In our contemporary world, running is regularly associated with fear, pain, injuries and often perceived as an activity we HAVE TO do mainly to burn calories and stay fit. It is not so common to find people who CHOOSE TO run to find joy, freedom, peace of mind, harmony in the process.
In 2009, Christopher McDougall initiated a change in this perception of running with his bestselling book Born to Run .
In a few words, Christopher shared some key facts, backed by eminent scientists (like Daniel Lieberman, a paleontologist at Harvard University who chair the department of human evolutionary biology), to demonstrate high evidences that human specie has survived and evolved from 2 millions years ago to today not because of strength or speed or any other skill than the ability of running extremely long distances. Moreover, humans had developed a strong “collaborative and compassionate” mindset as their chances of survival directly depended of hunting in group.
Today, we can still observe a “living proof” that this theory of evolution is highly realistic with the Tarahumara community. The Tarahumaras are a tribe of Indians hidden in Mexico, Copper Canyon. They have never been exposed to our modern world and our practices and they have an unchanged lifestyle for more than 400 years. Christopher emphasizes that Tarahumaras are remarkable for 3 things:
They are not violent and they don’t fight. They never entered in any conflict with the conquistadors. They hid in the Copper Canyon where they still live today.
They are running mega-marathons not marathons. The act of running is part of their daily life and they do it with a sense of freedom and joy a smile printed on their face.
They are free from our modern diseases such as cancer, auto-immune diseases, cholesterol, clinical depression, etc… (See Our Modern World Challenges)