Why I run


When I run I escape the commodification of life. I dislike the way our social existence is organised, so that merely to live requires you to constantly purchase and consume. Anyone who has had to wait for a few hours in an unfamiliar town will know the frustration of shuffling from one café to another, all the time purchasing little more than a roof over your head for a few minutes at a time.

Sport is a particular culprit. To join a gym, you have to pay a subscription. To watch football, regularly, you should really have a season ticket with your favourite team, or a subscription to satellite television (either will set you back several hundred pounds), or at the barest minimum a much-favoured local and a team playing regularly enough in the right competitions (but few do). Bit by bit, free sport is being removed from television and radio. I am fed up with sports that I watch as a spectator but in which I am not allowed to participate.

To run, all you need is a pair of running shoes (and it is years since I last bought a new pair). The activity itself comes satisfyingly free.

[from my book Lives; Running]

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