Part 7: The Book That Plants

My brother, Gary, and his wife Monica and my niece, their daughter, Reagan, sent me a book in late February as a reward for finishing my first marathon. Gary told me his friend had suggested it as it was a national best seller about running. Little did I know that this book planted the second and final seed I’d need to pursue the ultra long distances. The book’s name was Born To Run.

I had heard of this book at some point in reading Barefoot Ted’s web site but had not looked further as my reading material at that time was solely based on spirituality and the last thing I was interested in was reading about running. Running was my meditation. However, Born To Run was about running about as much as Fight Club is about fighting. I was hooked on the book in as long as it took.

Quick Summary
To summarize, the book’s author, Christopher McDougall, was in a similar situation as myself and alot of us regarding running, and went on an amazing journey to figure out the answers to his ailments, curiosities, and wonders. As a journalist, he had the ability and resources to really push some hypothesis to the limit. The story is straight out of a comic book, only real. It is written well and smooth, with constant cliff hangers and detailed explanations on theories on running form, shoes or no shoes, and even evolution. But those are scattered throughout sparingly. The main story arc is what really keeps it together. Chris seeks out the hidden super athletes of the Tarahumara natives, deep in the Copper Canyons of Mexico. Through drug cartel marijuana fields and cities that don’t speak any modern languages, he attempts to find some people that might not even exist past myth, including a fellow by the name of Caballo Blanco. All the while meeting some amazing people of the running world and setting up for an ultra marathon he participated in that was crazy in itself. His journey is awesomenesssaucism. Go read this book. It is for anyone that runs, but it’s REALLY for those whom do not.

What It Meant To Me
Besides being such an enjoyable read, what this book did through the side stories pertaining running physics, evolution, natural being, shoes, and the capabilities of humanity, was strengthen a side of an old argument I never bought: that us humans were pretty worthless when it came to physicality. I never bought the idea that our evolution would be built completely on brains. I always questioned why we were so worthless in running and jumping and everything physical in comparison with our nature friends. It wasn’t feasible to me. And this book had facts and studies that put a wide smile on my face, showing how we were capable of endurance feats that no animals can imagine, based entirely on our lungs and sweating ability. Oh and running form. It was now proven probable that we all were born to run and I was finding that out since tossing the shoes. Nothing felt more natural besides eating and sex, and probably fighting, although I’m a lover, not a fighter. But don’t mess with me or your ass is grass.

The Second Rule Of…Ranting
For the first time in my life it had clicked. We were not some brain with a worthless body to keep it going. We are the all singing, all dancing, ALL RUNNING, crap of this world, Tyler Durden! The first rule of becoming one with our body, is to embody what is naturally ours. The second rule of becoming one with our body, is to embody what is naturally ours. That is to run. Not so it hurts, not so it doesn’t feel right, not so it isn’t fun. We are born and we eat. We are born and we eat and then we crawl. We are born and we eat and then we crawl and then we walk. We are born and we run. That is the step in each of our evolution in life. We lose it though. We let it go as we age. We sit on our asses and stare at square screens with lights. We don’t use what is natural and there is no balance. We run as exercise, some archaic idea that we NEED to do, so we make it a chore, a pay free work that no one likes. We put on some headphones, using it to get us through this unfun experience just to look better in jeans for the men or be more cut for the ladies. A catalyst to achieve the point A to point B dilemma. This has error all over it. It is called want. We don’t need to exercise. We need to stop needing. Find the simple joys of movement in the most natural and simplest way we have, and that is running. It’s not a chore, or rather, it shouldn’t be. Take off that ipod and learn how to pay attention to what you are doing. Then YOU will bring the joy to IT yourself. It is not about the result, it is not about finishing, it is not about time, it is about each and every step; every breath, every sound, every smell. Once a light jog is easier than a walk, you will get it. You don’t have to be in amazing shape, you don’t have to have killer running shoes, you need to go with the flow of nature, with your core being. That is in running my friends. And if you cannot see it, if you cannot feel it, then only YOU are in the way.

From Never Running To An Ultramarathon In A Year
Part 1: It All Started…
Part 2: Injuries!
Part 3: The Wall.
Part 4: The Marathon
Part 5: Putting On My New Feet
Part 6: The Alligator That Smiled At Me
Part 7: The Book That Plants
Part 8: First Barefoot Race
Part 9: Running Forever in the Park
Part 10: The Short Race Report
Part 11: Kansas City, Gonna Get My Baby Back Home
Part 12: The Return of the Long Lost Runs (no toilet humor please)
Part 13: Dorothy, We Are In Kansas Anymore
Part 14: Worn
Part 15: Valet = Achilles Tendinitis = No more running this year, well…
Part 16: Marathon Decisions: Screw It
Part 17: 9.5 Months After Losing Da Shoes: The Kansas City Marathon
Part Last

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