with little local demand for Car2Gos, they’d start piling up outside the house… till some Car2Go people would come along and scoop them all up. Unfortunately, Car2Go has scooped-up all of their cars in North America, so… so much for that. It’s just not the same with Evo.

You’d think jogging would be making a good comeback during this pandemic. I’m not sure if the numbers are up or down, but jogging hits all the positives of exercising in a socially-distant way. You’re outside, and you can easily avoid other people… either entirely, or certainly by finding 6 feet around them.

… which is why I found very curious this directive from UC Berkeley: No outdoor exercise till further notice, masked or unmasked. Huh? What do you suggest is better? Pack the gyms?

The data is exceedingly clear – you get this disease by being nearby other infected people and breathing in their infected exhaust. The nearer you are… times the longer you’re there… equals the risk… the more little virus balls you inhale, the worse it’ll be.

From what I have read, there have been zero documented cases of transmission outdoors… except in cases where people were in close conversation. Undoubtedly, it’s difficult to define — and difficult to claim — zero… there are half-inside/half-outside spaces, there are tents… but, ultimately, I think everyone gets it… and can figure out the risks associated with that they plan to do. Jogging all by yourself is zero risk… to you, and to others.

All that being said, there seems to be a bit of what’s going on around here as well… the acknowledgement that for a lot of people, when you give an inch, they’ll take a mile… so no initial inches can be given. “Now is not the time”.

I’m not sure where the phrase, “This is why we can’t have nice things” originally came from… it’s been around a lot longer than the Taylor Swift song… but it alludes to situations where a frustrated parent says it after watching their tiny little toddler smash something like a priceless Beatles LP into tiny little bits. You can’t blame the kid; what does he know… but anyone who’s ever had little kids knows… try to keep the “nice things” out of reach.

I’m reminded of that sentiment when, around here, we’re not allowed responsible gatherings, indoors or out… not because it probably wouldn’t be ok, but because the powers that be know all too well… that we’re going to take that nice thing… and break it. Best to keep it out of our hands to begin with. I understand it, and I respect it. I’m also not too happy with it. But I also can’t come up with any better alternatives, because I understand very clearly what we’re all trying to achieve. And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, if we keep doing what we’re doing… we’ll get there.

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