I know I’m not the only person who HATES seeing those toe shoes in “real life.” I like going barefoot as much as the next gal, and I wear sandals, flops, or go barefoot whenever possible. There seems to be something wrong with the idea of these things, though. It’s like a hat that has an individual space for every piece of hair. It’s just WEIRD.

Now, that’s not to say that I can’t appreciate the feel of them. And I’ve been hearing/reading an awful lot about their benefit to runners and such etc. And I believe that.

But I don’t like it when people wear these to WalMart. I just want to be clear.

I mention this because I just finished reading a book called Born to Run, which was INSANELY interesting. It’s written by a journalist and the basic thread of the story is his journey to track down one of the “running” tribes – the Tamahuara – who live in the Sierra Madres.

But the book goes all OVER the place. Some chapters deal with biology, some are anthropology, some are historical accounts, there’s a lot of discussion about community and what makes people tic.

So interesting. I’m not being sarcastic. I was fascinated. It was like finding a really good magazine article and then getting to read new articles on the same basic subject for a few weeks. It never got old; there was always a new slant to keep me interested.

For instance, were you aware that one theory of human evolution (recently developed) argues that the thing that set Homo sapiens (us) apart from Neanderthal (the ones who failed) was not our intelligence or strength or anything like that? Neanderthals were actually stronger, faster, and smarter than us.

What set us apart was our ability for endurance running. Apparently we are the most efficient running machines on the planet. We’re not the fastest or most powerful, but we can go for the longest.

Know how long it takes a human to “persistence hunt” an animal? (That’s chasing it until it drops from exhaustion.) It takes 3-5 hours – most prey animals can’t run any longer than that. Know what other kind of run is that long? Marathons.

Also, there was a lot of discussion about the running FORM, which has undergone a major shift since the advent of the “jogger” sneaker in the 70s. People get injuries all the time. If you run, you are guaranteed to be injured.

So there’s been this move to go back to a more natural form – to run because we’re awesome at running. And that’s kind of what the book’s “moral” is.

Anyways, it reminded me of these shoes. But I don’t hate them quite as much now. I may not wear them to WalMart, but I am kind of tempted to go out for a little jog…

Moral of this post: Aside from being one of Bruce’s best ever songs, Born to Run is now a must-read book.

Born to Run
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