Dear Dumb Runner,
You may be dumb, but you must have an answer on how to end this scourge of modern times: Joggers jogging in place at stoplights. How can we enlighten these people and turn them into immobile runners, instead of hopping joggers? I live in Canada, so using firearms will not be an option. All suggestions are welcome!—Erika, Quebec, Canada
Thanks for your question.
The "jogging in place" debate is an old one, having been hashed out and rehashed and re-rehashed so many times we have lost count. In 2014, RunnersWorld.com published this point/counterpoint piece, with one runner arguing for standing still while waiting to cross the street and the other making a case for jogging in place. Their arguments boiled down to this:
First runner: "You look silly when you do this."
Second runner: "But this one time I saw a legendary runner doing it."
Now, we believe that the first runner's assertion is objectively, undeniably true—you do look silly standing there mincing in place, like some sort of deranged mime in technical apparel.
This is why we advise against this practice in The Runner's Rule Book, Rule 1.46: "For Pete's Sake, Stand Still at Red Lights." (Pick up a signed and personalized copy here, in the Dumb Runner Store!)
We have been thinking about this, and have decided that perhaps it is time to retire this rule. Perhaps we should learn to live and let live. So you look silly jogging in place. So what? While we're at it, are any of us runners—in our short shorts, dayglo shoes, and "compression socks"—really in a position to judge anyone's appearance?
We are as surprised as anyone by this change in our attitude, by the way. Maybe we are getting soft in our old age.
So, to answer your question, Erika: How can we enlighten those who jog in place while waiting to cross the street? We can't, really, and that's OK, because whatever, man. Jog in place, stand still, do some stretching, perform a little interpretive dance titled "Transit vs. Time." It's all good.
Oh, and speaking of good: Thanks to your question, I have decided to invent a mixed drink called the Hopping Jogger. All I know so far is that you will mix it by holding a cocktail shaker and jogging briskly in place. When I nail down the recipe, I will send it to you.