Book Review: Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall

I loved this book! Read it, be inspired by it, and find the love for running that hides in all of us in it. Christopher McDougall’s writing was amazing. It was a mixture of a personal journey, biography to other runners, the science of running, and argumentation why we humans are running people who have forgotten the art of running because of the padding in our shoes. Shoes that causes injuries and restricts the feeling you get from running.

Every time I opened the book I wanted to take my FiveFingers and surge out of the door and feel the wind in my hair and the joy of a light step. But then I remembered it was night and was heading to bed and that I had the injuries that forced me to stop running.

While I read the book, the reason for my injuries dawned on me. When I first got my FiveFingers, I had run already years, and I thought I could run the same amount. I didn’t let my feet to get used to the lighter padding. So, I had my first injury at the end of that summer. I abandoned the FiveFingers and began to swim. The ball of my right foot got injured. I couldn’t put any weight on it without having sharp pain. The doctor said the bones at the ball of my foot are pushed down when they should go up. Thus the impact of running will inflame the area again and again. Too much too soon. (Now I want to take them out and rekindle my love. After the winter has passed, I will start barefoot running.)

I took up running again this summer, and my knee went bust while running with my padded shoes. Too much too soon. I had to stop. It felt awful as the feeling you get when running is a feeling like no other. But after reading the book, I understood what was my problem besides the too-much-too-soon-attitude. I put too much pressure on the ball of my feet and not to the whole front. Of course, there will be a harsh impact. What I did wrong came clear when Christopher McDougall described how Tarahumaras ran.

Born to Run kindled the burn to run in me. The race through the Mexican desert was so well written, that I was there with the writer and the others (the Deer, the Monkey, the Young Wolf, the Hawk, the Bruja…) The book was like that in every turn. I was there along with the writer discovering we humans are made for running; that running separates us from other animals; that we can tire a deer just by running it down; that is in us. Our skin and feet are why we survived although so many animals can outrun us.

If there is something to take from the book except that Tarahumaras are amazing people and we are born to run, is that let’s abandon padded shoes which are destroying us and get acquainted with our own feet. They are enough to carry us.

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