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  • For a long time, running was for weirdos.

  • It wasn't always like it is today.

  • Today, we're used to people pushing past us on the sidewalk, dressed in neon and kitted

  • out with iPods and FitBits.

  • It's normal that everybody looks like cyborg highlighters.

  • And in America, the metric system is basically kept alive by 5k races alone.

  • But back in the 60s, running was so unusual that it had to be explained to people.

  • On October 15, 1968, the Chicago Tribune devoted an entire page to a strange new trend: "Jogging:

  • The Newest Road to Fitness."

  • A typical recreational runner, Andre Mandeville, ran 11 minute miles.

  • He also smoked three to four packs of cigarettes a day.

  • That same year, in New York, runners like Dick Cordier got ticketed for "illegal use

  • of the highway by a pedestrian."

  • And in Connecticut, Ray Crothers was chased by five squad cars cruising the streets because

  • he was...running.

  • Small town athletes suffered too, women especially.

  • One woman wrote that there was no thing odder than a woman jogging in a small town.

  • She decided to swim instead.

  • Athletes always ran, but for recreation, it was rare.

  • Boxers, track stars, and soldiers, sure, but normal people rarely ran before the late 60s.

  • It wasn't just odd outdoors, either.

  • The most infamous use of a treadmill wasn't in a gym, but in a prison.

  • In 1895, the Chicago Tribune described a treadmill for its readers.

  • It was "the great bugaboo of the English convict."

  • The prisoner in that case?

  • The writer Oscar Wilde, who was serving a two-year sentence for sodomy.

  • His hard labor included the treadmill.

  • Long story short, you did not jump on the treadmill while watching House Hunters after

  • work.

  • Treadmills had been used as a power source for thousands of years, but in the 1820s,

  • the Brixton prison made them famous as a tool in jails.

  • If there was nothing for the treadmill to grind, they had it power a fan to grind the

  • wind — yes, even prison treadmills had a difficulty setting.

  • And while treadmills were used by medical professionals and athletes in the 1900s, the

  • prison treadmill was a symbol of what running meant: at worst, torture.

  • At best, training.

  • But by 1969, treadmills were being developed for home use, and that reflected the sea change

  • that ultimately made jogging mainstream.

  • The New York Times reported the reason inventor William Staub believed his mainstream treadmill

  • could work.

  • A 1968 book, Aerobics, convinced him of the health of an aerobic workout, and it was one

  • of many books that pointed to jogging as a way to get fit.

  • Much of the credit for jogging specifically goes to legendary University of Oregon coach

  • Bill Bowerman, who discovered cross-country jogging on a trip to New Zealand in 1962,

  • after meeting with pioneering runner and coach Arthur Lydiard.

  • Bowerman's 1966 pamphlet was a hit, and it was followed by a massively popular book.

  • Others followedrunners like Steve Prefontaine became celebrities, and writer/runners like

  • Jim Fixx continued the 70s running boom with hit books.

  • Around the same time, a young company called Nike, cofounded by Bowerman, had financial

  • incentives to push the new sport forward.

  • Nike and other companies also meant those early jogging shoes and outfits got a lot

  • better.

  • And it's continued that way to the present.

  • Race participation alone has quadrupled since 1990, and there's almost no shame about incredibly

  • colorful tights and talking about your quads to strangers.

  • It's become a sign of political vigor.

  • But even in the 60s, people like Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall were confident

  • that jogging's "here to stay."

  • It turns out they had good reason.

  • As another runner put it in 1968, "At first you think everyone is staring at youand

  • they are.

  • After a while, you enjoy jogging so much that you don't give a damn."

  • I'm a runner myself, really slow, but technically a runner, and that might be why I find some

  • of these anecdotes amusing.

  • One of my favorites is from 1968, when Senator Strom Thurmond was running around Greenville,

  • South Carolina and he was followed by a squad car because he was suspiciously...jogging.

For a long time, running was for weirdos.

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B2 中高級 美國腔

跑步是为了古怪的人(When running was for weirdos)

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    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 04 月 26 日
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