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Back when Jogging was Weird

Back in the 1950s and earlier jogging was something only soldiers, athletes and weirdos did. Although to be fair, the whole idea of "exercising for the sake of exercising" (or fitness / health reasons) was considered weird back then too.

And to shine a light on this check out the video below I watched yesterday which chronicles the rise of jogging as an exercise activity. It shows how jogging was once considered an oddity.



And to be fair, the whole modern idea of exercising is really a 20th century invention. Prior to the last 117 years, people rarely exercised for the sake of exercising. Sure, people competed in athletic competitions, but the idea of training, practice and maintaining a constant level of exercise - even in the winter! - was considered to be a weird idea and unnecessary.

That was before the advent of professional sports and sportsmen earning an annual salary for being a professional athlete.

Before bodybuilding became a competitive sport.

Back when bicycles were called Penny Farthings, had no brakes and the only way to stop was to crash it. (And usually had mustaches they combed with beeswax.)

It would take decades for many sports to reach a pinnacle in which a person could become a professional in their chosen activity and make a decent living doing it.

Even now many Olympic athletes still have to beg money from their governments and work full time / part time jobs in order to support their athletic endeavours.

Jogging is just one of many activities that were once considered strange and unusual.

Take archery for example.

While it is generally accepted that a person must practice regularly to be good at archery, it was usually a pastime in recent centuries thanks to firearms and only a rare few people did bowhunting. During the last 100 years archery and bowhunting has seen a resurgence in popularity and people can now be:
  • Olympic Archers
  • Professional Bowhunters
  • Archery Instructors
So it is now possible to make a living doing archery in a variety of ways. Even former Olympic athletes can presumably become coaches when they retire from competing.

Making a living by jogging, well that is the stuff of:
  • Professional Marathon Runners
  • Olympic Joggers (5 KM, 10 KM, etc)
  • Personal Trainers who teach people how to jog, train for marathons, etc.
So a lot has changed. Jogging is just a prime example of how things have changed.

And much more is still waiting to be changed. I am still waiting to see a professional women's hockey league in Canada to get televised coverage on the CBC.

Women sports (and televising them) has a huge potential to grow in the 21st century. Not just in North America where professional athletes are more common, but globally.

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