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Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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  1. Avatar Patrick Cahalan
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    says:

    Have you ever run in Vibram’s?Report

    • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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      says:

      I’ve never tried them.  New Balance has been my brand of choice.  I don’t know why, but they have always seemed to fit my feet better than most (standard) brands.Report

    • Funny thing is, I was considering writing about minimalist running shoes today and decided against it.  (In short, not a fan.)Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Russell Saunders
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        One of the Athletic Training profs at my college is a huge fan of the Vibrams.  He swears that a) they’re better for your legs because they create a more natural motion, eliminating the straight-legged landing and the attendant shock, and b) when he had a hip injury in a motorcycle accident he had to give up running until he found these shoes.

        He and some students did a pilot study and found that the Vibrams actually increased the speed of runners, compared to standard running shoes.

        I’ve never used them myself, though, and your mileage may (literally) vary.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Dwyer
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    says:

    I’ve always wished I was a runner. I used to run a bit in high school, first for wrestling and then track. I wasn’t very good. In college I got serious about running for about five minutes. I hit the high you describe a few times and it left me wanting more. Taco Bell and smoking too much pot stopped that eventually. I’m jealous.

    Other than yoga I can’t think of another form of physical activity that leaves you so in-tune with your body. You notice every little ache or warm spot. It makes you feel very…human.

    I loved this post Jason.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Mike Dwyer
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      says:

      Most martial arts do that, too.

      I’ve never had a runner’s high (not that I run anymore, even when chased), but I’ve had an endorphin rush off of boxing, you bet.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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        says:

        I use to get crazy adrenalin spikes from wrestling. I also get it from jiu-jitsu. I have to say that for me it’s different than from running. More intense and shorter.

        My boxing is still not good enough to generate much more than sore wrists.Report

  3. Avatar Maxwell James
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    says:

    Great post. I hate running, but I do it anyway, especially lately. Have experienced the high maybe two or three times- usually followed by an asthma attack, actually . Perhaps one day it will come more often.Report

    • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Maxwell James
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      says:

      I’d talk with your doctor about that.  I’m on a maintenance medication, and if I stick to the regime I never get an attack.  If I stop for a few days, I can get one just from laughing, and running would be completely impossible.Report

  4. Avatar Tod Kelly
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    This probably won’t surprise you, but I think this is my favorite of anything you’ve written to date. I tend to be a sucker for things that let me see the human beings behind the ideas here, but more than that the writing for this was just outstanding, Jason. Superb.Report

  5. Avatar FridayNext
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    says:

    I came to running fairly late in life. I hated physical activity when I was a kid. I associated with all those failed NFL star gym teachers who thought everything needed to be competitive. I can still remember Mr. Gerald barking at me for one more sit-up during the Presidential Fitness Tests. It was supposed to encourage fitness, but all it did was reward those already fit with more limelight for a one time victory. The rest of us were shamed back into sedentariness.

    At some point in my mid-30’s I realized what a fat ass I was and started dieting and exercising. A year later I was running 4-5 times a week. I took recommendations to take recover breaks seriously. I was shamed into running my first marathon by some new employees who were running their first and there was no way I was going to let them out macho me. I felt my first runner’s high during that marathon. I had always run in cities and suburbs with a relatively high amount of stopping and intersections, and I think you need long, sustained running to get that high. Since then I have always sought out running and hiking paths when I can and it is marvelous. I don’t run fast and often offend more serious runners when I do the run/walk interval thing on really long runs. But I always finish. 10 Marathons and counting.My last one was the day after running a half-marathon the day before. It’s called the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. (Not really pertinent to my point, I just like to work it into conversation whenever possible. It’s the only thing I have ever done that is remotely bad-ass)

    Now I go back to high school reunions and all those jocks still define themselves by competition against others. It’s sad because they peeked 30 years ago. They never learned what it is like to center oneself in one’s own body and be attuned to where all the parts are, how they are moving, each ache and pain, where to put each foot fall, and to think of little else. It’s a marvelously feeling no matter how slow I ultimately waddle out there. And they are all fat-asses too. Seriously guys. When you stop playing football, you need to cut back the food intake.Report

  6. Avatar Pierre Corneille
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    says:

    Few things:

    1.  Excellent post.

    2.  I used to be a distance runner.  I only did 6 miles or so, at the most, and I was never competitive, but I know exactly what you mean by the runner’s high, even though it doesn’t always.  When I used to live in Boulder, I remember running up the hill to the NCAR lab, and then when I ran back down, it felt almost like flying.  It was that good.

    3.  Alas, because of ankle injuries–curiously, I’ve never had to suffer shin splints or bad knees–I can’t really run any more, at least not regularly.  I have had occasional one- or two-months long running regimens (3 or 4 times a week), but my ankles hurt too much.  But I walk a lot.  I try to do 30 miles a week.  It’s not quite as good as running in some ways, but in other ways I like a lot more.  It’s a great form of transportation:  although it’s slower than, say, taking the bus or the El, it’s not all that much slower, so it’s a fun way to commute.  It’s a way to exercise without having to stake out an hour or more to run and then another 10 or 15 minutes more to shower.  Walking burns calories!  Finally, it allows me to see the city in a way that few people really do:  places that others think are far away turn out usually not to be that far at all.

    Good luck and happy running!Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Pierre Corneille
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      PC, you walk almost as fast as I run!

      But I’m a walker, too. Bad things happen to my knees when I run, but I love to walk.  I realized just this past week that I’ve completely stopped doing any of it, so that just going up the stairs winds me.  But term’s over, and so now I can get back to the hilly 3 and 5 miles trails in a local park. I’ve never experienced a high, but I do experience a tremendous peace when walking in the woods.Report

    • Avatar aaron david in reply to Pierre Corneille
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      says:

      ‘Finally, it allows me to see the city in a way that few people really do:  places that others think are far away turn out usually not to be that far at all.’

      At a little over 12 years I find myself completely rediscovering my adopted city,  Between walking, and riding my bike I get exercise, and a world of discovery.Report

      • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to aaron david
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        says:

        When I lived in Paris, I walked whenever it was at all practicable.  It was one of the best possible decisions to have made, because I saw so much more of the city and learned so much more about French culture that way.Report

  7. Avatar BlaiseP
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    says:

    Too many years of bad Army boots have ruined me for running.  It’s the bicycle for me, now.Report

  8. Avatar Russell Saunders
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    says:

    I didn’t know you ran!  I was planning to go for a run in Vegas next month, and would love company.Report

  9. Avatar North
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    says:

    Interesting post. Exertion is my arch nemesis, I can’t even conceive of getting a thrill out of it.Report

  10. Avatar MFarmer
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    says:

    Great post. I’m a walker, but I can attest to the feeling of well-being from physical exertion. I worked out religiously for 8 years at least 3 times a week. I  got into body building. I felt great. Then, due to problems unassociated with how much I worked out, I had a heart attack and open heart surgey. I stopped working out, even after I recovered and could’ve started back. I began feeling sluggish all the time. I got soft and I hated the feeling. About 6 months ago I forced myself back into the gym and immediately I felt better. It’s like the perfect anti-depression medicine. I work out hard for about 45 minutes, then I walk fast, either on the tread mill, watching the news, or I walk around town for 45 minutes. Afterwards, I feel as if everything will be okay, regardless.Report

  11. Avatar Richard Schad
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    says:

    Jason – I really enjoyed reading this piece; excellent work. I run and you captured the experience perfectly. I am right there with you. Swimming can have the same effect for me as well.

    This is my first time stumbling on to this site and this was the first post I read here (thanks to a tweet from Justin Wolfers). I first read this piece and then Mark Thompson’s long and fascinating history of the site. I am at once pleased I missed some of the past unpleasantness but also regret not being a witness or participant in the organic development that has led to the current incarnation of the League. I look forward to coming back regularly.Report

  12. Avatar Sam M
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    says:

    I don’t run much. When I do, it’s usually on trails. BUt from what I have done, I’d only disagree on music. One of the great joys, for me, of being in town or in the woods is the opportunity to experience it in a different way.

    Perhaps this is why I dislike running so much. Or is a function of my hatred for it. Either way, earphones make me feel claustrophobic.Report

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