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Run for the Unemployed

Washington wants to talk about deficit reduction, bond vigilantes and runaway inflation.  Yes, let’s just scare everyone into thinking that the money is all going to run out and interest rates are going to soar.  So far, no indication that that’s true.

But what *is* true is that 9% of us are out of work and looking for jobs.  And I’m not just talking high school dropouts.  I went to an all day session yesterday at Rutgers for people in the pharma/biotech industry who have lost their jobs.  The crazy suggestions I heard yesterday might make a surreal chapter in an even more surreal book.  (one not so crazy suggestion is that if you want to start your own biotech with state aid, one of your best bets is Minnesota.  Who knew?)  The lunatics have definitely taken over the asylum.  But that’s for another post.

This post is about making us more visible.  It does us no good to sit behind our doors in our middle class suburbs where no one can see us. That’s what the masters of the universe would like.  If no one can see us, we’ll just go away.

I think we should flaunt our unemployment.  Not only should we flaunt it, we should run around outside wearing T-shirts that announce our employment status and what our professions are.  If anyone has ideas for a design that we can get made in a union shop, post them in the comments.

I’m also proposing that we plan a running event to coincide with Labor Day.  That’s right about when the presidential race will begin in earnest.  Let’s make sure they see us.

OK, here are some basic guidelines:

1.) Wear whatever footgear you want. I wear Nikes.  Yes, I know they are made in sweatshops in Asia.  But my Nike shoes, engineered for mild overpronation save me from days of pain.  I can’t run in any other brand of running shoe and believe me, I have tried many.  If you have a problem with Nike, don’t wear them.  I am not enduring shin splints to satisfy your purity. Let’s all just keep our eyes on our own running shoes, ok?  Other than that, wear clothing appropriate for the exercise. It should be comfortable, have some stretch and not be too loose.  Batten down those boobs, ladies.  Although genetics have more to do with whether you’ll sag or not, it’s just not comfy to have the girls slapping you in the face while you bounce along.

2.) Run with other people.  I propose that we find a running group meetup tool that will allow unemployed runners to meetup and run together during the remaining spring and into the summer.  Maybe we can pick a time when our visibility would be at its highest.  Rush hour?  Or we can pick places that would generate the most consternation in the observers. I’m open to suggestions.

3.) If you can run, run.  If you can’t run, walk.  If you can’t walk, roll.  You decide what level of physical activity is right for you.  Consult a physician first.  I just had a physical complete with EKG, BP and full blood work and I’m in excellent physical condition so there’s no excuse for me.  But if you don’t know what your stress level is, make an appointment with your doctor first or just walk.

4.) Get some good music on your ipod.  It will make the time go faster and your run easier, especially at the beginning.  I suck as a runner. In fact, it is one of my least favorite activities.  But music makes it all bearable and over time, I *do* get better.  I try to pick music that has a propelling rhythm and that matches my heel strike.  The first song starts pretty slowly but usually has a “kick” to it.  I put the songs in order of intensity so that by the time I get to My Big 10 Inch (Record), I’m cruising at my peak speed (which for a beginner is not that fast).  After that, the songs ease up a bit and I finish with a slow song to come down from a run to a walk.  Before I run, I do some calf stretches and lunges just to loosen things up a bit.  When I’m finished, I do a stretch routine usually on the floor of my nice cool basement.

Here’s my run playlist.  Feel free to make it yours:

1.) Amazing Grace- Laura Love (warm up)

2.) Jessica- Allman Brothers

3.) Raise Your Glass- The Warblers (Glee)

4.) Welcome to the Future – Brad Paisley

5.) Iko Iko – The Belle Stars

6.) My Big 10 Inch Record – Aerosmith

7.) Love Today- Mika

8.) All These Things That I’ve Done- The Killers

9.)Let the River Run- Carly Simon

10.) River of Dreams- Billy Joel

11.) Run – George Strait (cool down)

12.) Volcano- Jimmy Buffet (post run stretch)

Ok, all you unemployed, are you ready for this?

Let’s move.

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