Everyone who reads has in all likeness read a book that has done something a little special to them. Perhaps it made you cry, it might have changed your world view, maybe act out of your “normal” self. You get the feeling that this book has to be propagated because of the effect it has had on oneself. You get this feeling a lot, with your increasing reading appetite.
But what about a book that has had an actual influence on you, it has had an influence on the person who recommended the book (which you can see) The book has the (un)intended(?) effect of being some kind of self help book, without really being a typical fucking self help book.
The book we are talking about is Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.
Born to run stands out because it is an easy read nonfiction book. The main story line leads up to a fifty mile race in the the blistering canyons of Mexican isolated badlands. McDougall brings together a motley crew including a star ultra-marathoner, a beach bum like couple with superhuman capacity for drinks the night before running. a barefoot ultra-runner, a couple of Mexican Maraijuana growers, a hippy like mysterious runner and an isolated race of natives (the Tarahumara), who by virtue of wanting to be isolated from people have to run great distances on a regular basis as well as during an annual fun run.
The non fiction part of the book has an academic twist where McDougall runs a case that human beings are literally born to run. Some interesting questions are raised, are expensive running shoes actually a cause for injury? Why did our ancestors outlive the Neanderthals (hint it was not their body hair), he goes to a south African living with the last of the Masai, who actually hunt animals on foot, isolating the prey and exhausting them till they quite literally drop down. On reading this one gets the importance of the book which is not a flight of fancy but is based on fact and has an important message.
Born to run does not push people to get on the road to competitive running, extreme punishing runs. The essence of running should be sheer joy. This is quite another leap from conventional wisdom. Running is a sociable activity, not really to be an effort that needs to be made but more of a fun activity. Take our word for it, run to your local book store and pick up this little gem of a book and be inspired – to run for fun.