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Christopher McDougall Quotes
Extreme heroism springs from something that no scientific theory can fully explain; it's an illogical impulse that flies in the face of biology, psychology, actuarial statistics, and basic common sense.
We're designed for persistence hunting, which is a mix of running and walking. What's built into that kind of running is a sense of pleasure. You are designed and built and perfect for this activity, and it should be enjoyable and fun.
I have the idea that running shoes are based on a kind of cult idea - that our feet are flawed and we need shoes to correct those flaws. The shoe companies are in the business of selling shoes. But there's no evidence from running shoe manufacturers that they're right. There's no scientific data that running shoes reduce injury.
The 'Tarahumara' use their legs 'as designed.' By running at a young age with minimal footwear, they naturally develop the best biomechanical use of their legs. Cushioned shoes restrict foot movements and allow for over-striding. Short strides are natural.
Humans are built for endurance, not speed. We're awful sprinters compared to every other animal. We try to run our races as if they were speed races, but they are not. They're endurance races. Even a marathon, the way it's run now, it's not an endurance contest.
Endurance, after all, is the only reason we even exist. We think of ourselves as nature's deadliest animals, but the truth is, a naked human is the biggest wimp in the wild. We have no fangs, no claws, no strength, and no speed.
Anyone can do running. Running should be easy. It should be fun. It should include everyone. It shouldn't be a punishment for eating cheesecake, which is what we've turned it into.
We don't woo our wives with clubs. We don't leave old folks on ice floes. And maybe the time has come to quit diving into rip tides to save people we don't know. We've outgrown a lot of survival-of-the-fittest strategies, and risking our lives for strangers might be one of them.
Even Charles Darwin, that human decoder ring of bizarre behavior, found the idea of saving a stranger's life to be a total head-scratcher.
For nearly 2 million years, our ancestors survived and thrived and spread across the planet because they could run other mammals into heat exhaustion.
We've created an unnatural form of running. It's not just the shoes, but we run on artificial surfaces - straight ahead, hard and steady - instead of speeding up and slowing down, reacting to the terrain with changes of pace and rhythm.
There's this kind of war on running - people keep telling you you'll get hurt, get injured, that you need orthotics, that you need go to a special running store before you try it. There's this totally misconceived notion that it's hard to do, and it's not.
I received the best advice for running I ever heard: 'You're not going to win, so just relax. If it feels like work, you're running too hard.'
We're constantly told that running will ruin our knees and outrage our hearts, but for nearly all of human existence, it was associated with freedom, vitality, and eternal youth.
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Henry David Thoreau
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