For years I have been convinced that anyone and everyone can become a long distance runner if they simply apply themselves to the art of running on a consistent basis. I use my own running history as my basis for this theory, having gone from being a fairly sloth-like lady to being accutely active over along period of time, that really did begin with running for about eight minutes, before walking home panting, and flopping down on the floor to watch Dr. Phil reruns (I was unemployed; don’t judge).
However, it seems as though I may be wrong. According to a new study released by the American Physiological Society, Nir Eynon, of the Wingate Institute in Israel has proclaimed, “Some of us are truly born to run.”
Apparently the answer is in your genes. There’s a cute little bugger called the NRF2 gene that reduces the harmful effects of oxidation and inflammation (which occur during exercise) and is found in 80% of athletes who excel in endurance events. Want to know if you’re capable of running with ease? Ask your parents if they ever completed a 10K or half marathon.
So my parents passed along this NRF2 to me, which is a little baffling since neither of them are runners. My father was an endurance athlete (gymnastics was his fitness forte) and while my mom claims to not have any athletic abilities, she’s one of those people who could pick up a volleyball or a softball bat and be pretty handy at the game within minutes. But neither was an actual runner.
My brother and I are both runners, though (and my brother is a darn good one), which implies that one or both of are NRF2 certified. And I’m excited to think that one day I might have nieces or nephews (not scaring the boyfriend with talk of my own mini-me) that possess incredible athletic abilities.
Stranger still, this could become a gene that people want for their children and will pay to have genetically enhanced. And I got it for free (I assume).
Thanks mom and dad!