Almost anywhere you go, it seems joggers are jogging down sidewalks, trails, streets and on treadmills. But why? There are plenty of ways to stay fit, yet running remains king. Some runners may claim that achieving personal bests is what keeps them going, even in the face of dreading pain and fatigue, a feeling that often strikes just before a jog begins. But avid runner Adharanand Finn doesn’t buy this explanation. For Finn and his friends, achieving their running goals entails a sense of let down after so much effort has been put into the buildup. Rather, having an unachieved goal is more motivation.
What’s the Big Idea?
Instead of looking to people’s self-aware explanations, and justifications, for why they jog, there may be something deeply human about our love of running. Theories of evolutionary biology developed at Harvard University suggest that humans are hardwired to run often and for long distances. Over many generations, humans became better at survival by essentially outlasting faster prey over long stretches of land. “Somewhere a primal essence stirs deep within us; this being born not to sit at a desk or read newspapers and drink coffee, but to live a wilder existence.”