Friday, January 27, 2017

Nick Thune on Being a Youth Pastor and Does Anyone Know About Billy Graham the Jogger?

Here's one for my evangelical friends, comedian Nick Thune explaining why he could be a youth pastor.



I heard Thune being interviewed on Marc Maron's podcast, which also featured a conversation with Jonathan Daniel. He talks about the early days of glam rock and more generally about the inner workings of the music industry. Both interviews are well worth a listen.

Back to my evangelical friends, I recently stumbled upon this 1966 photo of Billy Graham out jogging. 

I consulted Dr. Google for context and I found a mention of this in an essay written by Grant Wacker. But I am still wondering if the evangelist was ahead of his time?

I tend to place the "running boom" in the mid-1970s. The roots of the movement stretch to 1962, when Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman took members of his team to New Zealand to train with Olympic track coach Arthur Lydiard. In addition to coaching some of the fastest runners of New Zealand, Lydiard also introduced the larger public to "jogging." Bowerman eventually gave jogging a try and brought it back with him to the United States.

After teaching a few jogging courses at Oregon, Bowerman teamed with cardiologist W. E. Harris in 1967 and published Jogging: A Physical Fitness Program for All Ages. Then by 1972, Bowerman and Phil Knight established the Nike Corporation, and the duo marketed athletic shoes to a generation of new joggers who, that same year, watched American marathoner Frank Shorter win an Olympic gold medal in Munich, Germany.  

So seeing Graham out jogging before jogging was a thing in America is making me question my chronology. I know that starting in the 1940s he cultivated relationships with Christian track athletes such as Gil Dodds. Did this nudge Graham into becoming a proto-jogger?

Anyway... if you have any insights, let me know. Otherwise, I will keep poking around and let you know what I discover.

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