Run and hide

We are told that fighters are the heroes, that we need to confront the conflicts rather than run away from them. Christopher McDougall tells a different story about the Tarahumara people of Mexico in his Book “Born to Run” 2009. These people live, talk and play games still like their ancestors, the Aztecs of the north of Mexico valley desert region, not because they went into a fighting mode when the Spanish ships arrived in the new world, but because they ran away and hid themselves in caves at the stone walls of the Copper Valley (Chihuahua province).

McDougall describes timid but tough people which astonishingly for him as a westerner (or better northerner) could run for miles without seemingly getting tired. The Tarahumara people or Rarámuri as they are called in their language and means ‘the light-footed one’ or ‘those who run fast’ would run for 250 km and not on super fancy Nikes but in their traditional sandals. And on some holly days the Rarámuri would organise a multi day race where everybody of the tripe would take place. Started out with a special meal consisting of maiz and beans the race consists of several days of running marathon after marathon and that not enough, they would kick a wooden ball between each other while running.

McDougall describes their running technique of stepping on to the ground with their forefoot, while almost barefoot as a possible reason for a healthy running technique without our normal injuries, very adapt to the human body other than the invention of the waffle cushioning of our modern day sports shoes. He mentions Daniel Lieberman, a biologist, researcher and runner too, who describes African tribes people who like the Rarámuri go on persistence hunts for dear “chasing an animal for hours until it overheated”

So maybe we should consider running away, running barefoot on little cushioning and hunting without bow and arrow (or without a shopping cart), but ‘sweating’ our prey down for dinner the default human condition.