I am in Jordan every now and then. You can expect from me, that I look at the population through a runners eye. I believe that if a society is conducting Sport but practice Running in particular on a regular base, that such a nation nurture higher values of carrying for once own life. Some time ago I cam a cross a Study by the EU – let me try to remember that. The study was looking at citizens from age 50 and above. I can’t remember if it was EU wide or by Country, but it showed that elder citizens where conducting Sport – in particular Running/Jogging at least three times per week year through. Another figure I have come across was, that the German speaking part of Europe has something like 18-20% of the population that is running on a regular base.
In Jordan there is a measuring object to create a comparison: the Dead Sea Marathon that is held every April. Nice run as I did run there. They offer distance of 10 km, 21,1 km, 42,195 km and an Ultra distance of 50 Km. There are about 6’000 to very max 9’000 people participating. If you put this is percentage to the overall population (6 million) you have something like 0,1% – 0,15% max. I have on purpose not reduced the actual figure by taking out non Jordanians who participate. So, even if you add 100% of others who can’t participate because they are absent it’s a figure you can almost ignore. Jordan is a No Sport Country.
Of course I am asking myself why Jordanians are not running? Are they really so lazy? Is it the heat? I don’t believe so. Israel, Jordan’s neighbor have more runners and the climate is the same. In the GCC countries you also find more regular runners than in Jordan and the climate is even hotter. Other countries with similar or more difficult climates are India, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia. So the heat is not a valid argument. As I like to discuss with residents, I once heard a very strange argument. “When you run it sound like you’re having sex! That’s why we should not encourage it.” – ups! I can’t help but reply; “if running is like sex, then walking must be like petting!” That should actually keep any woman at home (or man so woman can go out also) – life long. I must ask now, why I see soooo many crowded streets with
petting – ups sorry – walking people along the shops. Honest, such excuses are not very helpful and no wonder some will never excel.
Coming back to the initial question of why Jordanians are not running; sorry I can’t answer. Maybe one day in the future. Let me now go having some
Sex – I mean Running.
I am very curious to hear your view on this topic. Please leave your Comment. Thanks!