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The Story of Jim Fixx: The Man Who Popularized The Sport of Running

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In 1967, at the age of 35, 50 pounds overweight and frustrated by life as a desk bound editor, Jim Fixx decided to go for a jog.

This jog led Fixx to becoming not only the running world’s most influential proponent, but also a millionaire author, which led to an invitation to the White House and appearances in Super Bowl ads.

At the time of his first recreational jog however, Americans viewed running as monotonous and even dangers, yet Fixx soon discovered the sport had far more benefits than consequences.


After losing weight, quitting smoking, and improving his mental health, Fixx set out to share his knowledge of running and wrote “The Complete Book of Running”, which would lead to a revolution that changed the game forever.

Many fought the book, saying that running was too hard on one’s body and that it should be avoided. Yet Fixx’s book continued to sell, selling nearly 1 million copies and at the same time, marathon participation was at an all time high.

Around 3:30 pm on July 20, 1984, Jim Dixx laced up his Nikes and went for his final run. He suffered a fatal heart attack mid run. Fixx was 52 years old.

Jim Fixx’s son John continues his father’s legacy by coaching the Country school teams, the Owls and the Flying Owlets.

“I have run on paths, roads and highways, in parks and fields, and on the main streets of New York, London, Florence, and Vienna. You can run at dawn, at midnight, or whenever it suits your schedule and your fancy. I have run—and enjoyed it—in snow, sleet, wind, and hail and on the most forbidding hot days of Florida summer.” - Jim Fixx

Working out has shown to “lower levels of depression, hostility, and other negative feelings”, which is beyond useful today as we hunker down in our apartments and houses, battling anxiety, boredom, and fear.

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