Jogging is a cold-hearted b*tch. Well, I take that back. Cardio, in general, no matter what form it comes in, is a cold-hearted b*tch. Jogging is more of a passive aggressive asshole.
However, once you do it for a while, jogging actually becomes therapeutic. And once you achieve some semblance of what is deemed as a “runner’s high,” a kind of internal bliss/tranquility sets in, even if the hardship of cardio is apparent.
It’s weird, but again, it’s therapeutic.
And when I jog, my guard is down. And why shouldn’t it be? Why should I be in a constant state of paranoia? The mental burden, as a black man in America, is already there. In almost every aspect of life, you have to perform extra calculations, if you’re a black man or woman or even child. You have to factor in different equations. Black equations.
The black equation must be inserted when you walk into a CVS, play in a playground, interview for a job, fly on an airplane, attend a school, grab a coffee at Starbucks, drive or ride in a car, it doesn’t matter. If you are black, calculating every move you make with the black equation in mind is a necessity.
And this calculation is generational.
So much so, that it’s an evolutionary trait at this point. And with any genetic trait, it’s inherent that we use it for survival purposes. We use it to increase our chances of survival. We use it to mitigate situations that are escalated simply because we are inherently perceived as a threat.
The threatening, overly aggressive black species.
Ahmaud Arbery was me. He was us.
Jogging. Unarmed. Just jogging. Heart rate elevated. Legs churning. Dreading uphills. Longing for downhills. Focusing on breathing. Focusing on pace. He was conducting his own, personal therapy session. For once, taking a break from the stresses of calculating how America would treat him. How America would view him. But America showed up, anyway. America showed up when he was at his most vulnerable. And she killed him. She killed him, anyway.
America preyed on Ahmaud’s vulnerability.
Hunters are good at that. Hunters are good at pursuing their potential victims when they least expect it. The good hunters, anyway. And America, well, she’s one of the greatest hunters to ever do it. America preys on black people, she preys on our existence. It doesn’t matter the action; any action…
Driving while Black
Eating skittles while Black
Unarmed while Black
Walking while Black
Carrying a legal firearm while Black
Conversing while Black
Being a woman while Black
Being a man while Black
Being a kid while Black
Being gay while Black
Being trans while Black
Being black while Black
Playing on a playground while Black
Protesting while Black
Peacefully Protesting while Black
Not Resisting Arrest while Black
Running away while Black
Eating ice cream while Black
Playing video games while Black
Standing your ground while Black
Protecting Black people while Black
Sitting on your couch while Black
Hands up, don’t shoot while Black
Bible Studying while Black
Working while Black
Reading while Black
Writing while Black
Breathing while Black
And now, jogging while Black.
Leslie McLemore writes about a lot of different shit for Black With No Chaser. He is also the Takeaway Kang and is the father of two beautiful girls, one of which gets on every nerve he has. The other one is sweet. So, you know, balance.
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