Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

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Fat Cat
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Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:25 pm

Cycling, running, and obstacle course racing are dominated by white-collar workers. And while disposable income makes competing more feasible, researchers are also starting to discover a psychological pull that draws these people to masochistic events.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2229791/w ... nsiteshare
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Bram » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:19 am

This part struck me:

Research published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that low-income neighborhoods were 4.5 times less likely to have recreational facilities—like pools, gyms, and tennis courts—than high-income neighborhoods. In some low-income areas, less than 20 percent of residents live within a half-mile of a park or within three miles of a recreational facility. Compare that to the 98 percent of New York County residents and 100 percent of San Francisco County residents who live within walking distance to a park.

I read a book called "The Nature Fix" a few years back, it shared research showing a strong link between the amount of trees, or green spaces, and a child's academic performance. In poor neighborhoods with a lot of trees, researchers found that those kids did similarly academically to rich neighborhoods.

I don't know if I have a point beyond we should be striving to add more parks to our country. But it would be nice.
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by nafod » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:26 am

My friend did the 7 marathons on 7 continents. He is like the ultimate expression of that article.
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Fat Cat » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:01 pm

Bram wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:19 am
This part struck me:

Research published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that low-income neighborhoods were 4.5 times less likely to have recreational facilities—like pools, gyms, and tennis courts—than high-income neighborhoods. In some low-income areas, less than 20 percent of residents live within a half-mile of a park or within three miles of a recreational facility. Compare that to the 98 percent of New York County residents and 100 percent of San Francisco County residents who live within walking distance to a park.

I read a book called "The Nature Fix" a few years back, it shared research showing a strong link between the amount of trees, or green spaces, and a child's academic performance. In poor neighborhoods with a lot of trees, researchers found that those kids did similarly academically to rich neighborhoods.

I don't know if I have a point beyond we should be striving to add more parks to our country. But it would be nice.
I don't have it with me, but in Christopher McDougall's Natural Born Heroes (great book, BTW) he talks about this subject at some length. Not only do people who spend time outside in nature tend to perform better on intelligence scales than those who do not, but the same individual--tested before and after time in the outdoors--will perform better. In other words, time in nature actually makes people (i.e., the same person) measurably more intelligent.

That's pretty remarkable, and at the same time, damning of our urban environments which actually damage our intellect.
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Grandpa's Spells » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:27 pm

Code: Select all

Participating in endurance sports requires two main things: lots of time and money.
Running requires a pair of shoes. A lot of training time comittments are similar across different sports.

There was a thing a while back about rich people's aversion to weights/getting swole & collision sports, which this article doesn't touch on at all for some reason.

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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Fat Cat » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:54 pm

Grandpa's Spells wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:27 pm

Code: Select all

Participating in endurance sports requires two main things: lots of time and money.
Running requires a pair of shoes. A lot of training time comittments are similar across different sports.

There was a thing a while back about rich people's aversion to weights/getting swole & collision sports, which this article doesn't touch on at all for some reason.
Running yes, but he's talking about "participating in endurance sports" which is slightly different, and requires travel, accommodations, time off work, entry fees, etc. I get your point and don't completely disagree, though.
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Sangoma » Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:30 am

It's actually quite an interesting topic, sport selection by socio-economic class. It's fairly obvious, richer folk stick to certain sports and stay away from others. I haven't seen many doctors engaging in fighting sports or truly heavy lifting, but have seen many who run, cycle, swim, play tennis and golf. Something to do with risk aversion as well, maybe?

A colleague of mine is an avid cyclist. His bicycle is worth over $20k: superlight frame, some fancy wheels $4k each, gear switching thingys, power meter fitted and so on. You name it - he has the top of the range of that thing. I asked him why he buys this stuff even if it doesn't make sense. It actually makes more sense to have heavier bike that is harder to ride; after all most of us are doing it to get stronger and get endurance. He was very honest and told me that by bying expensive stuff he sort of feels closer to the elite. Tour de France guys are using similar class of equipment, so he is also one of them, sort of. It is sure funny, and the guy was smiling quite sheepishly explaning it to me. Still interesting food for thought as to what makes us happier.
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Bram » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:09 am

Fat Cat wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:01 pm

I don't have it with me, but in Christopher McDougall's Natural Born Heroes (great book, BTW) he talks about this subject at some length. Not only do people who spend time outside in nature tend to perform better on intelligence scales than those who do not, but the same individual--tested before and after time in the outdoors--will perform better. In other words, time in nature actually makes people (i.e., the same person) measurably more intelligent.

That's pretty remarkable, and at the same time, damning of our urban environments which actually damage our intellect.
Ordered the McDougall book from the library on your recommendation.

It would be worth it to look into volunteer opportunities to help get poor kids out in nature. And that goes for me, you and anyone on here.
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Sangoma » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:28 am

I am surprised you find Natural Born Heroes a great book. I returned it after getting through one third of it. After Born to Run (that was a great book indeed) this one was the combination of bad research and disjointed writing. Heroes ate low carb and used their fascia? Give me a break.
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Fat Cat » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:47 pm

I actually read NBH first, so I didn't have BTR as a frame of reference. I also like Greek and WWII history.

What I'm trying to say is that I'm a bit of a mark for the topics covered.
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Sangoma » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:36 pm

I think all of us are off mark in many areas. I grew up with WWI (or rather Great Patriotic War) history around me: most families had someone fighting in that war. My mother in law, for example, grew up in a small town that was taken over by Germans and Russians several times. Her sister was shot by the German soldiers. For that reason I have an unhealthy interest in that period of history.

If you are game check out the book by Victor Suvorov, Icebreaker. Who Started the Secong World War. He proposes another theory in regards to the history of German-Soviet war. He puts together a lot of circumstantial evidence for Stalin having planned the invasion of Europe in 1941 and that Hitler's assault was a desperate attempt at preventive strike. Even leaving this aside the stats in the book are often surprising.
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Fat Cat » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:07 pm

Sangoma wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:36 pm
I think all of us are off mark in many areas. I grew up with WWI (or rather Great Patriotic War) history around me: most families had someone fighting in that war. My mother in law, for example, grew up in a small town that was taken over by Germans and Russians several times. Her sister was shot by the German soldiers. For that reason I have an unhealthy interest in that period of history.
WWII was the Great Patriotic War, brah. I assume you made a typo? But I don't follow you re: "off the mark"...about what?
Sangoma wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:36 pm
If you are game check out the book by Victor Suvorov, Icebreaker. Who Started the Secong World War. He proposes another theory in regards to the history of German-Soviet war. He puts together a lot of circumstantial evidence for Stalin having planned the invasion of Europe in 1941 and that Hitler's assault was a desperate attempt at preventive strike. Even leaving this aside the stats in the book are often surprising.
I have read Suvorov, and frankly, it's quite likely that at some point Hitler realized that Stalin was using the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact to prepare for a war with Germany. Hitler understood what was coming and simply pulled the trigger first.

With two emerging, belligerent, totalitarian powers next door to each other it was nigh inevitable. Unfortunately, history of the Second World War is so unbearably polluted with agendas that it's hard to know what really happened other than that a tremendous number of people suffered and died, and that the world was no better off at the end of it.
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Fat Cat » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:13 pm

But back on the topic of NBH, one thing I liked was how richly drawn the characters were--and they were REAL characters like Xan Fielding and Patrick Leigh Fermor--and the superb research. I must have read a dozen books he referenced, like The Cretan Runner. That's an amazing story of endurance running.

BTW, this is what an elite endurance racer really looks like...

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Leigh Fermor described the man in his introduction to The Cretan Runner:

When the moon rose he got up and threw a last swig of raki down his throat with the words Another drop of petrol for the engine, and loped towards the gap in the bushes with the furtiveness of a stage Mohican or Groucho Marx. He turned round when he was on all fours at the exit, rolled his eyes, raised a forefinger portentously, whispered, "the Intelligence Service", and scuttled through like a rabbit. A few minutes later we could see his small figure a mile away moving across the next moonlit fold of the foothills of the White Mountains, bound for another fifty-mile journey.
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Sangoma » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:18 pm

I misread your earlier remark - "I am the mark for the topics covered" - I read "off the mark", sorry.

GPT and WW2 is the same thing, of course. In Russia though the latter term is seldom used, that's what I was saying.
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Sangoma » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:20 pm

Leight Fermor himself is a fascinating character. As in his obituary, a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene.
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Fat Cat » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:21 pm

Sangoma wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:20 pm
Leight Fermor himself is a fascinating character. As in his obituary, a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene.
Totally agree.
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by seeahill » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:27 am

Fat Cat wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:07 pm
a tremendous number of people suffered and died, and that the world was no better off at the end of it.
Well, Hitler and the Nazis were defeated. That made the world a better place.
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Fat Cat » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:00 am

seeahill wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:27 am
Fat Cat wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:07 pm
a tremendous number of people suffered and died, and that the world was no better off at the end of it.
Well, Hitler and the Nazis were defeated. That made the world a better place.
Wait that can’t be right because there’s a “literal Nazi” in the White House. :rolleyes:
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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Grandpa's Spells » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:48 pm

Fat Cat wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:54 pm
Grandpa's Spells wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:27 pm

Code: Select all

Participating in endurance sports requires two main things: lots of time and money.
Running requires a pair of shoes. A lot of training time commitments are similar across different sports.

There was a thing a while back about rich people's aversion to weights/getting swole & collision sports, which this article doesn't touch on at all for some reason.
Running yes, but he's talking about "participating in endurance sports" which is slightly different, and requires travel, accommodations, time off work, entry fees, etc. I get your point and don't completely disagree, though.
No, I reread the article and it's still unusually stupid. He's not actually comparing one type of sport to another. He's also suggesting it's the pursuit of pain. Super-stupid - endurance sports are not the most painful ones and some rich people sports are the least painful.

"Lots of time and money?" There should be a comparison of adults who compete in endurance versus other sports, the expenses and the time and travel effort, but there isn't. Golf, tennis, and sailing are higher income sports, none of which are endurance ones, or painful, and two of which are extremely money/time intensive. Scale up higher on the income scale, horses/racecars/yachting and the pain goes way down.

Rich people sports can be pretty strongly correlated with sports that are unusually popular in elite universities (compared to other universities), which in turn are popular with upper class English. There are cultural reasons for this that the author doesn't seem to be even slightly aware of - so he's cherry picking yuppies.

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Re: Class & Sport or Why do Rich People Love Endurance Sports?

Post by Fat Cat » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:48 pm

I picture you wearing an ascot as you type that. But, I think your points are valid; I've seen first hand how expensive sailing is. That said, could the article have been "flipped" and ask: why do rich people avoid weightlifting and combat sports (e.g., boxing and football)? That seems to be the meaningful kernel of his argument.
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