It was my husband who got me on the book three years ago. He couldn’t help read aloud sections to me. It wasn’t only about the running (the word alone bored and deterred me). He said there was all this stuff about natural health, with mention of the chia seeds I prepared for the family.
P.E. was my least favorite class when I was growing up and I never could walk long, let alone run, for the flat feet. Not an athletic bone in this body — and I couldn’t put the book down. Holistic Husband’s way of putting it: “Makes you want to go out and run.” The various stories of the runners – their persistence to an impossible goal, the freedom they discovered in the laboring – inspired me to get back on my feet. Two miles is nothing to most people, but learning how to run efficiently helped me pull off this miracle for starters. I also gained a vision for the heights of activeness we could encourage our son toward – not that he has to run ultras.
Some beautiful occasions in the book:
~ The writer stumbles on the Tarahumara of Mexico, an ancient tribe renowned for their long-distance running and longevity. What moved me is how the Indians run not to win races but for the unmoderated fun and joy of it. They are all there, in the moment. A reminder of how to live.
~ For the first time in history, a motley crew of American and Indian runners gather at table on Tarahumara ground the eve of an epic race. It is the penultimate scene before the climactic end to the story. You feel the magic of the camaraderie, how simple and profound their fellowship and kindness toward one another on the cusp of their fierce inaugural competition.
~ The two chief contenders from opposite sides of the border, Scott and Arnulfo, find that they run exactly the same. On a practice sprint, they parallel up a rocky trail. Twin happy, powerful strides conjoin from two different eras.
I wasn’t crazy about the style in the starting chapters – a bit fragmented. But finishing the nail-biter of a race and closing the book, I wanted more.