Christopher McDougall · 287 pages
Rating: (130.7K votes)
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.”
“You don't stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.”
“The reason we race isn't so much to beat each other,... but to be with each other.”
“If you don't have answers to your problems after a four-hour run, you ain't getting them.”
“That was the real secret of the Tarahumara: they'd never forgotten what it felt like to love running. They remembered that running was mankind's first fine art, our original act of inspired creation. Way before we were scratching pictures on caves or beating rhythms on hollow trees, we were perfecting the art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain. And when our ancestors finally did make their first cave paintings, what were the first designs? A downward slash, lightning bolts through the bottom and middle--behold, the Running Man.
Distance running was revered because it was indispensable; it was the way we survived and thrived and spread across the planet. 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 everyhing else we ove--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.”
“You don't have to be fast. But you'd better be fearless.”
“Suffering is humbling. It pays to know how to get your butt kicked.”
“We've got a motto here-you're tougher than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can.”
“...there was some kind of connection between the capacity to love and the capacity to love *running*. The engineering was certainly the same: both depended on loosening your grip on your own desires, putting aside what you wanted and appreciating what you've got, being patient and forgiving and... undemanding...maybe we shouldn't be surprised that getting better at one could make you better at the other.”
“There's something so universal about that sensation, the way 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.”
“Make friends with pain, and you will never be alone.~Ken Chlouber, Colorado miner and creator of the Leadville Trail 100 mile race”
“If you don't think you were born to run you're not only denying history. You're denying who you are.”
“There are two goddesses in your heart,” he told them. “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 backwards. 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.” Ask nothing from your running, in other words, and you’ll get more than you ever imagined.”
“Perhaps 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.”
“Nearly all runners do their slow runs too fast, and their fast runs too slow." Ken Mierke says. "So they're just training their bodies to burn sugar, which is the last thing a distance runner wants. You've got enough fat stored to run to California, so the more you train your body to burn fat instead of sugar, the longer your limited sugar tank is going to last."
-The way to activate your fat-burning furnace is by staying below your aerobic threshold--your hard-breathing point--during your endurance runs.”
“But you can't muscle through a five-hour run that way; you have to relax into it like easing your body into a hot bath, until it no longer resists the shock and begins to enjoy it.”
“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.”
“Sometimes,' she said, 'it takes a woman to bring out the best in a man.”
“But yeah, Ann [Trason] insisted, running was romantic; and no, of course her friends didn't get it because they'd never broken through. For them, running was a miserable two miles motivated solely by size 6 jeans: get on the scale, get depressed, get your headphones on, and get it over with. But you can't muscle through a five-hour run that way; you have to relax into it, like easing your body into a hot bath, until it no longer resists the shock and begins to enjoy it.”
“We were born to run; we were born because we run.”
“Blaming the running injury epidemic on big, bad Nike seems too easy - but that's okay, because it's largely their fault.”
“-The reason we race isn't so much to beat each other but to be with each other.
-The Hopis consider running a form of prayer; they offer every step as a sacrifice to a loved one, and in return ask the Great Spirit to match their strength with some of his own.”
“We wouldn't be alive without love we wouldn't have survived without running maybe we shouldn't be surprised that getting better at one could make you better at the other.”
“That was the real secret of the Tarahumara: they'd never forgotten what it felt like to love running. They remembered that running was mankind's first fine art, our original act of inspired creation.”
“Distance running was revered because it was indispensable; it was the way we survived and thrived and spread across the planet. 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.”
“Lisa Smith-Batchen, the amazingly sunny and pixie-tailed ultrarunner from Idaho who trained through blizzards to win a six-day race in the Sahara, talks about exhaustion as if it's a playful pet. 'I love the Beast,' she says. 'I actually look forward to the Beast showing up, because every time he does, I handle him better. I get him more under control.' Once the Beast arrives, Lisa knows what she has to deal with and can get down to work. And isn't that the reason she's running through the desert in the first place-to put her training to work? To have a friendly little tussle with the Beast and show it who's boss? You can't hate the Beast and expect to beat it; the only way to truly conquer something, as every great philosopher and geneticist will tell you , is to love it.”
“When I'm out on a long run," she continued, "the only thing in life that matters is finishing the run. For once, my brain isn't going blehblehbleh all the time. Everything quiets down, and the only thing going on is pure flow. It's jus time and the movement and the motion.That's what love--just being a barbarian, running through the woods.”
“Only recently have we come up with the technology to turn lazing around into a way of life. We've taken our sinewy, durable, hunter-gatherer bodies and plunked them into an artificial world of leisure.”
“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…We were born to run; we were born because we run”
“There is no greater bore than perfection.”
“I am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing.”
“No love is Love that subjugates the Lover.
No love is Love that feeds on flesh and blood.
No love is Love that draws a woman to a man only to breed
more women and men and thus perpetuate their bondage to the flesh.”
“the children helped each other as much as they could.”
“People, he told her, are shaped somehow by their climate and the land they live in. Those who live by the sea are like the currents and tides; they go and come, and discover many shores. Their words and loves are like water that slips between one's fingers and is never still. Mountain people have fought the mountain to win their place. Once they have conquered it they protect their mountain, and others coming from far below in the valley risk being seen as enemies. Hill people take some time before greeting each other.”
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