“The best runner leaves no tracks.”
Published in 2009, "Born To Run" by Christopher McDougall is a book with an exhilarating journey into the world of ultra-distance running that captivates both seasoned runners and those who have never laced up a pair of running shoes. This book transcends the typical sports narrative, delving into the depths of human endurance, the enigmatic Tarahumara Indians, and the timeless question: are humans born to run?
The heart of the book lies in the journey of McDougall himself, a regular guy plagued by running injuries, who embarks on a quest to understand the science and art of distance running without pain. Along the way, he meets some of the world's most extraordinary ultrarunners and experts, weaving their experiences and insights into the narrative seamlessly.
McDougall's journey evolves from a search for the secret to injury-free running into a celebration of the human spirit and the pure joy of running.
Here are some quotations from the book:
- “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.”
- “In the Tarahumara tongue, humans come in only two forms: there are Raramuri- who run from trouble and Chabochis- who cause it.”
- “You don’t have to be fast. But you’d better be fearless.”
- “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 born because we run. We’re all running people, as the Tarahumara have always known.”
- “There are two Goddess 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 backward. 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.”
- “Getting better at one could make you better at the other.”
- “All our troubles- all the violence, obesity, illness, depression, and greed we can’t overcome- began when we stopped living as Running People. Deny your nature, and it will erupt in some other, uglier way.”
- “Practice abundance by giving back, improve personal relationships, and show integrity to your value system.”
- “The only way to truly conquer something, as every great philosopher and geneticist will tell you, is to love it.”
- “You don’t stop running because you get old. You get old because you stop running.”
- “Just move your legs. Because if you don’t think you were born to run, you’re not only denying history. You’re denying who you are.”
- “The reason we race isn't so much to beat each other,... but to be with each other.”
- “Suffering is humbling. It pays to know how to get your butt kicked.”
- “Sometimes it takes a woman to bring out the best in a man.”
Finally, Born To Run isn't just about running, it's about the universal themes of perseverance, passion, and the pursuit of one's true calling. It serves as a testament to the human capacity for greatness and the power of the human spirit to overcome challenges. Whether you're an experienced runner or someone simply seeking inspiration, it offers a profound and thought-provoking message that extends beyond the realm of sports.