Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall: You live up to your own expectations

I just finished reading the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, a gift from a friend of mine.  This was an awesome book that now makes my favorites list!  I highly recommend it.  From the title, I figured this book would only appeal to runners, people who could directly relate to the content; as I've stated many times before, I sort of (really) detest running.  Within the first couple chapters, however, I was completely enraptured by the writing style and mystery of the Tarahumara tribe.  I realized that this was a book not just for people who can relate to running, but for anyone who can relate to life (which is... everyone).  

For those who haven't heard of this best-seller before, it's about an ancient, mysterious Indian tribe in Mexico known for their ultra-running.  It is part self-help book, part mystery novel, part biomechanics text book, and part adventure-- all my favorite genres combined into one masterpiece.  The author engages the reader from the beginning, and I found myself not wanting to put the book down (a nice change from the books I've been reading lately!).  The writing was so flawless that I actually felt like I (yes, even me!) could become someone who enjoys running.  

There were a few things that stood out to me while reading this book, and one was this passage:  
"And if I really wanted to understand the Raramuri, I should have been there when this ninety-five-year-old man came hiking twenty-five miles over the mountain.  Know why he could do it?  Because no one ever told him he couldn't.  No one ever told him he oughta be off dying somewhere in an old age home.  You live up to your own expectations, man."  Born to Run p. 50
I wonder how many of our aspirations are put on hold because we expect we can't accomplish them.  How many times have we let the words from other people invade our minds, our hearts, our drive?  How do our expectations define who we are and who we will become?  And what can we do to make sure that we do not lower our expectations but instead raise our confidence and motivation to meet our high expectations?  Who says we can and who says we cannot?  What would you achieve if nobody (including yourself) told you that you couldn't?

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