Recently I finished the book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall. The book came highly recommended by several friends and fitness influencers (most of the people I know who wear Vibram Five Finger shoes read the book previously), so it had been on my list for quite awhile.
I did not run to the store (or dash to my browser for online shopping) to purchase a pair of the Vibram shoes (mostly because I promised myself I wouldn’t buy a pair unless I could get them on my feet, which I still haven’t managed to do), but I did enjoy the book. I guess I must have mentioned it at least once or twice, since my mom registered us for the Santa Fe half marathon in 2014, which guest stars the book’s author.
Though the book didn’t inspire a Vibram purchase, it may (or may not) have something to do with the PR on my half marathon time. Who knows!
I did pull away some memorable quotes, inspiration, and other interesting tidbits from the book, which I’d like to share with you here. Enjoy!
Venture (and run) on!
mel, the Venture Gal
“Running unites our two most primal impulses: fear and pleasure. We run when we’re scared, we run when we’re ecstatic, we run away from our problems and run around for a good time. And when things look worst, we run the most” (11)
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” (13)
“We say the rarajipari is the game of life. You never know how hard it will be. You never know when it will end. You can’t control it. You can only adjust.” (41)
Iskiata aka chia fresca/”chilly chia”. “Tablespoon of chia is like a smoothie made from salmon, spinach, and human growth hormone”. “they’re superpacked with omega-3s, omega-6s, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, fiber, and antioxidants”. “Chia was once so treasured, the Aztecs used to deliver it to their king in homage. Aztec runners used to chomp chia seeds as they went into battle, and the Hopis fueld themselves on chia during their epic runs from Arizona to the Pacific Ocean” (44)
“You don’t have to be fast. But you’d better be fearless.” (61)
“Nobody cares if you’re a great three-point shooter in your backyard; what matters is whether you stick them on game day” (63)
“My friends would tell me I’m not addicted to crack, I’m addicted to endorphins” (69)
“As a sport, most track coaches ranked ultras somewhere between competitive eating and recreational S&M.” (77)
“Nobody gives up the pursuit position if they don’t have to. Not unless you’re foolish, or reckless” (84)
Who’s more committed to winner: the predator or the prey? “The lion can lose and come back another day, but the antelope gets only one mistake.
“To move into the lead means making an act requiring fierceness and confidence. But fear must play some part….no relaxation is possible, and all discretion is thrown to the wind”
“Even the brightest smile can hide a lie” (85)
“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 botn because we run. We’re all Running People, as the Tarahumara have always known” (93)
“There are two goddesses in your heart. The Goddess of Wisdom and the Goddess of Wealth. Everyone thinks they need to get wealth first, and wisdom will come. So they concern themselves with chasing money. But they have it backwards. You have to give your heart to the Goddess of Wisdom, give her all your love and attention, and the Goddess of Wealth will become jealous, and follow you.” – Vigil (94)
Ask nothing from your running, and you’ll get more than you ever imagined.
Some connection between the capacity to love and the capacity to love running (98)
“Sometimes it takes a woman to bring out the best in a man” (104)
“When you run on the earth and run with the earth, you can run forever” – saying of the Tarahumara Indians (114)
“You can’t hate the Beast and expect to beat it; they only way to truly conquer something, as every great philosopher and geneticist will tell you, is to love it.” (125)
“Nothing works out according to plan, but it always works out” (151)
“Shoes block pain, not impact! Pain teaches us to run comfortably! From the moment you start going barefoot, you will change the way you run” (157)
“Until 1972, when the modern athletic shoe was invented by Nike, people ran in very thin-soled shoes, had strong feet and had much lower incidence of knee injuries.”….”If there’s any magic bullet to make human beings healthy, it’s to run” – Dr. Lierberman. (168)
The first step toward going cancer-free the Tarahumara way is Eat Less. Second step is Eat better. We need to build diets around fruit and vegetables instead of red meat and processed carbs. (209)
“Your body needs to be shocked to become resilient” (211)
“When you can’t answer a question, flip it over. Forget what makes something go fast, what makes it slow down? (215)
“Know why people run marathons? Because running is rooted in our collective imagination, and our imagination is rooted in running. Language, art, science; space shuttles’ Starry Night, intravascular surgery; they all had their roots in our ability to run. Running was the superpower that made us human- which means it’s a super power all humans possess. (239)
“You don’t stop running because you get old. You get old because you stop running” (240)