Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My World Has Been Turned Upside Down

My World Has Been Turned Upside Down

I listened to author Christopher McDougal live as he promoted his new book “Born to Run.”  I think I’ll remember back to that day because it is changing my life with respect to running.  I’m rejecting all the mainstream running sources (doctors, magazines, etc.).  My heel and Achilles really hurt and Christopher talked about how his feel hurt until we started studying the running styles of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyon who commonly run 100+ miles and do so well into their 90’s. 

This begs the questions, “Why are runners so regularly injured in the U.S. with all out technology?” when the Tarahumara run in homemade sandals or barefoot with very few, if any, injuries during their entire lifetime.  We have all these fancy shoes, doctors, and methods yet, every year 8 out of 10 runners get injured.  It got me thinking with one simple statement I’ve heard from many minimalist runners:  We should run like we walk.  Ok, that makes sense.  But, we walk on our midfoot to toes and many of us run on our heels, hence, we aren’t doing that.  In fact, I’ve been told, heel to toes is a fine running method.  Well, it’s crap!!!!!!!!!!!  Total Lie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

The human body was build to run naturally; just like we walk barefoot.  But, of course, this would be devastating if the general public starting doing this; what the heck would shoe manufacturers do?  They need us to buy their $150 shoes.  Get this, they are many folks that run in minimalist or barefoot type shoes and put 1,500 miles on them as opposed to say, me who replaces running shoes every 300 miles.

If you run like you walk, then you strengthen your calf’s, Achilles, and, guess what, your knees feel better because you body is totally aligned.  All these crazy new shoes teach us to run with bad form and then, once injured, they doctors always have a new insert, new approach, whatever; but it generally doesn’t work and it costs a lot of money.

Bottom line, we know very little about the human body even with all our technology.  I defer to the Indigenous peoples of the world who have been running for thousands of years without our technology; living longer than us; living healthier than us; and doing so without all the pains and injuries we suffer.

At this point, I have to reject all widely accepted running sources.  That includes Runner’s World, all the shoe manufacturers and especially Nike.  I’m going back to ground zero and learn how to run correctly.  Yes, there is a right way and wrong way to run and yes, the shoes we’ve developed support the “wrong” way to run.

My venture starts today and I’ll keep you posted as I learn the Right Way To Run.



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