Scott Jurek: My running has changed.
"We have to relearn some of the things we’re losing."
Endurance sports, extreme sports, music or writing put us in situations that require the best of ourselves. That’s the biggest benefit.
I’m still digesting the Appalachian Trail experience, but it reinforced my belief that even when you’ve pushed to your absolute limits, physically and mentally.
"We’re stronger and more powerful than we realize."
Did I learn more because I broke the record? I don’t know, but it certainly pushed me to another level I didn’t know I had.
"Having a goal is a real impetus for pushing through. The growth that occurs is the reward."
It’s easy to get bogged down by negativity. The lessons running can give you in life can be pretty transformative. Find something to sink your claws into, to pull yourself back out.
Most modern people have such comfortable lives and we simply hop on a bus or into a car to get somewhere.
I have a primal instinct to move, but now there’s a greater cause, a deeper dimension experience to the act of running.
"In running or endurance sports there’s a common thread that can lead to a transformation, from running your first to meshing back into society."
Through the Back On My Feet programme running can be the vehicle for transforming someone’s life. You’re changing the atmosphere around you, it’s not just a run for yourself, it’s for a greater good.
People and societies flourish the most when we’re connected in giving to each other. Initially my running career was very self-centered.
"Running can be pretty selfish, but it also makes you a better person through its psychological and physical benefits."
On running culture:
Running has allowed me to travel the world experiencing the different cultures, it’s a way into a culture.
The UK is pretty unique; it’s one of the birthplaces of modern distance running.
"Running brings together people that wouldn’t normally gather. It strips away boundaries of politics or economics."
In the Copper Canyons I wanted to run to see what I could learn from the Tarahumaran Indians. It was efficiency. As with the East Africans, they start with the building blocks of good form. UK fell runners run so efficiently down hill. Every culture has their own unique running style, but they’ve all based their technique on good running form.
Ultra-running forces you into situations of surprise, it takes you to unpredictable environments and rugged terrain, whilst the sheer distance causes the unexpected. In terms of play, having levels of surprise and unplanned adventures makes it really alluring. Hardship is part of the adventure.
Scott Jurek is a running legend, using this medium to connect and inspire.
Back on My Feet backonmyfeet.org