BORN TO RUN: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall (is my Boyfriend)


Like so many people that love to read, I also love to sit. And lay down. On my back, stomach, side, and tilty-in-between places. Spoon and be spooned. Beds are my favorite furniture, and couches are my almost-favorite-but-definitely-second-favorite furniture. So it takes some book to hoist me up on my feet. And it REALLY takes some book to compel me to lace up my sneakers and race around the local track until I’m breathing like I was just pulled under by a riptide for two minutes and sweating like I am a character from Oregon Trail and we had to stop the wagon because I have both cholera and diptheria.

Synopsis Gadget, my Gollum-and-the-ring-precious Synopsis Gadget, my Synopsis Gadget that I love as much as Tin Tin loves his human-brained puppy dog and Doctor Who loves his laser screwdriver, Synopsis Gadget, let’s do this thing.

Prompted by a foot injury that gets him thinking about human beings and their physical capabilities, journalist Christopher McDougall sets off to Mexico, traveling through North America’s most inhospitable terrain in search of a legendary tribe of long distance runners who are rumored to be able to race a hundred miles in three days. The thing is, McDougall actually finds this tribe, the Tarahumara. The other thing is, everything he’s heard about them is true. This launches McDougall straight into a journey of most epic proportions, a journey that causes him to ask questions about history and the human body that all leads our author-hero to one nine-point-five-on-the-Richter-Scale-earthshaking-epiphany: What the Tarahumara can do, McDougall can do too. In fact, all of us can.

No, it’s true, our bodies are built to run A HUNDRED MILES AT A TIME. And we’re also built to run if not faster, than longer than antelopes and cheetah and like, basically everything. We’re all superheroes with this science-fiction-sounding superpower. This is the truth. I promise I’m not lying to you. I would never lie to you guys, I like you!

Part really-fun-General-Ed-class-in-college filled with jaunts into history, biology, and human anthropology, part character study that uses every crayon in the 133 Crayola Jumbo Pack to color vivid portraits of the greatest runners in ancient and recent history, and part inspirational sports movie (McDougall ends up competing in a 50 mile run with Tarahumara and some of the top marathoners in the world), BORN TO RUN is the kind of book that fills your head to bursting with the most fascinating anecdotes and provoking ideas and defibrillates the courage lying long dormant in your body with electric paddles charged to 900 volts.

This is the book that got me to start running, a feat that Haruki Murakami’s WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING, much as I liked it, failed to accomplish. This is the book that got me out of my most favorite sedentary positions and up on my feet. I ignored that New York Times article that said sitting down and eating sugar kill you by sticking my fingers and screaming “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?” But I couldn’t ignore this book. I couldn’t ignore its rock-solid content, its high wire execution, and its hard-to-hear-and-imperative-to-listen-to message. We were not born to be Starbucks drinkers and Macbook users. We were born to be runners. So lace up, bitches. Lace. Up.

WHAT KIND OF BOYFRIEND IS HE- The REALLY healthy kind who eats six small meals a day, and one of those meals is a couple handfuls of nuts and another is a bag of supermarket lettuce. He has a standing up desk and he runs twelve miles before you get up in the morning and does ten thousand sit-ups after you are long asleep at night. You join him for runs and it is very embarrassing for you because such short distances make you feel like you are going to die so hard. But you run as much as you can. Not 100 miles. Maybe not even 3. But you do run. And after you guys run, you kiss a bunch. But he makes you kiss while doing sit-ups with your knees facing each other. Hey, it still counts, it’s still kissing!


We run, what did you think we were going to do?

Well, he runs.

I… try my best.



14 Comments on “BORN TO RUN: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall (is my Boyfriend)”

  1. Ellie says:

    I anticipate that my forthcoming date with Born to Run will look EXACTLY LIKE THIS. Only I may perhaps be wearing a different coloured T-shirt. And I can’t touch my toes. Otherwise, EXACTLY.

  2. Rayna says:

    I loved Born to Run, too! I read it a few years ago when it first came out, and I’ve been thinking about rereading it sometime soon. Especially because I need some inspiration to start running… I also enjoy the couch. I’m on one right now!

  3. ssbxvm says:

    Part of my joy of reading this book was looking up the pictures of the people of which McDougall writes. Jurek looks nothing like I expected him too look, Jenn is exactly how I pictured her, and I kind of figured that McDougall would have a head full of flowing hair (don’t ask me why), but he’s almost completely bald, and Barefoot Ted has a website:

  4. socrmom78 says:

    What a hilarious post. I have always wondered how some Olympic athletes can do all the crazy stuff they can do when they are just human like the rest of us! I will have to check this out, but that means I’ll have to get off the couch to go get it. Hmmmm…..

  5. This is my favorite post ever! I can’t wait to read this book. I’m actually married to this book. My husband is legendary at the gym, which is annoying if you are shaped like a donut-hole. Thanks for a review that makes me want to read this book while running on the treadmill…

  6. carol says:

    I really need to read this one. It’s sounds really interesting.

    I’ve been trying to get out there and run, but it’s so hard to get motivated. And now it’s so cold.

  7. Your date pictures gave me the giddy giggles because I’ve been on dates nearly exactly like that.

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