oa South African Journal of Sports Medicine - Running digest: Potential psychological dangers of jogging. Part 3
Cooper concludes that we all share pathological narcissistic and masochistic tendencies but that most find ways to divert these tendencies towards useful activities. The marathon runner is likely to be quite far along the narcissistic-masochistic spectrum and ""almost uniquely, carries on a useless activity which symbolises society's need for a special hero who will enact the infantile triumphs requisite for healthy functioning, and who also enables the audience to share vicariously in some of his or her forbidden pleasures"".
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