In the fantastic book Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, Christopher McDougall travels deep into the Copper Canyons of Mexico to learn the secrets of the Tarahumara Tribe, perhaps the world’s greatest distance runners. It’s a terrific read — fast-paced with an interesting story, great characters and fascinating facts. But, most of all, it’s an inspiring book.
Both F and I read the book. His life started to change even before he was done with the book. Less than a quarter of the way into the book, he told me (with much excitement) that he wanted to start running. What?!?! I’ve been trying to get him running for years and years, and he’s never once been excited about it. All he needed was this book? Can he be serious?
Yup. He started trotting around the house chanting, “Light, smooth, easy, fast. Light, smooth, easy, fast.” I gathered he learned about that running technique from Born to Run. In fact, he was so serious about wanting to run that he went out and bought a pair of Vibram Five Fingers, not typical running shoes, but shoes that would allow him to run practically barefoot. No joke. Not only was my husband wanting to run, but he was wanting to run barefoot. Actually, let me back up. At first he wanted to sew his own sandals like the folks do in the Tarahumara Tribe. But figuring that was not feasible, he opted for the Five Fingers instead. And what do you know? F is trail running at least 3 times a week! With these crazy “gorilla shoes,” as Ayay likes to call them. And he likes it! That is how life-changing the book was for him.
As for me, I read the book and loved it, but it wasn’t exactly life-changing since I’ve always enjoyed running. However, this book has inspired me get out running even more, and particularly on trails. I have found even more joy in running, I’ve been increasing my mileage, and I’ve been shifting my fitness focus back to running. For the first time in years, I’m training for a half-marathon again. Following the half-marathon is a 65 mile relay race called Are You Tough Enough, which I’m not…yet. I suppose Born to Run is inspiring me to get tough…running tough! Furthermore, the idea of running an ultramarathon isn’t all the crazy to me anymore.
Our friend B, an extremely talented and amazing dancer and non-runner, also read the book. Her words summed it up perfectly: That was a great book, but I feel like I’m denying my destiny as a human being by not running.
There you have it. Now go out and read the book and then go for a run, because after reading the book, you’ll understand why we were all born to run!