Brown man goes surfing, runs and becomes vegetarian.
As I walked back from the lab in the wee hours of the night, I saw something move from the corner of my eye. I looked up and saw a jack-rabbit staring at me. Naturally, the first thought that should have occurred to me, was how fortunate I was to stay on such a beautiful campus with so much of flora and fauna. But all I could think of is how tasty rabbit meat would be.. Damn being a vegetarian.
You don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.
1. Me, N and C decided to go surfing. C is the more experienced one and we just tagged along for the ride. After a quick breakfast of awesome pancakes, we were off to Cowell Beach in Santa Cruz. We reached there in an hour and parked the car only to hear C exclaim Sh*t, as soon as he slammed the door shut. He’d forgotten the key in the ignition. I walked over to a house nearby to borrow a wire hanger. A nice lady answered the door and promptly got me a hanger from her shed. She then asked me where I was from. I told her, Stanford. She gave me a puzzled look and inquired about my funny accent. I nodded my head sideways and was like, Aai yam from Indiaa. Haven’t you seen a brown man before? Duh..
Anyways, N proceeded to show some awesome skills and expertly opened the door with a wire hanger in two mins flat. Did I mention he is awesome?
Surfing was fun. It’s extremely tiring though. I managed to catch four waves. The problem is that once you catch a good wave, it brings you back till the rocks and you have to frigging paddle all the way back into the ocean. After doing this a bunch of times, I decided that I had had enough of this sport. Plus, you have to wait for the waves. A good wave comes takes its own sweet time to come by. You wait like ten to fifteen minutes sometimes. I almost dozed off on my board waiting for the waves. (I wonder if someone could actually put like a iPad on the surfboard. That would help kill some time)
Suffering is humbling. It pays to know how to get your butt kicked.
2. I just finished reading my book for this month – Born To Run (see review below). First the book is awesome. Second it’s so awesome it’s actually convinced me that I should become a vegetarian*. So I did. That was on Sunday. And its been five days since I last tasted meat. Do I feel good? Well, except for the nightmare during mat-sci class where I dreamt I was chasing a chicken. And the other one where this girl was yelling that she would kill me. Because apparently she had started eating chicken because of me and I now I had decided to go vegetarian. Besides all that, I feel fine. And hungry. Constantly. And see meat when I see rabbits or squirrels. Damn.
3. So, the book. Born To Run: A Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Ever Seen by Christopher McDougall.
The book is awesome. I strongly recommend it. I challenge you to read the book and tell me you’re not inspired to run and be healthy. The book takes you on an epic journey into the world of running, ultramarathons and most interestingly, the Tarahumara Indians who live deep in the Copper Canyons of Mexico. It starts with asking the question of why there are so many running related injuries and ends with a race between incredible élite ultrarunners and the Tarahumara Indians. Liston to Chris himself below as he explains about the book.
If you’re still not convinced, then I’d recommend you watch his TED talk here.
I think this is one of the best running books I have ever read. If you’re at Stanford, this book is available at the Green Library. You’re more than welcome to borrow my copy. Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
- We were born to run; we were born because we run.
- There’s something so universal about that sensation, the way running unites our two most primal impulses: fear and pleasure. We run when we’re scared, we run when we’re ecstatic, we run away from our problems and run around for a good time.
- Make friends with pain, and you will never be alone
- You don’t have to be fast. But you’d better be fearless.
- You don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.
- Name any other athletic endeavor where sixty-four-year-olds are competing with nineteen-year-olds. Swimming? Boxing? Not even close. There’s something really weird about us humans; we’re not only really good at endurance running; we’re really good at it for a remarkably long time.
- To run an antelope to death, Lieberman determined, all you have to do is scare it into a gallop on a hot day. “If you keep just close enough for it to see you, it will keep sprinting away. After about ten or fifteen kilometers’ worth of running, it will go into hyperthermia and collapse.” Translation: if you can run six miles on a summer day then you, my friend, are a lethal weapon in the animal kingdom. We can dump heat on the run, but animals can’t pant while they gallop.
*My goal is to be a vegetarian for a month. Started on Monday 25th April. Ends on 25th May 2011.