Ever since learning about the sport of ultra endurance races such as ultramarthons and ironmans among others, I’ve become slightly obsessed, and convinced that running and pushing your physical limits is the only real way to live. I think Dean Karnazes, a famous ultrarunner, says it best when he says: “People think I’m crazy to put myself through such torture, though I would argue otherwise. Somewhere along the line we seem to have confused comfort with happiness. Dostoyevsky had it right: ‘Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness.’ Never are my senses more engaged than when the pain sets in. There is a magic in misery. Just ask any runner.”
This fall I read the book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall and then watched his ted talk:
After reading the book I called my parents and professed that I wanted to drop out of school to live in the mountains and run (needless to say they quickly told me this was not a good idea).
I was so excited, my sneaking suspicion that running was a way of life finally had scientific backing. In fact, it’s hypothesized that running is actually what we are designed to do (I think we talked about this the first day of class), and a lot of the reasoning is in the link above. We are built to be endurance athletes. We used to literally be able to run animals to death just by outlasting them.
The science behind exercise and nutrition has always been an extremely interesting topic for me, and I love reading articles about new findings, but for the first time I found something that explained all the big key points: why we’re so slow compared to other animals, why we can outrun a horse in a distance race but can’t even compare over shorter distances, why we stand on two legs while almost every other animal walks on four, and countless other things.
Even though we are “born to run,” there are still some people who take this natural ability to the next level. Here’s an incredibly motivating video of one of those people, David Goggins, a Navy Seal, Ultrarunner and incredible athlete: