Monday, April 10

Cognitive dissonance

A friend of mine reently went skiing with a big group of people.

One day he was sitting at breakfast with his friends and family unsatisfied with the experience. Aren't we missing something, he asked. Wasn't there something artificial and fake about this whole experience, he wanted to know.

It was way too white, he said, and he wasn't just talking about the beautiful snow. Where were the minorities? Where were the poor people?

To an extent, I've had the same thought while running. But running concerns me far more than skiing. This is why: obesity and obesity-related illnesses happen to minorities far too often. Running is relatively easy and simple, but it does take money. You need money for good shoes and you need to buy shoes relatively often. At least twice a year if not more so. But running is one of the most effective ways to shed pounds.

It seems so easy. Just get out the door and run. But that might not be the case if you live in a dangerous neighborhood, or you can't afford the shoes, or you've just never considered it.

I've run in several races now and there's almost never any minorities or visibly poor people. Maybe runners who are poor don't look poor at a race. I don't know. And I definitely know that not all minorities are poor.

And granted, I live in a city that's mover 90 percent white. But the places where I ran the two half-marathons - Little Rock and Memphis - are much more diverse places. Not counting Kenyans, I doubt I saw more than a dozen minorities at either race.

Just food for thought.


Blogger Rebecca said...

Someday, maybe you could come out to LA for the marathon--I don't know the figures, or really the ethnicities of people who run, but if all the people with Mexican flags were Latino or Chicano, there were quite a few... maybe not any more, proportionally, than a dozen or two in the runs you were talking about, but still quite a few.

Another thing is, while running is fairly cheap, running races is not necessarily so--marathons can cost $65-$90 just to register pretty easily, so far as I can tell. I wonder if they make exceptions for people who don't earn much.

April 10, 2006 11:23 PM  
Blogger BL said...

I've never seen a marathon website with a scholarship offer.
Unless, of course, you're insanely fast and then they pay for your to come and they can say they have elite athletes.
But that's not quite the same.

April 11, 2006 8:35 PM  
Blogger BL said...

Of course, there are also lots of reasons why coming out to LA might be a good idea.
As I've said before, I need a vacation. We should talk about this when you get a chance.

April 11, 2006 8:50 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home