My passion for triathlon comes out whenever I talk about the sport. Triathlon provides a balance to my life, an outlet for my competitive nature, a bond with like-minded athletes, etc. After reading, “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall, my love of the sport doesn’t hold a candle compared to the love portrayed by the athletes highlighted in this book.
The reviews about the book are definitely mixed and I won’t even pretend to be qualified to offer my analysis. Basically, don’t read the book if you are easily annoyed with excessive use of hyperboles or if you are looking for read insight into the culture of the Tarahumaram, a Mexican tribe living in the Copper Canyons. McDougall tells inspiring and interesting stories about various ultra runners and the Tarahumara with their incredible ability to run long distances. Reading this book had me lacing up my shoes and in search of the nearest trail to run.
The characters’ love of running had me realizing I might not love, in the purest sense of the word, triathlon as much as I previously thought. There are days where I have to drag my butt out the door to get in even an hour on the bike. Running is only enjoyable when I’m in shape and have speed in my legs. It’s almost as if I love what triathlon does for my life more than the actual act of swimming, biking, and running. This isn’t good or bad…just a realization. Quotes from the book float through my mind during recent runs and I try to concentrate on the act of running rather than the usual streaming thoughts about life and its various issues to be solved.
The runners in McDougall’s book seem to get lost in the act of running rather than suffering through 6 or 8 miles like I do. My life was often so busy that I couldn’t afford the time to get lost in the act of anything. My days would get scheduled down to 15 minute intervals and workouts got crammed into one or two hour blocks of time in between errands, class, clinicals, etc. My mind spins even thinking of the days when I’ll have to be accountable for a family too.
For the moment, my life is different and I have the ability to get lost in the things I love doing. I think it’s time to have a love affair with triathlon. Maybe if my mind focuses enough on the ground beneath my feet or the water being pushed by my hands, I’ll fall wildly in love with the sport. Maybe not. We’ll just have to see.