Finding the “Me” in Endurance Sports: An Apology for Runners and Joggers, Cyclists and Riders

in Kinesiology Review

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Peter M. Hopsicker
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Douglas Hochstetler
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In this paper, we ethically examine the value of dichotomies to the endurance community or any sports community bifurcated by attitudes of superiority in one qualitative method of experiencing an activity over another—as Pearl Izumi's 2007 advertising campaign “We are not joggers” has done by dividing the bipedal ambulatory endurance community into “runners” and “joggers.” Using the writings of American pragmatists William James and John Dewey, we will describe the endurance sports community in terms of “unsympathetic characters” and “sympathetic characters.” We will then layer conceptions of the “static” self and the “dynamic” self on top of this dichotomy. The results of this examination will not support Pearl Izumi's dichotomy in “static” ways. However, if these perspectives are viewed as exemplifying a temporal measure of the “dynamic” self, as part of the endurance athletes' personal narratives, then actions and attitudes based on these dichotomies can be seen as part of meaningful personal and community growth as well as a potential source of virtue.

Hopsicker (corresponding author: pmh12@psu.edu) is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University—Altoona, Altoona, PA. Hochstetler is with The Pennsylvania State University—Lehigh Valley, Center Valley, PA.

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