What does it mean to be born to do something anyway? Many people find something they are good at and think they were born to do that thing. There seems to be a growing list of books which look at our ancestors and how we’ve evolved over the past 2 million years to get an idea of what we are literally born to be able to do.
I recently finished the book titled Born To Run by Christopher McDougall in which he makes a good case that humans were born to be endurance runners. The book follows McDougall on his quest to understand why his foot hurts after running while so many other runners can literally run hundreds of miles and not get hurt.
The book weaves a riveting tale of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyon, modern ultra endurance athletes, scientific research, and the authors own success story of unlearning everything he was taught about what running was suppose to be. The premise of the book is that humans are more capable as endurance athletes than any other animal on the planet due to our evolution.
The stories behind the characters in the book are so amazing I had to keep checking online to see if they were true. For example, hearing about how Scott Jurek set the course record for the Badwater Ultramarathon was unbelievable but true. No animal could match that performance because they just can’t cool themselves for that long like a human can.
As an example, did you know that a human can out run a horse in a race if the distance is long enough? Or did know that there are still tribes in Africa who “persistence hunt”? A persistence hunt is where a runner literally runs an animal to death by chasing it until it collapses of heat stroke.
One thing I am certain of after reading the book is that I know we are capable of doing more than previously imagined. It’s opened my mind to the possibility that I might actually be able to run much further and explains why sometimes I feel so great while training.
|Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
by Christopher McDougall