The Hood Shuffle


I’ve taken to doing this strange activity recently. It’s been going on for a little while, and has now extended to the outside world. I’ve been exercising.

Yes, I feel dirty just admitting it.

But I’ve come to enjoy it, I like the sweat stench if I’m honest, I’m proud that I’m running, and it’s helping me fight back against the black dog. And the days when it doesn’t help? I like to rename this frenzied activity The Hood Shuffle

I live in an area that isn’t really known for safety and tolerance. I live in the nice part of this suburb, but I can’t go running after dark. Or without my tetanus vaccines up to date. Or with earphones in my ears. Or past the seedy pharmacy on the corner where you’re likely to be given someone’s script for Champix when you really just want some cotton buds. All those things aside, though, it’s a nice area. Nice. Sure, there are limited opportunities for picnicking under the shade of willow tree that wraps you in shelter and love, but most places have a lounge out the front and a beer bottle monument to dodge.

And thus, the Hood Shuffle.

It begins with sneaking out of one of the gates. The aim here is to avoid conversation, quite simply because I am easily distracted. Be it the Buddhists or the bear with her mini-me, I will find them and I will talk to them and I will change my mind. No shuffle.

Once I hit the sidewalk, though, there is just one priority: Which direction is most likely to steer me away from people walking towards me? It isn’t that I’m embarrassed to be out running. It isn’t that I’m scared, or that I’m lacking confidence. Nope. It’s my boobs.

No matter what I do or how I strap those puppies down, they insist on running at double the speed I run at. Way to show me up, girls. They also continue to run, for at least three steps after I have stopped. Yesterday I had the wrong bra combination on and almost ended up with black eyes. So clearly, it is of vital importance that no one be confronted with the image of me, red faced and sweaty, slowing down to a walk while my boobs continue to run at double speed. Even in this area, it would rate as a peculiar site – and I’ve seen a woman walking her cat on a lead.

The Hood Shuffle then is characterised by ducking and hopping.

Ducking: Spider webs of metallic quality. These webs are strong. If I hit them, chances are I would be flung backwards, akin to being fired from a sling shot. Who knows where my boobs would finish. Probably the next suburb over.

Hopping: Dog poo. There is a strong commitment to leaving dog poo where it is placed. I totally understand why and how and the foulness of it, but I pick up Scouty’s poo. Why should I then have to dodge landmines?

It’s when I enter quieter streets that the Hood Shuffle provides ultimate encouragement.

I start by walking.

I hear doors slam, and the smell of rotting McDonalds fills the air. Broken glass crunches under my feet. A car passes.

It’s at this point that I remember every single abduction that has taken place in the world. I hear the theme music from Criminal Minds and The X Files. I fear the anal probe.

My feet begin to move faster.

My arms start to pump.

My chesticles find their own rhythm, and propel me forwards.

I run.

Run, until finally, I make it.


Sweaty, smelly, gasping for air, and checking for both anal probes and the location of my breasts, which arrived several minutes before me and are currently brewing a nice cup of tea.

The Hood Shuffle.

Do you run? How do you get your mojo when you just don’t want to?




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