Running: I’m only black from the waist down.

I’m sitting on the couch after a late afternoon shirtless run in the heat watching the Olympic trials for the first time in my life as an active athlete. I have such a new, tremendous respect for these athletes now that I’m seeing just how hard it is to do any of this. I always knew it was hard, but seeing it done professionally just after doing it recreationally has a tactile connection I’ve never had before. Of course, it also begs the question: why are all the best athletes black?OK, so that’s not altogether true. All the swimmers seem to be Scandinavian beanpoles, the shotputters and high jumpers are whites, and there are a scattering of Asians and Latinos who come in fourth. But I did some quick Google searching and found that there’s a book that tackles this subject. Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We Are Afraid to Talk About It.

“Why do we so readily accept that evolution has turned out blacks with a genetic proclivity to contract sickle cell, Jews of European heritage who are one hundred times more likely than other groups to fall victim to the degenerative mental disease, Tay-Sachs, and whites who are most vulnerable to cystic fibrosis, yet find it racist to acknowledge that blacks of West African ancestry have evolved into the world’s best sprinters and East Asians, the best divers?”

Until I read the book, this Ta-Syachs succeptible slowpoke will keep on running 8:30 miles and eating herring to get his lap times faster.


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