I Finally Went for a Jog, After a Five-Year Hiatus

My waist has expanded like a hot air balloon at the county fair since I stopped running and bicycling five years ago. I made a change for the better today and went for a jog!

Although I still need to write my post-Lent summary, I thought I’d share a brief note about how I have fallen from Grace, big time, regarding my being at a relatively good level of physical fitness for much of my life, until Covid.1I didn’t take the vaccine shot.

The last time I went jogging was in 2018 or 2019. At that time, I was running probably 20-30 miles per week and riding my bicycle, primarily for commuting locally, about the same number of miles per week.

Since Covid, I haven’t gone running or bicycling, although I’ve still maintained a garden and performed yard work such a mowing the lawn, which counts as some exercise in my book.

So, what has happened to my body, particularly my mid-section over the past 4-5 years?

Waist Circumference (widest part)

Well, my waist has expanded like a balloon at the county fair!

  • Pre-Covid: 32”-33”
  • Today: (a whopping) 37”
Image of hot air balloons from the Chester County (PA, USA) Balloon Fair. June 18, 2011.

My waist looks and feels like a hot air balloon.

Although I still wear the same size underwear briefs (size medium; 32″) as I did in high school, I now have what is called a dad bod or beer gut, and I’m neither a dad nor a beer/alcohol drinker!

My “Take it Easy” Jog

The slow deterioration of my fitness level is troublesome, so this evening I decided, on a whim, to go for a jog.

I just took it easy, went out-and-back for a total of 2.80 miles. I included six 15-second bursts, keeping in mind that Herschel Walker workout I mentioned in my Lent post.

Total time: a very slow 35:45, or 12:46 per mile. I think I can walk faster than this pace, actually! I plan to just ease back into jogging to minimize injuries, though.

Common Thread (an Eagles Tribute Album)

I mentioned to a friend recently that I never really liked the Eagles until a former girlfriend would continually play this album, Common Thread: Songs of The Eagles (click the image to listen to the album on YouTube).

“Take it Easy” sung by Travis Tritt is the very first song on this album.

Image of the album "Common Thread: The Songs of The Eagles" (a tribute album).

Track list

  1. 00:00 – Take It Easy (Travis Tritt)
  2. 03:23 – Peaceful Easy Feeling (Little Texas)
  3. 07:55 – Desperado (Clint Black)
  4. 11:47 – Heartache Tonight (John Anderson)
  5. 16:13 – Tequila Sunrise (Alan Jackson)
  6. 19:10 – Take it To the Limit (Suzy Bogguss)
  7. 23:45 – I Can’t Tell You Why (Vince Gill)
  8. 27:50 – Lyin’ Eyes (Diamond Rio)
  9. 34:22 – New Kid In Town (Trisha Yearwood)
  10. 39:31 – Saturday Night (Billy Dean)
  11. 42:58 – Already Gone (Tanya Tucker)
  12. 48:01 – Best Of My Love (Brooks & Dunn)
  13. 52:40 – The Sad Cafe (Lorrie Morgan)

Post-jog “Peaceful Easy Feeling”

After this very slow ~35-minute jog, I got the same peaceful, easy feeling that kept me running consistently since I was in my early 20’s. I don’t think it relates to the endorphins associated with the “runner’s high” because that is supposed to be from exercising more intensely or running longer distances. It doesn’t matter, I definitely experienced that Peaceful Easy Feeling even after this sluggish jog. It’s like a mild drug, really, at least to me.

Peaceful Easy Feeling

This song is the second track on the aforementioned album. It is performed by the band Little Texas.

Lyrics (snippet)

'Cause I got a peaceful easy feelin'
And I know you won't let me down
'Cause I'm already standin'
On the ground

[Verse 2]
And I found out a long time ago
What a woman can do to your soul
Aw, but she can't take you anyway
If you don't already know how to go

The Dude Really Doesn’t Like The Eagles

Remember in the movie The Big Lebowski when “Peaceful Easy Feeling” was playing on the radio and The Dude asked the cab driver to change the station? Ha ha.

The Dude hates The Eagles, man!

Jogging vs Weight Lifting

Popping-out for a quick out-and-back jog is so much easier to me than performing the body-weight and weight-lifting exercises.

In my youth, as a teenager and early twenty-something, the opposite was true. Jogging or running was a chore to me then, even though I ran track. Lifting weights was pleasurable. However, I also had chimp-like strength at that time. Maybe I’ll write a blurb about that (my strength, vertical jump, and sprinting speed in my early 20’s) in the future.

Jogging Risks

I’m only referring to tick and chigger bites, here, since I found a tick attached to me (this was after I wrote and published the blog last night).


The tick was attached just below my knee on the outside of my leg. I initially thought it was a piece of mud or lint, but when I went to brush it off it was stuck. After a couple of swipes with my hand I just pinched it with the tips of my fingers and tossed it into the toilet. At that point, I realized it was not only an insect, but also a tick.

It came off cleanly, but left a small bite mark which is slightly red. As of today, the day after the run and bite, there is no ring or sign of infection. However, according to several blogs, I need to closely monitor the bite mark for up to 30 days for signs of Lyme disease, which could include a ring developing around the bite mark or even experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Curiously, I never felt the bite and didn’t even realize it was on me until later in the evening. This is very different from other insects and bugs such as mosquitoes, fleas, ants, and whatnot. I’ll notice the presence of those insects even when I’m active or running. Moreover, this is the first time in my life that I recall pulling a tick off of me. This is astonishing given how much time I’ve been in the brush, weeds, and woods in my youth. Maybe I just never realized I had got bitten by ticks in the past.


Actually, the only time I recall getting bit by something that reminds me of a tick was when I lived in East Texas in my early-to-mid 20’s.

My first spring/summer season there, I made the mistake of running in a field alongside a road near my apartment complex. I thought I got poison ivy because my lower legs above my ankles were so itchy, red, and slightly swollen. Then, one day at work, I told a co-worker that I had poison ivy and she asked to see it. She looked at my ankles and said, “those are chigger bites.” I never heard of them. But, they basically spread to people similar to how ticks do. Then, they feed off of blood.

Interestingly, images of chiggers do look like ticks, except chiggers are microscopic and can barely be seen with the naked eye, if at all.

I think chiggers are worse than ticks with respect to (1) the annoying itch, (2) seemingly being able to multiply or spread, and (3) the risk of getting a secondary infection from the itching and subsequent open wounds that could develop. However, ticks are more dangerous because of the risk of getting Lyme Disease.

Anyway, I still have the medicated relief potion that my co-worker recommended.

Medicated Chigarid®

Even though I have moved several times throughout the USA – and had a lot of stuff stolen or lost in the process – I still have this little half-ounce bottle of Medicated Chigarid® that has an expiration date of July 1997!2If this is the first bottle I bought, then it was purchased in the spring/summer of 1993. However, it could be a second bottle that I bought after moving to Dallas a few years later. My co-worker recommended it for the itchy effects from the chiggers.

Here’s some information from the bottle:

  • Manufacturer: C&C Laboratories, Dallas, Texas 75208
  • Lot No.: 0827-3
  • Expiration: July 1997
  • Description: Fast relief for chigger, ticks, and mosquito bites. Soothes bites in minutes. Includes bites from chiggers (red bugs), sand flies, ticks, fleas, and minor stings.
Active ingredients:

Closing Words

I’ll plan to perform this type of jogging exercise at least once a week until winter, while also being careful not to get bitten by ticks.

Given I will be tending to a garden, mowing the lawn, and probably still performing body-weight and weight-lifting exercises that I began during Lent, I’m confident that the circumference of my waist will return to its normal size by late fall.

I’ll share an update at that time.


  • 1
    I didn’t take the vaccine shot.
  • 2
    If this is the first bottle I bought, then it was purchased in the spring/summer of 1993. However, it could be a second bottle that I bought after moving to Dallas a few years later.

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