'What Are You Running From? Somatic Embodiment and Female Mid-Life Runners'

Luther College hosts lecturer Andrea Conger March 16
Examining the population of female mid-life runners, Andrea Conger will deliver the lecture "What Are You Running From? Somatic Embodiment and Female Mid-Life Runners" at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 16, in F.W. Olin Building Room 102.

The lecture, funded by Luther's Lectures and Fine Arts committee and sponsored by the Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Women and Gender Studies departments, is open to the public with no charge for admission.

Distance running has exploded in popularity over the last 10 years. One population that is lacing up and hitting the road in massive numbers are mid-life runners – those who took up the sport for the first time around age 40. Mid-life runners represent a distinctly different running experience than early or full-life runners–physiologically as well as socially, culturally, mentally and even financially.

For many women who take up running, "mid-life" is a critical time of change in how they experience their bodies, understand their roles in social relationships and how they think about the future and aging. Conger delves into this complex world exploring how actively engaging somatic embodiment can impact health, fitness and wellbeing among mid-life female runners.

Conger holds a doctoral degree in social-cultural anthropology from Indiana University and a master's degree in ethnochoreology, the study of organized movement in cultural context, from the University of Limerick, Ireland. Her work broadly explores how we might improve the ways in which we live in our own skin by learning from skilled dancers, athletes and those doing mindful practices such as yoga and martial arts.

She is currently a visiting assistant professor at St. Olaf College, a professional dancer and a mid-life runner. Conger completed her first half-marathon last spring and hopes to join some of her research participants in attempting the Milwaukee Marathon next fall.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the bachelor of arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.