Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall is an incredible read about changing lifestyle, tradition, understanding (and misunderstanding), among many other enchanting and surprising facts of life. As Netwalkers, I think we all have a slightly more elevated understanding of the benefits that come with getting outside and just walking (or running, skipping, etc.). As a multi-sport athlete, I was always under the impression that the human body is capable of so much more than we think possible. However, I was also prone to many injuries during my time through nine Lacrosse seasons, a lifetime of equestrian show jumping, and a short-lived cross country career. I was in and out of physical therapy and, at my worst, diagnosed with posterior tibial tendonitis. I was surprised to learn while reading McDougall’s book that I was not alone in my injuries. At least 50% of all runners get injured every year. This is no joke of a statistic, and many other sources cite this statistic as much higher. I won’t spoil the book for you, because it is seriously an intriguing and revolutionary read for runners and walkers alike. One of the most interesting findings for me as a reader of this book was McDougall’s investigation of the modern running shoe and how it does little good for your feet. In essence, the human body was created with the intention that it be running on the ground without shoes – shocking, I know. But when McDougall discussed the reasons why it made perfect sense.
Humans are, for a variety of reasons, some of the most incredible species on earth, and it is not only because of our status as sentient beings but also because of the way we are built. Another impressive finding unbeknownst to me that I learned from McDougall’s book was that humans might be considered the greatest predators on earth. While you might be thinking, well, that’s easy when you have access to guns, traps, and other weapons that put us at an unfair disadvantage, McDougall was actually speaking in the hunter/gatherer sense. He argues that even before humans had firepower, our ability to run for extreme distances without collapsing of exhaustion is what made it possible for us to track and run down prey that relies on other ways of cooling down (panting, sweating, etc.). A human being’s essence was its ability to run and use our bodies in ways that we simply do not anymore. Now, I am not arguing that humans should start running down their prey now, but I think being aware of the capabilities our bodies possess and understanding our evolution is key to maximizing our mental and physical potential today. All in all, McDougall presents what I thought was a pretty convincing argument for humans to get back to their primal roots and understand the capabilities we possess. Happy reading and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the book!
About the Author:
Meet Sarah: Sarah is a Senior at Georgetown University majoring in Science, Technology, and International Affairs with a concentration in Energy and Environment. She has a minor in Spanish and is also fluent. Sarah has a demonstrated interest and passion for the energy consulting sector, as well as other modern start-up ventures and lifestyle companies supported by experience in consumer marketing, content creation, and social media as it relates to growing engagement. She currently resides in Napa, California until she goes back to Georgetown in the Fall.