Most of us can probably rattle off the names of five or six books that really impacted our lives. If I had to do it, it would prove a little embarrassing, because though I have read thousands of books in my 50 plus years, including some that I suppose are considered among the classics, most of those that truly impacted my life, (consciously, at least) are books most people never heard of. I’m pretty sure a lot of that depends upon your age when you read it, I remember “Watership Down” as being a very important book to me, but I’m not sure it would even hold my interest now.
So, anyway, I just finished one that I can honestly say is among the best books I have ever read. I couldn’t bear to put it down to work, eat, or sleep. It’s title is “Born To Run”. It starts out being a story about the Tarahumara Indians that still live in one of our planet’s most inhospitable regions called the Copper Canyons in Northern Mexico. What makes these people unique, besides residing among cliffs where even sure-footed goats have plunged to their deaths, is that they literally live to run. Fifty to one hundred mile runs are common. And they do it barefoot.
The book makes a good case that running is what we were all born to do.
I’ve done my share. When I was young, I ran everywhere. It felt good and I had a naturally comfortable stride. When I was in the Army, running was a breeze, even with a full pack and wearing boots, I never once felt I couldn’t finish. Ditto with the police academy. In fact, we ran more as police recruits than I ever did as a soldier. Again, while many of my classmates fell out on longer runs, I never even threw up. Why I got away from it remains a mystery to me. I played football longer than I should have. I still play some hoops, but I don’t run. At least I didn’t. I’m planning to change that.
Yes, this book is the reason. There is ample science presented in this book, but done in a way that even a non-scientifically minded sort could connect the dots.
The book also connected with me with respect to eating habits. I was happy to learn that by almost any measure, pinto beans are nature’s perfect food. I eat a lot of them, so this was vindication of what I have been telling my kids for years. They also consume a fair amount of chia…yes, the stuff they make chia pets from. The Primary Wife was already way ahead of me about that, as she has been adding it to her food for awhile now.
I live 1/2 mile from a grocery store, yet every time I go, I drive. Why is that? Sure, it saves time, but I rarely do much in a hurry anyway, so I’m re-thinking this bad habit.
Read the book. Especially if there has ever been a time when you felt that you were in peak physical condition, the book will actually make that feeling return, at least while you are reading it. I’m sharing my copy with my oldest son, but I may buy an additional one for my youngest kids to read.
Hey! I’m like Oprah over here!