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Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

I reread this book every few years before a big race. This book inspires me to run further,

“easier, lighter, smoother, and faster”, barefoot, and with more joy and caring for others. Born to Run is McDougall’s story of the running tribe, the Tarahumara, of Mexico and the inaugural Copper Canyon Endurance Race.

I had a hard time pruning my favourite quotes down to 10, so I cheated and listed 12. Here they are:

  • “Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up and it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up and knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle - when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” - Roger Bannister

  • “You live up to your own expectations.”

  • “Make friends with pain, and you will never be alone.” “I love the Beast.” “I actually look forward to the Beast showing up, because every time he does, I handle him better.”

  • “Let us live so that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry.” - Mark Twain

  • “Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction.” - William James

  • “Eat as though you were a poor person.”

  • “They were expected to accomplish nothing, so they could try anything. Audacity beckoned.”

  • “Muhammad Ali in the ring: loose as wave-washed seaweed, with just a hint of ferocity ready to explode”

  • “Athletes are Tarzans. Tarzan swims and wrestles and jumps and swings on vines. He’s strong and explosive. You never know what Tarzan will do next, which is why he never gets hurt.”

  • “If you can run six miles on a summer day then you, my friend, are a lethal weapon in the animal kingdom.”

  • “Humans have a mind-body conflict: we have a body built for performance, but a brain that’s always looking for efficiency [aka energy conservation]. You’ve got this fancy machine, and its run by a pilot who’s thinking, ‘Okay, how can I run this baby without using any fuel.’”

  • “The joy he got from running was the joy of adding his power to the pack.” “it’s easy to get outside yourself when you’re thinking of someone else.”

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