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France's President Has Country Divided on Hot Topic: Le Jogging?

France's President Has Country Divided on Hot Topic: Le Jogging?

While over here in the USA, we are constantly arguing over our President's decisions on things like withdrawing our troops, environmentalism, etc., the French are arguing over their President's decision on his undignified exercise. His new workout is being criticized as an activity for self-centered individualists (such as the Americans who popularized it). Nope, Sarkozy has not taken up naked yoga. What could it possibly be? Well jogging, of course.

Pardonez-Moi? Seems that a Presidential jog down the Avenue des Champs d'Elysées may even inspire a Frenchie or two to put out that Galois full bodied cigarette and exercise. Apparently I am way off as the is reporting British and French reactions to his running such as:

"No decent conservative would dream of jogging. It's a vulgar, untraditional form of self-advertisement..."

"The Sarkozy jog, say his critics, is a sad imitation of the habits of American presidents, and a capitulation to 'le défi Américain' (a phrase that was the title of a book published here as 'The American Challenge') as bad as the influx of Hollywood movies."

Did anyone take a minute to think he may just be trying to get healthy? Besides, if jogging is considered an American thing to do, then as far as I am concerned we're all doing a little something right, fitness wise, over here.

Join The Conversation
AKirstin AKirstin 9 years
I think working out in public is gross, too. It should be done in privacy.
Julie2812 Julie2812 9 years
Kaellya Kaellya 9 years
Lol. Working out is generally a-OK in Europe. Speaking British-wise, I'd never even heard of this story before today. And the UK is full of gyms and joggers (and higher obesity rates than ever before). It's just a very small minority of French commentators, looking to criticise Sarkozy and his politics any way he can. But this small minority are quite snobbish and fiercely protective of certain perceived aspects of French culture. The dignified French politician would stroll and smoke in well tailored suits and not sweat. Sarkozy runs around like a madman in shorts, with his new policies and politics. To these commentators, jogging is an unnatural pace, it is exercise for exercise's sake and it is quite ostentatious and 'Americanised'. But they're basically just out to criticise him in any possible way.
cmachter1 cmachter1 9 years
What???? I can't even believe what I just read. Crazy!
Royal_Red Royal_Red 9 years
I have heard many times that Europeans are anti-exercises. A women walking down the street with muscle gets offensive looks. Working out is unconventional, it is perceived as odd or wrong, and UK's obesity rates are catching up to America's.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Ha ha ha, and people think Americans have a lock on ethnocentrism.
purplebaltogirl purplebaltogirl 9 years
i know that europeans tend to look down on americans because they feel we unleashed fast food/frozen food on the world. i do think it is funny that americans are supposedly so devoted to exercise but we are the fattest country on earth. i think europeans for the most part walk SO much more because their cities are so much more compact, and they eat more fresh foods (though i think that is starting to change as they are becoming fast food addicts themselves). not saying i agree with their criticisms, but i believe that is the origin of their attitudes about americans and fitness.
Swangeese Swangeese 9 years
I suspect that Sarkozy's politics have more to do with the criticism than the jogging itself.
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 9 years
Good for him! He can stand over their early graves in a pair of sneakers and a sweaty T-shirt. :TREAD:
Oread Oread 9 years
Strange... I recently met up here in Montreal with the members of our Paris, France office; for the whole week they were here, 3 of them got up early every morning before work to go for a run/ jog. I don't know that many people here who are so get-up-and-go on a daily basis; I thought maybe it was a popular French form of exercise.
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 9 years
random point, but man! look at the size of that calf!
gumdrops334 gumdrops334 9 years
wow, that is so close-minded of them to think such a thing. First of all, did America TRULY invent jogging? I'm sure humans were jogging long before America was even discovered. Second, even if it is an American-associated activity, how snobby is it to say that you can't do something just because it's American-like. This just perpetuates the French's stereotypes of "holier than thou"-ness (although I'm stooping to that level by saying that). And third, if its a "low" form of exercise, I'd like to see how they do work out!
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
How sad that he can't take a jog without people freaking out. I swear, people will complain about anything (and THAT is a world wide issue). And why do we have to label things, like jogging is American? And vulgar? Wow, that's a harsh word for some fitness! Can't we all jsut get along?
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