Born to Run

I just read the most phenomenal book.  287 pages, and I finished it in 3 days. I absolutely could not put it down.

Sunday morning, I opened the book, and immediately I was engulfed. It took two pages, and I was hooked. What started as an innocent reading session turned into an all day binge. I shirked all other responsibility – laundry, working out, even eating, and that’s saying something. I did manage to get a quick nap in (reading for seven hours straight will do that to you) and tore myself away long enough to bathe the mountain bike, but otherwise, I was glued to the pages of Born to Run. This nonfiction account of one runner’s search for a true understanding of distance running was gripping. It introduced me to the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico and their fascinating running culture, the biomechanics and evolution of running, and the ultra-athletes that push it to a whole new level.

It was informative, inspiring, factual, thrilling, and captivating. Author Chris McDougall broke running down into its purest art form.  He removed the iPods and Garmins and fancy running shoes, the self images and the drudgery, and spoke of running as a beautiful, natural expression of the body, and I loved every word of it. His words dissected the motivations behind running, how our bodies were built for it, and our inherent need to engage in it.

I managed to watch the Grizzlies take on the Spurs, but at every commercial break my nose was buried in the book. I somehow forced myself to go to sleep before midnight, but Monday morning I was up reading before heading to the office and again on my lunch break. After work, I toted my book to the gym, hopped on a treadmill, and ran with no shoes, just like the Tarahumara tribe. Minus the exercise machine, and insert canyons and mountains. I dreamed of running 50 miles, just as the super athletes in my book did so effortlessly, but I only got in two before it was time to wipe away the sweat and go to Bible study.

When I got home, I convinced myself to entertain a load of laundry before settling down with my book. I stayed up late reading, woke up early for bootcamp, went to work, and then stole moments throughout the day to satsify my reading craving. I forgot to take a lunch break, let alone eat, so I didn’t read the final pages until after my family and all significant others dined at the Rendezvous and witnessed the Grizzlies OWN the Spurs at the Forum (sweet, sweet revenge). Then, after an exciting basketball victory, I finished the book. Borderline obsessive, but it was that good.

Every sentence resonated with me. It made me want to run. Not just to go on a run, but to run for the sake of running. To set out with no agenda or predetermined distance, but just for the passion and pleasure of it all.

Just read it. My account doesn’t do it justice. If you love running, or wish you loved running, this book is for you. I cannot recommend it enough.

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