I just finished reading “Born to Run” an amazing book by Christopher McDougall. Whether or not you are a runner, you should read this book. There’s a lot in it about the mechanics of running and if that bores you, skip those chapters. Because there is so much more in it about what it means, fundamentally, to be human. So much about how capable and amazing our bodies are.It’s worth your time.
It’s highly doubtful, that I’ll ever be an elite runner (though “run an ultramarathon” is on my things to do before I turn 30 bucket list) but I learned through reading this book that I actually do have something in common with that crazy breed: I love this sport. Love it. I could (and do) talk about it all the time. I think about it even more than I talk about it. I might still be working to break through the sub 8-minute mile barrier — not to mention still trying to have the endurance to run longer than two hours — but I do love it.
Reading this book, it felt almost like the author was inside my head. This passage especially:
Ann insisted, running was romantic; and no, of course her friends didn’t get it because they’d never broken through. For them, running was a miserable two miles motivated solely by size 6 jeans: get on a scale, get depressed, get your headphones on, and get it over with. But you can’t muscle through a five-hour run that way; you have to relax into it, like easing your body into a hot bath, until it no longer resists the shock and begins to enjoy it.
Relax enough, and your body becomes so familiar with the cradle rocking rhythm that you almost forget you’re moving. And once you break through into that soft, half levitating flow, that’s when the moonlight and champaign show up.
I think it’s safe to say that what started for me as a way to try to outrun anxiety, depression and my family’s tendency toward diabetes and heart disease has turned into something that feels closer to a relationship than a hobby. Is that weird?
I know it is. But I love the feeling that these days — when I can actually get away from the damn treadmill and run outside, that is — I feel much more like I’m running toward something, instead of running away.
This pretty well sums it up:
You have to listen closely to the sound of your own breathing; be aware of how much sweat is beading on your back; make sure to treat yourself to cool water and a salty snack and ask yourself, honestly and often, exactly how you feel. What could be more sensual than paying exquisite attention to your own body?