favourite passages from born to run [christopher mcdougall].

as i mentioned in my review of born to run, the book had me in an underlining frenzy. below you will find all the passages that i found most interesting:

there’s something so universal about that sensation, the way running unites our two most primal impulses: fear and pleasure. we run when we’re scared, we run when we’re ecstatic, we run away from our problems and run around for a good time [11].

was it a coincidence that the world’s most enlightened people were also the world’s most amazing runners? [17]

even today, when the internet has shrunk the world into a global village and google satellites let you spy on a stranger’s backyard on the other side of the country, the traditional tarahumara remain as ghostly as they were four hundred years ago [20].

the tarahumara can’t be seen unless they want to be [20].

‘they stand out today as an interesting relic of a time long gone by; as a representative of one of the most important stages in the development of the human race; as one of those wonderful primitive tribes that were the founders and makers of the history of mankind’ [38].

the playing field levels the playing field, so everyone is challenged and no one is left out [42].

you live up to your own expectations, man [50].

‘we’ve got a motto here — you’re tougher than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can’ [61].

we were born to run; we were born because we run. we’re all running people, as the tarahumara have always known [93].

‘sometimes,’ she said, ‘it takes a woman to bring out the best in a man’ [104].

‘suffering is humbling. it pays to know how to get your butt kicked’ [110].

‘don’t fight the trail,’ caballo called back over his shoulder. ‘take what it gives you. if you have a choice between one step or two between rocks, take three’ [111].

‘lesson two,’ caballo called. ‘think easy, light, smooth, and fast‘ [111].

‘when you run on the earth and run with the earth, you can run forever’ [114].

after winning a hundred-mile race, scott would be desperate for a hot shower and cool sheets. but instead of leaving, he’d wrap himself in a sleeping bag and stand vigil by the finish line. when day broke the next morning, scott would still be there, cheering hoarsely, letting that last, persistent runner know he wasn’t alone [125].

the heroes of the past are untouchable, protected forever by the fortress door of time… [131].

‘if there’s any magic bullet to make human beings healthy, it’s to run’ [168].

‘the barefoot walker receives a continuous stream of information about the ground and about his own relationship to it,’ dr brand has said, ‘while a shod foot sleeps inside an unchanging environment’ [177].

‘every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and turns into a racket’ [182].

‘you support an area, it gets weaker. use it extensively, it gets stronger … run barefoot and you don’t have all those troubles’ [182].

before the tarahumara run long, they get strong [212].

if you don’t have answers to your problems after a four-hour run, you ain’t getting them [213].

when it comes to mentors, you can’t beat survival… [235].

running was the superpower that made us human — which means it’s a superpower all humans possess [239].

‘so simple,’ he said. ‘just move your legs. because if you don’t think you were born to run, you’re not only denying history. you’re denying who you are’ [244].

por sangre, no. por corazon, si,’ caballo replied. not the same blood, but the same heart [248].

the reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other, he understood, but to be with each other [253].

‘but one thing about crazy people — they see things other people don’t’ [256].

‘ultras are just eating and drinking contests, with a little exercise and scenery thrown in’ [286].

‘i don’t want anyone to do anything except come run, party, dance, eat, and hang with us. running isn’t about making people buy stuff. running should be free, man’ [287].

i told you there were a lot 🙂 which is your favourite?


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