Friday, August 07, 2009

Book Review: Born To Run

Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall

I must say, when I picked up this title in the bookstore earlier this summer I had no idea what the story was all about. There are no names listed on the jacket telling who the participants are of this race the world has never seen.

As I sit here and count upon my fingers how many titles I have read this summer, 19, and I am probably missing a few. I know, I have too much time on my hands. I did just register for a few classes at ARCC, perquisites for a Nursing Program that I am thinking of entering..but that is another story. Back to Born To Run. Of the 19 titles I've read this summer THIS is the one that was purely for fun, for entertainment, for easy reading. From the moment I opened the cover to the moment I read the last page, I was hooked. I was enthralled. I couldn't put this book down, so, I read it again. I liked it just as much, or more than the first time. I had missed a few things.

The story is about man who has one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? He wants to run but is always having some sort of ailment, pain and injury. He goes to doctors who tell him to stop running, but still asks the question Why does my foot hurt? This simple question leads him on a great adventure. He eventually learns that everything he thought he knew about running was wrong.

He seeks out the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico and finds his answer.

It's amazing. How this man takes us on his trek to track down "Caballo Blanco", a loner among the Tarahumara, how he takes us to Harvard to watch the cross country team run barefoot instead of in their Nikes because barefoot running is better for the foot, how he shows us that yes, we are born to run, is enthralling.

We get to know some of the ultra greats. We view the Leadville 100 in a different point of view. One from the Tarahumara as they run against Ann Trason.

Eventually we witness the great race. The fifty mile race between the Tarahumara, Scott Jurek, Jenn Shelton, Luis Escobar, Barefoot Ted, Bonehead Billy, Eric Orton and Christopher McDougall, our writer, as well as others. It's amazing. Incredible. I didn't want the race to end. I won't give any more away. You really should read this title. Especially all of you ultrarunners!

I enjoyed this story so much. In fact, it has led me to try something new. The past few weeks I have actually been barefoot running. Yup. The first few times were in the football field, with the long, dense grass after my track workouts for a mile of my cool down. Then on the grass at home, making my family think I have lost my brain..again. Today on the trail with Topaz for a full 5 miles of barefoot running. It was magical. I frolicked. Yup, frolicked through the foliage! Ha. I never realized that running barefoot might even be an option. I thought 'those' people were kind of 'off'. No more. I didn't realize I was being judgemental. Now I know how running barefoot can actually make me feel so fine. My feet flex, they give to the contour of the ground, feel for the different surfaces, it's just too much. The nerves on the bottom of the foot are incredibly sensitive. I did not realize.

Good grief. Here I am, eating tofu and running barefoot. Crazy is the new normal . What's next?

9 comments:

Vince A. said...

I just finished the book - oh the joy of running...

No barefoot for me, but I'll continue to hold on to my shoes way past 300 miles; I always knew that was a ploy to sell more shoes!

Anonymous said...

i have always wanted to try barefoot running. just not sure where i would do it! all my short runs are on my rock/graveled drive! i know my feet have been screwed up because of running shoes. maybe i could go up to the school and run in their grass! i love the posts lately! i always enjoy them, but it is always fun following you on a different path!

tonya

Helen said...

BF running is super fun!! As you know I've just read the book also and it def inspired me to kick off the shoes. I've just been on grass - waiting on the KSOs before I try anything rougher!!

Jen said...

Hey Julie -
I'm Jen, Zach Pierce's wife, and Helen steered me to you to ask a completely un-blog related question but this is where I knew I could find you. I just got a rescue dog 3 weeks ago and I'm really debating if I'm going to use a topspot type product. She said you might have some insight, perhaps a personal experience with Frontline? I usually try to be chemical free, but I don't know what to do. Any advice you have would be appreciated! Thanks much, Jen

Julie B said...

Hi Jen, would you like to email me at julberg6@aol.com I can then give you my #

Jen said...

A couple of things as I haven't checked in with you in years but I have been reading without fail.:)

1. I am going to have to get the book. I keep hearing about it and your approval is the proverbial straw....

2. I love watching you grow in this blog and please know that you continue to inspire some to do things they never thought about. I will have to try this barefoot thing. I have been thinking about it but now; for sure.

3. I think you would be a great nurse so good job on that thought process. Also maybe a physical therapist or athletic trainer.......

Run on Julie.

Thinnmann said...

Great that you have found the right way to run! Keep it up!

Scott said...

Its so great to see more people getting interested in barefooting since reading Born to Run. We are looking less and less like goofballs! Glad it is working for you, it really is so fun and free-feeling.

Julie B said...

Jenna! So good to hear from you. My goodness, my first cyber buddy and first reader of this blog. Was it Body for Life we were following? I'm glad you are still reading along. I often wonder what the original readers think out there as to all of the programs/diets/etc I decide to try. I wonder if they think I'm a lunatic .I hope all is well.