For years now (as many as I can remember) I have always enjoyed a heated and often contested discussion with different people as to whether they bounce or whether they float. Often I get all kinds of screwed up looks until I clarify myself. I go on to explain that some people run and some jog. Runners “float” and joggers “bounce”. The American author and marathon runner John Bingham has a great quote – “If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.”
My father, who is one of the most prolific and dedicated runners on this planet, always told me he floats when running and would never lower his standards and allow himself to bounce. Well he didn’t quite put it that way but he was very clear on the floating part. He would go on to say that next time I saw a runner or a jogger to look at the top of their head as they go by, and that the runner’s head would stay almost stationary while a jogger’s head would look like a new-born baby and be all over the place.
It is primarily due to his teaching and influence on me I have always declared myself as a runner and a floating one at that …this even though there have been times I moved at so slow a pace that I almost passed myself on the pathways. I am working on my endurance a great deal now and putting in the time and patience to improve. I can say I am getting better and in just three short months I have improved from barely being able to complete a 3 mile run to being able to pretty well hit 6 miles now.
Getting back to the original topic of debate, I decided to consult a few official bodies of work in search of some form of official definitions. According to Wikipedia – “Jogging is a form of trotting or running at a slow or leisurely pace. The main intention is to increase physical fitness with less stress on the body than from faster running, or to maintain a steady speed for longer periods of time”. The Urban Dictionary – defines a “jogger” as “someone who is obsessed with jogging, usually found in parks or rural roads in early morning. They’ve also developed an acute sense of discovering corpses in the vicinity”. I have to say that if I had been drinking anything when I read the Urban Dictionary reference I would have spewed liquid all over my new laptop. I especially liked the part about being obsessed park dwellers in search of corpses. I did not, however, find any reference to bouncing up and down as they moved obsessively through parks and rural roads.
By contrast, Wikipedia defines “Running” as “a method of terrestrial locomotion allowing humans and other animals to move rapidly on foot. Running is a type of gait characterized by an aerial phase in which all feet are above the ground”. The Urban Dictionary – defines “running” as the physical act of, basically, moving your feet in a fast rhythmic motion to propel yourself forward at a greater speed than if you were a walking or jogging. I know, you are wondering if it really said “terrestrial” but I can assure you it does. This definition seems to support my Dad’s claim that runners do float due to the aerial phase when both feet are off the ground! Even Chris Angel and David Blaine would support this theory but may refer to it as levitation while propelling themselves forward.
The Oxford Dictionaries – defines “joggers” as loose trousers made of a stretchy fabric and typically elasticated at the waist and ankles, worn especially for jogging. I have included this definition just as an aside because it too was quite humorous when I think of all the outfits you see when you are out on the Calgary pathways putting in miles. It seems to suggest also that “joggers” (people who jog) also do not have a highly developed fashion sense unlike their close relative the runner! Runners wear brightly coloured spandex from head to toe in order that they keep all jiggly parts safely tucked away as well as to cut down on wind resistance. These brightly coloured outfits also make it easier to see your friends or running partners at the local Starbucks for your post run Americano! (Venti no room)
So in conclusion, I have to say it is crystal clear and proves once again that “Fathers know best”. I can say that too because I am also a father and feel I am right all the time! Of course ALL comments and feedback are welcome on this important and science based topic. 🙂