Friday, April 8, 2011

Book Review: Born to Run



For many years, "To Kill a Mockingbird" had been my favorite book, like, ever. Late last year, I read a book so freaking-ly unbelievable amazing, it pretty much knocked "Mockingbird" to spot number two.
People, the book is "Born To Run" by Christopher McDougall.

If today was the last day of your life, the last book you should read is this book.
If the civilization were to end tomorrow, you should read the book.
If by tomorrow dusk, all printed matters - newspaper, book, magazine - will cease to exist, you should read this book before it is too late.

(yeah, that was too dramatic)
(but that's how much I love, love, love this book)

It is the kind of book that moved and inspired and amazed you.
It is the kind of book you don't want to end.
It is the kind of book that when it does end, you do not know how to continue on living (eh, over nye).

I don't want to spoil the fun.
You should have the privilege to discover how awesome it is by yourself.

Side effect 1: you will probably have a big urge to put on your running shoes and go for a run after reading this book, even if you never run a kilometer in your life.

Side effect 2: you will probably cry, a few times, while reading this book. Eeheh, I did. But then, maybe because I am a cry-baby.

(Okay, it is not a book review if I don't at least give a short summary and why I love the book.)

The author tracked down the greatest distance runners in the world, members of a reclusive tribe living in the middle of a dangerous canyon in Mexico. The Tarahumara Indians purportedly can run for hundred of miles without rest, and they run barefoot. Like, what?! Gaining their trust, the author then arranged for a race by pitting the primitive athletes against the world best modern long distance-runner. Who will win the race?

The parts I love about the book is not only the engaging narrative of the author’s effort to seek the secret of being a superathlete from the hidden tribe which will thrill the imagination of runners and non-runners alike, or ultimately the epic race between the Tarahumara and a group of modern runners, but introduced in between the narratives are stories of some of the most inspiring athletes and thrilling races that had me jumping with joy and simply becoming amazed with the sheer tenacity of human strength and determination, and intriguing scientific studies on runners, running technique and modern equipment (and why we didn’t really need some of them).

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