So it just struck me tonight how close I’m getting to the end of my 30 Good Things Before 30 challenge!
It also struck me how amiss I’ve been to not include any books so far!
It’s a great disservice to my roots. I come from a family of voracious readers. For pretty much my entire life, the go-to gift for every one of us on every occasion was a book. (Birthday next month? Get a book. Christmas? Pick up a couple of books. Mother’s Day? Jodi Picoult book!)
Lately though, I’ve been slacking on the reading front. My daily blogging means I’m spending more time online. Tack on my marathon training miles and that means I’m also spending way more nights tumbling into bed exhausted, eyelids too heavy to get through a couple of pages.
If we’re being totally honest, I just haven’t made reading a priority.
So while I work on tracking down a copy of The Girl on the Train, let me use one of my few remaining days of this challenge to correct my oversight and present #28 on my list of 30 Good Things Before 30.
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
If you’re a runner and you like to read and you haven’t yet read Born to Run, stop what you’re doing immediately and fix that!
Technically, the book is an ethnography, which focuses on the reclusive Tarahumara tribe. Reading it though is like spending a few hours at a pub with a group of rowdy ultramarthoners intent on regaling you with their adventures.
The book came out in 2009 and was kind of a game-changer for the running world. Specifically, it’s credited with playing a significant role in launching the minimalist shoe movement. Author Christopher McDougall focuses on the Tarahumara’s ability to run extreme distances in flimsy sandals without any of the injuries that plague the rest of us typical runners.
I know it’s falling out of fashion but I’m a supporter of the minimalist shoe movement. It’s not for everyone, but it works for me so I find the theory McDougall talks about really interesting.
But even if you’re not all that interested in the technical aspects and think miminalist shoes are a crock, Born to Run is still worth reading just for the cast of characters it brings together.
For me, it was totally eye-opening. I always thought of ultramarthoners as disciplined, serious athletes. Some of them are. Some of them are like Jenn Shelton — a little wild, a little crazy, a little bit apt to drink like a teamster while preparing for a 50-mile race in Mexico’s Copper Canyons and end up lost, hungover, and hydrating from a mud puddle.
True story. You can read about it in Born to Run.
What are you reading? Anything good? Recommendations welcome in the comments!
How do you feel about minimalist shoes?