According to the famous words of legendary long-distance runner Micah “Caballo Blanco,” in order to be a successful runner one must “Think easy, light, smooth, and fast. You start with easy, because if that’s all you get, that’s not so bad.” Running has become an obsession for many because it is the most naturally liberating activity since the existence of man.
It is, in fact, what has kept our species thriving. We literally ran our way up the food chain. An animal’s ability to run is based solely on its desire to survive. Somewhere in the vast regions of the Savannas an antelope wakes up every morning knowing that it has to run faster than a lion or else it will get eaten, and everyday a lion wakes up knowing that it has to run faster than the antelope or else it will starve.
I run in order to clear my mind, to feel the fresh sunlight in a Sunday morning, soak in the infamous Daly City fog, and most of all I run because it’s the one thing I know how to do best.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a weekend jogger, running is such a euphoric experience because it puts you up against yourself. It teaches you self-discipline, selflessness, and shows you your body’s full potential.
If you have two legs and two feet, you are already equipped with the most advanced and state-of-the-art technology that can help you become a great runner. I say “help” because I’ve seen double-amputee Oscar Pistorius win his first qualifying Olympic 400 meter race during the London Olympics. Just goes to show that all you need in order to be a runner is a whole lot of guts.
Ask anyone who’s ever put on some running shoes and took on a steep trail or the sidewalks of any city to run a marathon and ask who they’re running against and they’ll mostly say the same thing; themselves.
The greatest thing about running is that regardless of your level of physical fitness you can still do it.People who are training for marathons are no different from people who aren’t, except that they wake up in the morning with sore muscles that they didn’t even know they had and can fit the words “10 miles” and “easy run” in the same breath without flinching.
When you run your mind takes over beyond its normal self. It goes on overdrive and it allows you to do things that you didn’t know you were capable of; or maybe things you forgot you were capable of.
The Tarahumara, a Native-American tribe living in the Copper Canyons near the border of the US and Mexico have never experienced any major diseases that run rampant in the Western world. Diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure are virtually unknown to the Tarahumara. Their secret? A diet high in carbohydrates. And lots of running.
Tarahumaran children play a game called Rarajipari, which is essentially a game of kickball played through a field spanning as long as 60 miles. Tarahumaran adults enjoy a quick 100 mile ultra-marathon with friends through highly dangerous terrains with neighboring tribesmen in order to show comradeship and promote peace.
Tarahumarans as old as 80 years old are still able to run like the wind simply because no one ever told them that they couldn’t. Running is their way of life, and it was ours too. Back in the primitive era, Homo Sapiens traveled in packs. They hunted, they attacked, and they carried their poor victim home. They didn’t carpool either. Their main mode of transportation were their two feet fueled by sheer determination.
Both the Tarahumarans and the primitive Homo Sapiens have more than their natural ability of running in common, they have the truest sense of camaraderie. Not only do they run together, they also hold each other accountable for survival. This type of running brotherhood is not lost in time. We often see marathon runners cheer on their competition in order for them to make it to the finish line. In ultra-marathon running there are people called “Pacers” whose job is to help an athlete finish the race by simply running alongside of them. It is a misconception that runners live an individualistic culture, that they don’t know what team work is. In reality, no one cheers louder than those running next to you.
TSV Staff Writer