Running Day has come, and gone by the time anybody will see this.
Of all the people you encounter in your life, how many actually made an impact the culture. Well one did that lived up the street from me. Jim Fixx, who started the whole running thing.
Without Jim Fixx, It’s likely that running would be more like boxing, something a few people did on the fringes. In 1966 the Boston Marathon was a clubby little boys thing and women were not allowed.
After Fixx’s book, the Marathon and others that started had thousands of participants, both women and men, now. And the Boston Marathon was BIG deal, with full network TV coverage and everything. Along with the new NYC marathon with 100,000 runners and the media blast every November.
And runners became a large enough market to sell to, which got sporting good out of the high school team market an into general retailing. All because of a book on how running made you feel good.
When he was writing the book that started running as a “thing” Mr. Fixx, as I called him lived up the street from me in Riverside CT. Before he wrote the running book, he was just another one of those guys going into the city, smoking their cigarettes, getting stressed out and slowly killing themselves in the glorious early 1960’s
Sort of like this.
I don’t know whether it was the lifestyle or his genetic predisposition that was going to kill Mr. Fixx at 35 or so, but about the time my family moved down the street from him he made some changes. He stopped smoking and started to run for exercise. Back then, adults running or any other exercise was considered strange. The Complete Book Of Running changed that. Running and exercise became a fad, then a trend and finally the norm.
Jim Fixx saw it all before he passed away early in his life, running. But how many people do you who managed to change the culture, in a good way. So when you get to run, than Jim Fixx.