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Christopher McDougall Quotes
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Christopher McDougall Quote: “We were born to run; we were born because we run. We’re all Running People, as the Tarahumara have always known.”

We were born to run; we were born because we run. We’re all Running People, as the Tarahumara have always known.

— Christopher McDougall



Christopher McDougall Quote: “Because that’s the ugly truth about heroism: the tests don’t start when you’re ready or stop when you’re tired.”

Because that’s the ugly truth about heroism: the tests don’t start when you’re ready or stop when you’re tired.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “You were amazing,” Scott said. “Yeah,” I said. “Amazingly slow.” It had taken me over twelve hours, meaning that Scott and Arnulfo could have run the course all over again and still beaten me. “That’s what I’m saying,” Scott insisted. “I’ve been there, man. I’ve been there a lot. It takes more guts than going fast.”

You were amazing,” Scott said. “Yeah,” I said. “Amazingly slow.” It had taken me over twelve hours, meaning that Scott and Arnulfo could have run the course all over again and still beaten me. “That’s what I’m saying,” Scott insisted. “I’ve been there, man. I’ve been there a lot. It takes more guts than going fast.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “When he zoomed in, he was startled by what he found: instead of each foot clomping down as it would in a shoe, it behaved like an animal with a mind of its own – stretching, grasping, seeking the ground with splayed toes, gliding in for a landing like a lake-bound swan.”

When he zoomed in, he was startled by what he found: instead of each foot clomping down as it would in a shoe, it behaved like an animal with a mind of its own – stretching, grasping, seeking the ground with splayed toes, gliding in for a landing like a lake-bound swan.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “Salvador’s brother, however, is the Indiana Jones of the Mexican school system;.”

Salvador’s brother, however, is the Indiana Jones of the Mexican school system;.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “There are two goddesses in your heart,” he told them. “The Goddess of Wisdom and the Goddess of Wealth. Everyone thinks they need to get wealth first, and wisdom will come. So they concern themselves with chasing money. But they have it backwards. You have to give your heart to the Goddess of Wisdom, give her all your love and attention, and the Goddess of Wealth will become jealous, and follow you.” Ask nothing from your running, in other words, and you’ll get more than you ever imagined.”

There are two goddesses in your heart,” he told them. “The Goddess of Wisdom and the Goddess of Wealth. Everyone thinks they need to get wealth first, and wisdom will come. So they concern themselves with chasing money. But they have it backwards. You have to give your heart to the Goddess of Wisdom, give her all your love and attention, and the Goddess of Wealth will become jealous, and follow you.” Ask nothing from your running, in other words, and you’ll get more than you ever imagined.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “You know what kind of nerves are in your feet? The same ones that network into your genitals. Your feet are like a minnow bucket full of sensory neurons, all of them wriggling around in search of sensation. Stimulate those nerves just a little, and the impulse will rocket through your entire nervous system; that’s why tickling your feet can overload the switchboard and cause your whole body to spasm.”

You know what kind of nerves are in your feet? The same ones that network into your genitals. Your feet are like a minnow bucket full of sensory neurons, all of them wriggling around in search of sensation. Stimulate those nerves just a little, and the impulse will rocket through your entire nervous system; that’s why tickling your feet can overload the switchboard and cause your whole body to spasm.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “Middle-aged women are likewise no strangers to the lead pack in ultramarathons. Pam Reed was forty-one when she outran all the men to win the 135-mile Badwater ultra across Death Valley in 2002; the following year, she returned and did it again. Diana Finkel was just shy of forty when she led for the first ninety miles of the brutally hard Hardrock 100, finishing second overall.”

Middle-aged women are likewise no strangers to the lead pack in ultramarathons. Pam Reed was forty-one when she outran all the men to win the 135-mile Badwater ultra across Death Valley in 2002; the following year, she returned and did it again. Diana Finkel was just shy of forty when she led for the first ninety miles of the brutally hard Hardrock 100, finishing second overall.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “A team of Harvard scientists had once verified exactly that point by sticking a rectal thermometer in a cheetah and getting it to run on a treadmill. Once its temperature hit 105 degrees, the cheetah shut down and refused to run.”

A team of Harvard scientists had once verified exactly that point by sticking a rectal thermometer in a cheetah and getting it to run on a treadmill. Once its temperature hit 105 degrees, the cheetah shut down and refused to run.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “Darwin’s great gift to science was simplifying all life to pure mathematics: your one and only goal on earth is multiplication. Everything you do, every instinct you have, is an evolutionary urge to make babies and leave behind as many copies of yourself as possible. From that perspective, heroism makes no sense. Why risk the grave for someone else if there’s no guarantee of a biological payoff? Dying for your own kids: smart. Dying for a rival’s? Genetic suicide.”

Darwin’s great gift to science was simplifying all life to pure mathematics: your one and only goal on earth is multiplication. Everything you do, every instinct you have, is an evolutionary urge to make babies and leave behind as many copies of yourself as possible. From that perspective, heroism makes no sense. Why risk the grave for someone else if there’s no guarantee of a biological payoff? Dying for your own kids: smart. Dying for a rival’s? Genetic suicide.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “Let us live so that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry,” Mark Twain used to say.”

Let us live so that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry,” Mark Twain used to say.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “Over time, a subtle cancer spread: where you have more experts, you create more bystanders. Professionals did all the fighting and fixing we used to handle ourselves; they even took over our fun, playing our sports while we sat back and watched.”

Over time, a subtle cancer spread: where you have more experts, you create more bystanders. Professionals did all the fighting and fixing we used to handle ourselves; they even took over our fun, playing our sports while we sat back and watched.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “That was the real secret of the Tarahumara: they’d never forgotten what it felt like to love running. They.”

That was the real secret of the Tarahumara: they’d never forgotten what it felt like to love running. They.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “If he could do it, Churchill was certain, so could his fellow misfits.”

If he could do it, Churchill was certain, so could his fellow misfits.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “If it feels like work, you’re working too hard.”

If it feels like work, you’re working too hard.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “Distance running was revered because it was indispensable; it was the way we survived and thrived and spread across the planet. You ran to eat and to avoid being eaten; you ran to find a mate and impress her, and with her you ran off to start a new life together. You had to love running, or you wouldn’t live to love anything else.”

Distance running was revered because it was indispensable; it was the way we survived and thrived and spread across the planet. You ran to eat and to avoid being eaten; you ran to find a mate and impress her, and with her you ran off to start a new life together. You had to love running, or you wouldn’t live to love anything else.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “You’ve got this fancy machine, and it’s controlled by a pilot who’s thinking, ‘Okay, how can I run this baby without using any fuel?’ You and I know how good running feels because we’ve made a habit of it.” But lose the habit, and the loudest voice in your ear is your ancient survival instinct urging you to relax.”

You’ve got this fancy machine, and it’s controlled by a pilot who’s thinking, ‘Okay, how can I run this baby without using any fuel?’ You and I know how good running feels because we’ve made a habit of it.” But lose the habit, and the loudest voice in your ear is your ancient survival instinct urging you to relax.

— Christopher McDougall


Christopher McDougall Quote: “Running isn’t about making people buy stuff. Running should be free, man.”

Running isn’t about making people buy stuff. Running should be free, man.

— Christopher McDougall

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