Jeddah Morning Joggers (JMJ)23 May 2014
As part of my plan on fighting the very high levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL Cholesterol), as I wrote about earlier in my running a marathon for the first time blog post, I like being part of Jeddah Morning Joggers, AKA (JMJ).
JMJ started several years ago as an initiative lead by Ahmed Al-Awadi, a national Saudi young, very talented, engineer. Al-Awadi is known for his experience in marketing, branding, and graphics design skills. As a matter of fact, he had his own design house named ASADesign, visual communications. He never expected nor anticipated it lasting for a year let a lone several years! In fact some of the group members by then were very skeptic and almost guaranteed him a big failure. Al-Awadi’s persistence and motivation never stopped, which helped him get new members every now and then and that’s when I met him in October 2011 when he was assigned to develop a re-branding concept for a logo I had. Al-Awadi asked me to join his group even though I never been jogging before. As a matter of fact, JMJ group is mainly consisting of new joggers, or people that are new to running, in other words, beginners or as we techies like to label them, n00bs.
My first jog
I joined Al-Awadi in JMJ and started my first jog with him. I still remember it until this day, not because it was fabulous, but because it was a mess! I couldn’t run for more than 300 meters. Trying to catch my breath every few hundred meters, I barely finished my first 1K.
The second time was a little bit similar, but the 300 meters were a little bit easier, and so it kept on getting easier on every next run until I was able to finally run a 1K without resting or slowing down. My only problem was me getting really thirsty. I live in Jeddah, remember?
Improving my fitness levels
After noticing the little improvements in my, beginner, fitness levels, I started to appreciate that and favoured to run more and more. If the team is going to run for 2K only, I try to push myself into running 2.5Ks or 3Ks. Somethings I even run on the days where we don’t run. This helped me a lot in being able to improve my fitness levels and be able to run my first 10K
Getting bigger and bigger
The group was getting bigger and bigger while also media coverage was spreading in local magazines and radio stations. More new and beginners join the group almost every week. We had new faces on every run we do for some time. Some of which are interested for the love of health and sports while others where interested for fun and publicity!
How and what we do at JMJ?
First, we warm up our bodies so the blood flows and pumps into your entire body and brisk walk. Then, we jog/run as a group. Next, and before we finish the exercise, we do escalation, were we jog until a certain lamppost, after about 30 meters we go a step faster once we reach the second lamppost, and once we reach the final third lamppost, we finally sprint until the next lamppost! This ends our exercise for the day but we are not over yet. We have to finish with some stretching exercises to relax those aching and tight muscles. Usually everyone brings his on exercise mat to join us in the stretching session as we start from upper body muscles like neck and shoulders, today Al-Awadi introduced eye muscles as well, to core and glute muscles, and finally lower body muscles.
Join us on our next run
As stated earlier, we are not professional runners. We do focus more on those that are new to jogging/running as we take baby steps with them and help them improve their fitness levels. You don’t have to be a runner to join JMJ, just like we all started. Watch this video then connect with us through any of our social media accounts