Born to Read This Book

July 8th, 2010 | Posted by Alison Spath in Good Reads

Born to Run This week I finished reading a book that has earned itself the well-deserved honor as my new favorite:

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.

Born to Run is one of those books that has left me feeling sad that it’s over. It’s also one of those books that is going to prevent me from picking up any new book for quite some time here. I am going to need a little time to recover from its awesomeness and allow a little space between now and whatever I pick up to read next. Any new book right now is quite simply going to suck in comparison.

So instead of writing about what this book is, I’m going to write about what it is not.

This is not a book that is going to leave you feeling like running is something you can’t do or might ever truly enjoy.

It is not going to make you throw confetti in the air when you read about the study that says the more expensive your running shoe, the more likely you are to get injured.

It is not going to make you shriek toe curling, joyous laughter when you think back on all the hundreds of dollars you’ve spent on running sneakers over the last five years.

Born to Run is not going to leave you feeling unmotivated, unmoved or believing that running is just for those with lots of natural talent and grace.

This is not a book you are going to look forward to putting down when you’re forced to break up a fight between your children who probably wouldn’t have even been fighting in the first place if you’d been paying attention to them instead of sneaking off to read.

If I might now impress upon you what this book is and has done for me in recent weeks here, I suppose now is the time to do it.

I’ll start by saying that I have found myself appreciating running even more than I already did.

Born to Run has left me feeling inspired to get out there and improve my form, to work on running lighter, longer and easier.

I have now found myself looking forward to and embracing the fatigue that rears it’s head during a hard work out.

I have started to involuntarily cradle my chin in the space between my pointer finger and thumb as I stare off thoughtfully and ponder the idea that the way to conquer something is to love it.

I am also enjoying the challenge of trying to balance attempts at sneaking in some barefoot runs along side long runs… long runs that at this point my barefoot career require shoes. Yes, those same long runs that I had initially planned to skip this summer! A plan I was forced to abandon when I realized Born to Run had other motivational plans for me.

The concepts found among these 282 pages not only have me paying closer to attention to my own running form, but the form of other runners too. I look on with new eyes as I notice what my fellow runners are out there doing. I find myself resisting the urge to holler out “Dude! Shorten your stride!” or “Girlfriend! Bend your knees! Stand up straight!” or “Way to rock out old man! Nice pace! You’re doing something right!” or “Oooo girl I am loving those shorts but hey, stop landing on your heel!”

Woven between a great story are smaller stories and tidbits about well known and lesser known athletes, amazing coaches, scientists and researches. It was an entertaining and funny read. It had me nodding my head in agreement, scooping my jaw up off the floor in disbelief, laughing out loud and snorting grapefruit seltzer out my nose.

In short, it’s easy to say that Born to Run has most definitely had a positive impact on my running life and a book I would recommend to runners and non-runners alike. It has unfortunately has put a damper on my reading life for a next couple of weeks here, but no big deal – I’ve got some running to do anyway.

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8 Responses

  • Sara says:

    Excellent write up! I, too, loved, loved, loved this book! Keep up updated on your barefoot attempts!

  • Shari B. says:

    I too was inspired by the book – but I think I had a harder time getting through it than you did (I listened on audio though, maybe that was the difference.) I’ve been “barefoot” running since late January (in my Vibram 5Fingers anyway) and I LOVE it. So glad you are loving barefoot too! I just did a nice 5 miler this morning and I love how my knees don’t hurt anymore like they did in my $100 Shox! :)

    • Alison says:

      Shari I am *this close* to getting a pair of Vibrams! Are you running exclusively in Vibrams now? That’s what I hope to do! My toes have been really hurting in my sneakers on my long runs lately, but going completely barefoot for longer than 2 miles makes the soles of my feet sore for days… I need more time to get my feet ready for hard core bare feet. Vibrams seem like the perfect solution. We’ll see!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Now I have to go out and get this book to read! Sounds like I won’t be disappointed.

  • I loved the book too. Lots of great insights and things to think about. Also so so motivating!

  • Cindy says:

    and now I think I know what new book (along with a couple others) I am going to kindle next. I haven’t had a good read in a while and I think it’s time…just need to put the yarn down!

    good for you Ali!!!!