Doctor Eclectic

Doctor Eclectic
Doctor Eclectic

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Is Competition Dead?

Shamed by my brother-in-law, who was running a mile or so to and from work in Ohio, even in the winter, I finally began jogging and eventually running in 1969.  I continued running three-miles or so, almost every day, for forty years, when my hip forced me into replacement surgery and a position where even regular walking is often a chore.

Although I believe that my efforts were responsible for that hip surgery and aggravating pain in my knees and occasional ankles, I wouldn’t change the routine if I had it to do all over again.

Along the way, in 1977 I discovered the Hash House Harriers, self-described as “a drinking club with a running problem” and now count several dozen Hashers as close friends, even when I don’t know half their real names. Google http://www.lbh3.org/index.php   for more information on a regional Hash.

I also ran several 6-K and 10-K runs and occasionally placed well in my age group.  I also posted a personal best of 6:55 minutes on the Marine 3-mile track, which I used to run daily when I was the CO of the Dental Company at El Toro.  It was a joke that the new boots assigned to the Dental Company were told they should run with the CO, but not make him feel bad about his time.  Most could hardly carry on a conversation as we ran at my cruising time of 7:35.

What prompts my recollection of my running is an article I saw recently that discussed why registration for 5-K and 10-K runs has dropped precipitously in recent years so there now are fewer runs and 10% fewer runners than there used to be.  Most of these events benefitted charities, although there was a profit motive for those arranging the event.  Also, there are more rather than fewer runners in the more prominent marathons.

The article hypothesized the reason for decline was that the Millennials were not interested in competitive running.  This makes sense to me, since I have personally observed the communal spirit that pervades their culture.  The 19-34 year-olds are much more inclined to work together, leaning on others to be the final problem-solver after background, research, and idea vetting has been a group effort.

Not to imply that this younger group is lazy or doesn’t believe in exerciser.  Quite the contrary.  I have several nieces who practice and teach Yoga.  I know some who practice Tai Chi and some who probably run as regularly as I did.

And I am sure than many were among the thousands who recently participated in the 17th cicLAvia in Los Angeles, where 19 miles of streets were cleared for the day from automobiles, so cyclists, skaters, and walkers could see the city from a more pedestrian view.  There were no ribbons, trophies or plaques awarded; just a feeling of being part of a group that may somehow make a difference in the cleanliness of the environment.

In my next Post, I’ll share a little of what I’ve learned about food, food preparation, and myself since I have started cooking on a more regular basis.  I hope you’ll join me and find the subject interesting.

4 comments:

  1. I think I saw that article in the WSJ recently too. The scary thing about millennials, since they don't like running and other "competitive" sports, is what this will mean for the business environment and overall US economy decades from now. Compete with China? Nah....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting comment. You'll be around to see what happens. I heard someone say about the post-millennials that they won't do much harm since they are so lazy.

      Delete
  2. You have to be careful about what you read in the newspaper...whoops, I meant on your cell phone!

    Our hay day was the Hippie Days of the 60s, supposedly filled with drugs and "free love."

    Well, where we went to school (St. Norbert College), I can tell you there were no drugs (other than alcohol) and certainly not "free love." Bed check was at 10 p.m.

    Hey, that's not such a bad idea to reinstate. Hutch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment. One of my St. Mary's classmates said when he graduated and went into the Marines it seemed like an easier life.

      Delete