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Archive for October, 2012

Looking Good! Oh NO!

A few weeks ago I got two compliments in the same week that “I looked good.” My first thought was, “oh, crap I am getting fat.”

Imagine my delight (reinforcing my belief that I do NOT  body dysmorphic disorder) when I read this in the 1977 Complete Book of Running chapter on “Getting Thin:

“A runner in good condition weighs not more than two pounds per inch of height. A man not more than 5-10 percent body fat; a woman is about 15 to 20 percent. ….Ted Corbitt, the former Olympic marathoner mentions in Chapter 2, “When people tell you how good you look, you can be sure you are not fit. If you don’t look gaunt you’re out of shape.” Dr. Alan Clark, the same physician cited in Chapter 2 as an advocate of aerobic exercise instead of tranquilizers, told me that after six months on a running program “friends would approach my wife in private and speak with a concerned air about my gaunt appearance and ask how long I had been ill. Her explanation-that I was long-distance runner-would leave them scratching their heads.”

James E. Fixx, The Complete Book of Running, pg. 75, 1977

In the next week I am asked if I am ill, or told that I looked gaunt I will know I am ready for the marathon! If not, I will just wing it and run as hard as I can. Surely at the finish I will look ill.

 

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The pleasure that conceals itself in pain is familiar to most runners. At the finish of the 1975 Boston Marathon a spectator named Kitty Davis noticed a runner crying. His face was contorted like a child’s and tears were running down his weather-tanned cheeks.

“Why are you crying, sir?” Mrs. Davis asked. “Are you hurt?”

“No,” the runner replied, “I’m crying because I am so happy.”

Perhaps, then there is in us a need to experience pain, and through it pleasure.

James E. FIxx “The Compete Book of Running” ©1977

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ING NYC Marathon

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Twelve more days until the NYC Marathon. And in celebration I am going to post daily quotes from the 1977 “Complete Book of Running by James E. Fixx. The first book I owned as a Junior High School beginning miler. Reading it today is a refreshing and simple look back into the uncomplicated days of running.

“Of course runners feel better; become thinner; probably live longer; have a better sex life, and drink and smoke less than their sedentary companions, but they are also likely to acquire a “high” from running, increased their self-esteem, be better able to cope with pressure and tension, feel surges of joy, discover that apparently insoluble problems dissolve, and even achieve, however temporary, a state of serenity that carries over into their daily lives.”

Thank you Jim Fixx.

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