In an attempt to justify why I don’t like running, considering that I do plenty of other demanding physical activity, I’m going to scapegoat something completely wrong for it and project my problem onto our species. I’m looking at you, evolution. Help me out. Even though you can’t because all scientific evidence counters this nonsensical bit and proves we’re built for endurance. Regardless, I’ll do my scapegoating through careless intuition, with intuition here meaning whatever conveniently accommodates my confusion and excuses my ignorance.
There seems to me no evolutionary advantage in developing long distance running as an adaptive trait, especially if I isolate it away from its ties to endurance and treat it as a thing I don’t enjoy, distinct from anything that would’ve made sense for us as a species in our formative years. I can’t imagine the environment for our early ancestors where such a profound waste of energy would have enabled survival, especially when resources were scarce and space probably felt limited. Conservation would’ve been key. The activity flies in the face of our evolutionary biology (as I’m foolishly conceiving it), so why do we do it? Look at the way most runners’ bodies break down after a marathon (which is a great logical move here, pushing endurance to its limits). Their hardware – which changes gradually over a long, long period of time, not nearly long enough for long distance running to have become encoded in it -has given up from being thrust into such an unnatural (in the sense that it betrays how I’m dumbly saying our species’ nature has developed) energy dump. Now, sure, we can adapt our software in the span of a single life and perhaps pass on that epigenetic development to our offspring, but why endure the torture for no conceivable benefit? It’s more a boredom thing than a health thing, right? How the hell else are we supposed to spend all the extra life time we’ve created for ourselves in the modern era?
Don’t mistake this as me knocking people who enjoy long distance running. I’m genuinely curious (or I just needed to write about something today) when it became a thing, assuming that it isn’t apart of that ole thing called human nature. Again, I no doubt do plenty of stupid, wasteful physical shit that has nothing to do with human evolution. I’m pretty sure our early ancestors weren’t following Beachbody home fitness programs either in their spare time, since, ya know, spare time wasn’t a thing.