The first time I started reading Born To Run by Christopher McDougall, I stopped about 10 pages in. It was about some crazy tribe in the middle of nowhere, running like wild animals, and the author was in search of a seemingly ghost-like white man living among them, referred to only as Caballo Blanco or ‘white horse.’ Um, what does this have to do with running as I know it? A hell of a lot more then I thought.

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Fast forward to the FitBloggin‘ conference this past June, and the one-on-one meeting I had with Health Warrior. You know, the people who brought you those tasty super foods known as Chia Bars? Why did they have a copy stacks of Born To Run on their display table? Oh, I have to just laugh at how little I knew!

First off, the founders of Health Warrior all read Born To Run and are obviously way more intelligent then I am, since it basically changed their lives.  Shane (the Health Warrior CEO I met with & guy on the left in the picture above) is a lawyer and when he read the book, he made his two buddies read it as well.

They had the brilliant idea to start selling chia seeds, since that’s what these Tarahumara Indians (pronouced Tara-oo-mara) eat and then run for like a week though treacherous canyons, steep cliff climbs and over razor-sharp rocks. Seriously. I guess they figured if these super humans could run for days at a time, subsisting on only crude corn alcohol and chia, then imagine what it could do for an otherwise well-fed American looking to run their first marathon?  I’m also wondering why they went with the chia and not the alcohol?  Anyway…

The part of the book that truly resonated with me was about Coach Joe Vigil, and his slow discovery of why the Tarahumara could run so well and for so long. Was there a secret? The short answer is YES and it lies in the love of running, moving, having purpose through the act of putting one foot in front of the other, and not running for prize money and shoe deals:

BornToRun

That was so eye-opening to me! Yes, that’s exactly why so many people hate running. How many times have I said to someone “I’m a runner” only to have them roll their eyes and reply “Oh my God, I hate running!” Of course you do, if you’re out there because you feel like you have to run a certain race or you have to lose x number of pounds or you have to do blah, blah, blah – basically everything except being out there because it’s fun and you enjoy it. I know people think that’s crazy – to enjoy running – but if you don’t, maybe you shouldn’t do it. What’s the point?

This became very real to me recently. I’ve never in my life not loved running. Of course I’ve had horrible runs and races, but overall, running has meant so much to me, and I truly enjoy doing it. However, because of my sponsorship with Oiselle (which I’m over the moon about!) I had to end a relationship with a local sponsor. I absolutely didn’t want to, but my hand was forced. I would be lying if I said this didn’t send me into a tailspin and made me, for the first time ever, think about running as a business. The split left a bad taste in my mouth, and had me reeling over how naive I have been about racing.  For days, and for the first time in my life, I felt something other then love for running.  Until something dawned on me.

I run for me. I may have a sponsor on my chest (one that I love!), but I’m out there on a Wednesday at 9:30am in 85 degree heat with 54% humidity, running tempo splits with a goofy smile on my face because I love it. I run because that’s what I do, and it’s part of who I am, and no one can take that away.

I've got nothin' but love for you running!

That is an expression of pure joy!

 

And then I had a Coconut Chia Bar and got back to reading more about the love of running and the Tarahumara, and you should too!

WIN a free copy of Born To Run from the Health Warriors themselves, and take 15% OFF your next Chia Bar order with coupon code: FITBLOG15

To enter to win the book, tell me why you love running OR why you love Health Warrior Chia Bars, and what your favorite flavor is!  If they don’t have your favorite – now’s your chance to ask for it.

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