So let me start off by saying that I am NOT a runner. I’m a walker. I walk every day, cold or hot, snowy or sunny…not too crazy about rain though. So why would I spend time reading a book seemingly about running? I’ve no idea. It’s funny how sometimes I read a book and it leads to another book and I think “I’ll try that one.”
“Take any other sport, and an injury rate like mine would classify me as defective. In running, it makes me normal. The real mutants are the runners who don’t get injured. Up to eight out of every ten runners are hurt every year. It doesn’t matter if you’re heavy or thin, speedy or slow, a marathon champ or a weekend huffer, you’re just as likely as the other guy to savage your knees, shins, hamstrings, hips, or heels. Next time you line up for a Turkey Trot, look at the runners on your right and left: statistically, only one of you will be back for the Jingle Bell Jog. No invention yet has slowed the carnage.”
So here I am reading this story by Christopher McDougall ostensibly about this tribe from somewhere in Mexico who can, not only run like the wind, but run forever. What grabbed me was that it is not a book about running (though it is) as it is about people and McDougall’s great stories as he not only searches for the tribe, but longs to run with them even as he is dealing with nagging injuries from running.
“Know why people run marathons? he told Dr. Bramble. 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 superpower all humans possess.”
He takes us to Mexico, Colorado, and even Africa in search of the truth about why we run. We are physiologically born to run. That would be a good title for this book.
“So why should every other mammal on the planet be able to depend on its legs except us? Come to think of it, how could a guy like Bannister charge out of the lab every day, pound around a hard cinder track in thin leather slippers, and not only get faster, but never get hurt? How come some of us can be out there running all lionlike and Bannisterish every morning when the sun comes up, while the rest of us need a fistful of ibuprofen before we can put our feet on the floor?”
The most important thing that I can say about this book is that YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!