Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Are Endurance Sports A Luxury Good?

Are endurance sports becoming a luxury good? What is driving so many of us to go "extreme"? One of my theories, and a way to explain the 15+ year growth of endurance sport participation, is that authentic human contact, in authentic common struggle, becomes a luxury in an always connected world.

Now that 75% of adults are connected to the Internet through mobile devices, it only takes a few taps to virtually connect to others and their adventures. And it feels good to do so. But over time, those virtual connections on social media can subconsciously replace the face-to-face time with friends and family that we took for granted. An hour on social media becomes an hour we didn't spend on our own adventures. We become attached to nothing, connected to everything. The events in our life that feel "real" become all the more important.

The New York Times recently ran an article called "Human Contact Is Now A Luxury Good" that peels back the onion a bit more on this, with some fascinating insights. Screens are appearing everywhere in all stages of life (learning, living, dying), and for all but the very wealthy, our entire life experience is now mediated by screens. Technology was once only accessed by the elite...now being able to avoid technology is the true sign of luxury.

Personally, I think technology can do a lot more to encourage authentic adventures and face-to-face connections (and I don't mean Tinder). I suspect this will be a foundation in the next wave of our connected experience

To encourage you to get outside some more, here are some happy faces from the Baytrailrunner's Whiskey Hill 10k/Half/Marathon/50k I caught this weekend:

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