Born to run, and run

first_imgNearly 80 runners gathered on the steps of the Malkin Athletic Center (MAC) Wednesday afternoon for a celebratory jog along the Charles River with authors and fitness authorities Scott Jurek and Christopher McDougall ’85, in an event coordinated by Harvard On The Move.Jurek is famous for dominating ultramarathons, endurance events that well exceed the traditional marathon distance of 26.2 miles. In 2010, at the 24-Hour World Championships in Brive-la-Gaillarde, Jurek ran 165.7 miles in 24 hours, setting a U.S. record. He is also author of the book “Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness.”McDougall is the author of “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen.” He rekindled his love of running after studying the seemingly superhuman running techniques of the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyons.After the run, the Harvard Book Store hosted a discussion featuring Jurek and McDougall at the Brattle Theatre.Standing outside the MAC earlier, McDougall pointed toward the Yard. “When I was at Harvard, I was in Winthrop House,” he said. “Part of what got me through school was just playing here in the Yard, chucking around a football, just having some playtime. Running’s like that; you just head out and play.”For Jurek, the gathering on National Running Day was an opportunity to celebrate such exercise as a social, community event. “I love to get out and run with other people,” he said. “I’ve run a lot of miles by myself, and people ask me why I come out for group runs. But we love that social aspect. When I’m running with others, I feed off their motivations and stories, how they got into running, and so on. It inspires me and keeps me going.”Obi Okobi, who just graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with an Ed.M., said she came out to jump-start her commitment to running. “Harvard On The Move really is a fantastic entity,” she said. “It proves that the School is really looking to model wellness, not only for undergraduates, but also for members of the greater Boston community.”Jill Puleo, owner of Sugarbird Bakery in Rhode Island — which bakes “ultracookies,” a gluten-free treat for ultramarathoners — drove up just to participate in the event.Proving that running wasn’t just for students was 78-year-old Brookline resident Henry Wolstat. “I’ve been running for about 40 years,” he said. “It keeps me young, it keeps me alive, and I try to run every day — about 25 miles a week.”For Daniel Lieberman, Harvard professor and chair of human evolutionary biology and principal investigator for the Skeletal Bio Lab, the diversity of those attending spoke to the mission of Harvard On The Move. “We have runs and walks every week for people of every ability, speed, and distance. Running is a communal thing. People have been running together for millions of years. It’s just a way for people to get out and get moving.”As the group headed through the Winthrop House Gate toward the Charles, McDougall smiled. “Running’s playtime,” he said. “All the anxiety and the hectic things in your head, they just clear out. And you come back feeling relaxed and ready to tackle the next thing.”last_img read more

SMC Pride Week hosts panel on LGBTQ issues

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s group Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) hosted a panel of professors to address LGBTQ current event policies and social justice issues as part of Pride Week on Tuesday in the College’s Student Center.Professor of history Patrick Pierce, professor of religious studies Stacy Davis and professor of psychology Catherine Pittman, discussed the difficulties the LGBTQ community may face and how there may be a variety of interpretations of issues and policies.Davis began the panel by presenting how some areas of the Bible are viewed based on the way individuals view the LGBTQ community.“There is no concept in the ancient world of sexual orientation,” Davis said.Davis interpreted different areas of biblical texts which are used to shape an opinion on sexual orientation, stating that the culmination of views is often “more based on tradition, not scripture.”Pierce then addressed how geographic religious views and generational gap differences can have an impact on policies of the LGBTQ community.Pierce noted how states have a variety of religious make-ups, including Fundamentalists and Evangelicals, and because of this, there are restrictive policies that are shaped around strict moral beliefs.“Legislatures at the state level are disproportionally white and … much more likely to be [composed of] males, which means that it is difficult to make the [LGBTQ] policies push forward,” Pierce said.Pierce finished by presenting how different tools, such as emotional responses, frame the LGBTQ issues by using symbols the community identifies with.“That matter of framing is really crucial, because if you can get control over the frame by which the issue is discussed, you can control the outcome,” Pierce said.Pittman concluded the presentation by pointing out the difficulties and circumstances of coming out for members of the LGBTQ community.Pittman explained how family could be a major influence on one’s decision to reveal their sexuality, as some families may struggle accepting transgender issues.Tags: LGBTQ, Pride, pride panel, saga, Smc pride week, straight and gay alliancelast_img read more