“That was the secret of the Tarahumara: they’d never forgotten what it felt like to love running. They remembered that running was mankind’s first fine art, our original act of inspired creation. Way before we were scratching pictures on caves or beating rhythms on hollow trees, we were perfecting the art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain. And when our ancestors finally did make their first cave paintings, what were the first designs? A downward slash, lightning bolts through the bottom and middle—behold, the Running Man.
Distance running was revered because it was indispensable; it was the way we survived and thrived and spread across the planet. You ran to eat and to avoid being eaten; you ran to find a mate and impress her, and with her you ran off to start a new life together. You had to love running, or you wouldn’t live to love anything else. And like everything else we love—everything we sentimentally call our ‘passions’ and ‘desires’—it’s really an encoded ancestral necessity. We were born to run; we were born because we run. We’re all Running People, as the Tarahumara have always known.”
~ Christopher McDougall from Born to Run
Christopher McDougall is an extraordinary writer and this is a fascinating book.
We covered his more recent book Natural Born Heroes in which he profiles World War II Cretan resistance fighters and their amazing physical feats.
In this book, Christopher takes us on an incredible journey to meet a hidden tribe that can run forever (well, almost!) and an eclectic group of iconoclastic superathletes who meet them in the Copper Canyons of Mexico to run the greatest race the world has never seen.
If you enjoy running, you’ve probably already read this. If not, get on it. If you even remotely enjoy running or sports or heroes stories or human potential, etc. I think you’ll dig this one. (Get the book here.)
Although it’s more of a story than a self-help book per se, there are a bunch of great Big Ideas. I’m excited to share some of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!
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