I’m currently in NorCal (I was presenting at the NAISA conference in Sacramento–our Native Bloggers panel went really well, thanks for all your help!). I went to get a quick lunch in Palo Alto before I headed to the airport, and spotted this sign as I was walking down University Ave. Notice anything weird?
The local Lululemon store has a running club–cool. But today, Palo Alto High School (our favorite!) is hosting an Indian Run.
So what’s an “Indian Run,” you ask? It’s a conditioning exercise, where a group of runners jog single file at a steady pace, and then the last runner in line must sprint to the front of the line, taking the place of the first runner, and so on. There are videos on youtube if you need a visual.
My bootcamp class I took in San Francisco used to do these too, but my group graciously decided to rename them “last man sprints” when I pointed out how ridiculous the name was.
The internet has no consensus on the origins of the term, and I can’t really find anything about the exercise other than how it’s done, but I still find it kinda stupid. It has nothing to do with Indians. I think this one is a term that needs to be retired, much like sitting “Indian style” (just call it cross-legged!).
I like the addendum at the end of the Urban Dictionary definition of “Indian Run:”
1. Indian run
An Indian run is when a team (soccer, football, baseball, etc.) joggs in a single file line around a playing field field. It begins when the last person in line sprints to the front. When that person gets there, the next person at the end of the line sprints to the front of the line. This continues as the line jogs around the field. Very tiring.
Not sure if this is a racist term.
Yeah, pretty sure since it has no discernible origins in anything actually Native, we can deduce it’s based off of some stereotype, and therefore fairly racist.