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Because the search is the search

By June 21, 2010How To, News

I just finished one of the best books I’ve ever laid hands, eyes and brain on: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (Amazon affiliate link). Yes, it’s about running. But it’s also about people and writing your own story and pushing yourself farther than you ever thought possible and the human body and history and culture and the world and…shall I go on?

So, as far as I’m concerned, I don’t think you need to be a runner, or even an athlete, to be impacted by this book. In fact, you could just be a writer or a designer or an artist or a lawyer or an architect or a human. I’m just sayin’.

Why? Because this book is about endurance running—and how it is that human’s are able to do it. How we’re able to run 100 mile races across deserts, unfathomable distances under unfathomable conditions.

And can you honestly tell me that you haven’t covered these distances in your own way, with your own unfathomable conditions? Maybe you had to write a 100 page website in two weeks and your internet kept going down and you had strep throat and then your computer crashed and you lost everything. Maybe you had 20 paintings due in 6 weeks and there was a canvas drought. Maybe you were about to represent the defense in the trial of a lifetime but your key witness suffered from laryngitis and illiteracy. Hell, we could play this game all day.

Born to Run is about the search for the ultimate run. So McDougall breaks running down and tracks it back to the beginning of human and animal-kind. Technique, energy, sustenance, equipment, support, heroes. Just like the best books on any topic—this one just happens to have legs.

McDougall wrote his book to find the answer to one question: How come my foot hurts? Finding the answer took him on the wildest of odysseys.  And, for all of you writers and readers, he is a phenomenal writer. PHENOMENAL. I felt like I was sitting in his living room while he told me his story. Nah, that’s not right—I felt like I was sitting in his lap.

He finds answers…to more than just his original question. But isn’t that just the way?

What’s your question?

  • How come I can’t write?
  • How come I procrastinate?
  • How come no one will hire me?
  • How come no one reads my blog?
  • How come…
  • How come…
  • How come…

And how many answers to your frustrated questions have you found so far? You’re ready, but something is holding you back—WHY? And what if you (or I) also wrote an opus that searched back through time to explore the techniques, energy, sustenance, equipment, support, heroes that could teach us what we need know to move thrivingly forward? To run as though our feet were barely touching the earth and our fingers were barely touching our keyboards…

What if?

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Marcella says:

    I read this book a couple of months ago and was just as blown away. The message was great, but the characters were amazing, too! Favorite character: Caballo Blanco, of course!

    Despite being a mild runner (5 miles at a time, but no more than that), I did enjoy the book on other levels as well. One of the main messages I got from the book was: who says I CAN’T do something? Over the course of the book, he learns so much and trains so hard, that he ends up achieving what he never thought possible. Just goes to show – it will take an insane amount of work, sweat, tears, pain, successes and failures, but it’ll happen if you just keep on chuggin’.

  • My boyfriend received this book for Christmas last year, then I got to read it. Now it’s making the rounds with friends and family. Great storytelling, diverse “characters”, and research that’s interesting to runners and anyone striving to answer those questions you mentioned. Thanks for this review – I especially enjoy your posts that tie the culture of running into other areas of life!

  • PicsieChick says:

    It’s obvious how much you love this book and the seeking it brings to you. I love that you found that, and that you can so easiy convey its meaning to us. Thank you!

    Hugs and butterflies,

  • Terry says:

    Thanks for the book tip I added it to my Amazon cart. Also enjoyed the Donald Miller book you recommended a while back.

  • bencurnett says:

    It’s all about storytelling, right? This has been on my list for a while, guess I need to commit to reading it.

    I need to commit to answering that question, too. Mine is, “How come I can’t get back in shape?” I look back at pictures of, jeez, even 5 or 6 years ago, and I was pretty healthy. The truth is that, since I became a web writer, I don’t eat right or exercise regularly.

    But the answer is bigger than that. I need an odyssey of my own to find the story in it.

    And the real question is: are you running barefoot yet, Julie?

    Thanks for the post.

  • Who could resist buying that book after reading that review? Not me. I’m off to the bookstore today!

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