Josh about to pass his grandpa

Josh about to pass his grandpa
Here, at age three, Josh regularly runs a mile or two with me--and I have to work hard to keep up!

Monday, June 11, 2012

100 provocative quotes on running and endurance in 100 days

     For a long time, I swore I'd never do Twitter.  Just the words "Twitter" and "tweet". . . arrghh!  Quite aside from the fact that the whole thing sounds way too cute, you get only about one short sentence's worth of space.  But I have a book coming out in October, and a friend whose judgment I trust told me I need to get with the 21st century and and start tweeting!  Maybe it's a manifestation of what I call the "sprint culture" we live in.  Here's an analogy: The sound-bites of politicians, policymakers, and pundits these days compare to thoughtful discussion as a 100-meter dash compares to an ultramarathon.  Our evolution as intelligent bipeds prepared us for the ultra, but not so much for the sprint.  Ask any lion.
     What I came up with is to collect comments from people like Mark Twain, Clarence DeMar, and the Buddah, that are not too cute or inane and will actually fit in the Twitter box.  At the beginning of June, I launched a program to tweet 100 bodacious quotes over 100 days,  And then, for the convenience of people can't actually wait by their Twitter box all day to see what Thoreau thought about marathons, I decided that every 10 days I'll publish the latest 10 quotes here.  So, here are the first 10:

     #1.    "Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes." --Buddah

     #2     "Men ran after and ate horses for four hundred thousand years.  The outcome is more than a love of meat; it is a runner's body."  --Anthropologist Paul Shepard

     #3     "There are as many reasons for running as there are days in a year...But mostly I run because I am an animal and a child."  --Dr. George Sheehan

     #4     "Every man dies, but not every man really lives."  --William Wallace, as played by Mel Gibson in 'Braveheart', cited in

     #5     "If you can fill the unforgiving minute / with sixty seconds worth of distance run / Yours is the Earth."  --Rudyard Kipling, in If

     #6     "I got plenty of cautions that one or two marathons was all a man should do in a lifetime." --Clarence DeMar in 1911, before the first of his 7 Boston Marathon wins and 65 marathons in all.

     #7     "Running has substantially shaped human evolution. Running made us human." --Evolutionary biologist Dennis Bramble

     #8     "What's true for us as individual humans is true for the civilization we create: a sprint culture, seeking ever greater speed in all things, cannot endure."  --my forthcoming book, The Longest Race

     #9     "I'm 84 years old.  Don't let the altar-boy face fool you."  --Johnny Kelly, after the finish of his 61st Boston Marathon

     #10    "There are clubs you can't belong to, neighborhoods you can't live in, schools you can't get into, but the roads are always open."  --Nike

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