Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Day 65 - Tyler's Book Club: Born to Run

Just over a week ago I finished reading Born to Run, written by Christopher McDougall. Here is the book synopsis:

An epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? Isolated by Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons, the blissful Tarahumara Indians have honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. In a riveting narrative, award-winning journalist and often-injured runner Christopher McDougall sets out to discover their secrets. In the process, he takes his readers from science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultra-runners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to a climactic race in the Copper Canyons that pits America’s best ultra-runners against the tribe. McDougall’s incredible story will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.

Whether you consider yourself a 'runner' or not, I feel anyone who is interested in physical fitness can take something from this book. As the synopsis explains, Christopher McDougall (author) re-lives the story of his own personal journey as a recreational athlete.

Along the way, he tells stories about ultramarathon runners and their truly remarkable abilities to withstand some of the craziest endurance races completed by mankind.

The heart of the story revolves around the Tarahumara, a primitive tribe in Mexico who seemingly hold all of the secrets to how humans have evolved into a species able to withstand such bouts of endurance. The only problem is, our society and 'advancements' have muddied the waters and have actually made us more prone to injury rather than preventing them.

Whether you believe the discussions within this book or not, the science and evidence presented are pretty remarkable and startling to think about. Humans have evolved through trial and error and natural selection for millions of years to nearly perfect our physiological structure. Even though we have had mother nature on our side, a couple decade's worth of research believes that they have the 'fix' for our shortcomings.

As I said, whether you consider yourself a 'runner' or not, this book is a tremendous reminder for us all that we should stop trying to complicate things and just get back to the basics. Our bodies are designed to move in specific ways, and move a lot, yet we seem to want to change both of those facts.

I cannot recommend this book enough. I do not consider myself a serious 'runner' either, but couldn't help but feel motivated to get out and go for a run in my Vibram Five Fingers. The only thing stopping me from going running is that I could not put this book down!

Quote of the day:
"A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams."
~John Barrymore