Tag Archives: Christopher McDougall

Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall

Summary

  1. McDougall retraces the steps of the “Cretan Runner” and others who managed to do unthinkable tasks on little more than boiled hay. They ran hundreds of marathons through Crete, acting as messengers, while avoiding Nazi soldiers and handling hazardous terrain. Natural movement, endurance, and efficient nutrition all played their role.
Key Takeaways
  1. A daring group of people mysteriously kidnap a nazi general last thousands of German soldiers
  2. The art of the hero was to be so competent that great bravery wasn’t necessary
  3. Mark Allen found a way to burn fat instead of carbs and this helped him win 6 iron man world titles
  4. Heroes mastered how to use their fascia (elastic tissue) as a limitless source of power instead of being bulky meat heads
  5. Heroism is a skill, not a virtue
  6. True heroism isn’t about strength, courage or boldness, it is about compassion. The more you could relate to others, the more inner strength you can tap into
  7. Looks into how Greek “runners” (people who had to run through the most dangerous territory during the war to deliver messages) were able to survive and thrive with so little food. They relies on their fascia and on parkour like skills
  8. Once you start training in parkour, you don’t see things, you see movement
  9. Often, the more you want to hide, the more visible you should become. Those most visible, the loudest are hardly ever questioned
  10. Wobble power coupled with our fascia profunda is mans greatest source of strength
  11. Humans are unique in their ability to throw to kill. We are able to do this because of the fascia in our shoulders
  12. Fairbend is a senior guy who was one of the best fighters in shanghai when it was the most dangerous city on earth
  13. Win chun is the martial art that Bruce lee was taught and it teaches you natural movements which are powerful. Most powerful when our power comes from the ground through the middle of our body. Sticky hands
  14. Pancration fighting is a very powerful and antique Greek method
  15. Being a God on earth is a natural desire and saving someone or helping someone is the closest we will get to achieving that goal
  16. Fitness should not be defined by strength like it is today but rather by flexibility and functionality. How well can you sprint, climb a tree, run, swim, etc. Endurance and elastic strength are most important
  17. Spending time in nature can have incredible cognitive effects – making you aware of your surroundings and bringing you back to your past helps make you much smarter
What I got out of it
  1. Fascinating story but also love the idea of being fit is being useful. Bulkiness is completely useless but natural movement (parkour, throwing, climbing, swimming, jumping, etc.), flexibility, endurance, etc. are all life-saving skills to have

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Summary
  1. Incredible and inspiring book. Caballo Banco (Michael Randall Hickman), the Tarahumara indians, Jen SheltonBonehead Billy, Barefoot Ted, and more are detailed in this book in relation to their ultramarathon adventures. Our ancestors were persistence hunters who could outlast any animal in the world. We are the ultimate long-distance running machine and the shoes and other technology often simply throw us off and injure us in the long run.
Key Takeaways
  1. We do not need fancy running shoes. The foot is perfect!
  2. Some incredibly courageous stories about a “different” breed of people who run just for fun and in the badlands. No publicity, no real money, just the thrill and the freedom to run 100+ miles.
  3. Humans are the most sophisticated running machine evolution has come up with. We sweat as the main way to cool down instead of just breathing so we can run more efficiently. Can go longer than any animal. There is even a 50 mile race between man and horse in Arizona and the human wins
  4. Running technique:
    • Knees high, toe down, short strides, feet land directly beneath you, heels flip back
    • Forearm parallel to the ground and pumping like Rock ’em Sock ’em robots. You are the only bi-ped without a tail and the arms provide stabilization
    • In slow motion foot looks like a swan landing on water, with toes splayed.
      • Pronation is good – meaning you land on the outside of your foot and rotation ends on your big toe. This is a mild twist that provides shock absorption.
    • Your ligaments and tendons act like springs, use them right and you will run more efficiently
    • Children are natural runners.
  5. Running tools and recommendations
    1. Evolution Running
    2. Chi Running
    3. Pose Method Running
    4. Vibram 5 Finger
    5. Run with a 180 beat metronome
    6. Supplements –  chia seeds, garlic, ginger
What I got out of it
  1. Had no idea our ancestors relied so heavily on persistence hunting and simply out running their prey. While I don’t think I am one of those people who loves running 100+ miles for fun (I haven’t tried yet so you never know…), it is amazing what these people are capable of