With time various topics, most connected to the 'ancient ways,' will be covered. Some of these might be controversial in nature - you're most welcome to contribute.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Running with Horses & Wolves ...

I'm often asked, "Why don't you ride that horse, why are you running it?" or when I run in the heat of the day, "Why ... are you mad?"  The real question is, am I really mad ... or maybe just normal??  It's actually fairly simplistic once we look at movement, especially running.

In the wild, wolves and African Wild Dogs average about 19 to 22 kilometres a day.  Horses studied in the wild average about 19 kilometres a day, which leaves the two-legged creature ...??  We know from studying hunter-gatherer societies and anthropology, that humans moved around 19 kilometres a day ... coincidence??

If we compare ourselves to horses and wolves, at first glance we look slow and clumsy.  Today it is a scientifically proven fact that we were born to run ... each and everyone of us.  If it was not for that ability, none of us would be here today.  We might not be that fast or that agile, but we can outrun both the horse and the wolf in the right circumstances.  We were designed for endurance ...

See, we are excellent runners in the heat ... because we have a cooling system like no other animal ... an excess of sweat glands and very little body hair.  Research shows that short toes of the human foot allows for more efficient running.  Increasing toe length as little as 20% doubles the mechanical work on the foot.  The fact that the bit toe is straight and not to the side, suggests that our feet evolved for running.  That big toe is designed for push-off, the last thing to leave the ground while running ...


 Our ligaments and tendons in the feet and legs are different from our 'close relatives' - the chimpanzee and ape ... they don't have them.  A narrow waist and midsection allows swinging for the arms ... preventing us from zigzagging on the trail.

Our energy tank for glycogen in the muscles can last for about 20 miles ... although we know now that on a low-carb diet it's much longer ....

Our big butt muscles are only engaged while running ... now you know why it's growing bigger and bigger if you don't run ...

The bridge in a foot is an amazing shock absorbing mechanism ... which we kill by wearing the newest running shoes.  We are designed to run barefoot ...

Today we know that we can outrun horses over 80 km's in the right conditions.  In the heat, a wolf can't keep up with us.  Running is what we are, it keeps us upright and not 'hunched' ... like most young people nowadays.  Running connects us ... thought breathing and our feet ... connects us to the real world.

If I sit on a horse ... all I am is an extension of the horse ... or the horse is an extension of me.  I believe I must be able to do what my horse do ... that way I feel what my horse feels when I ride heavy country or just ride hard.  If I'm born to run, but can't run ... how can I expect my horse or my dog to do what I ask of them?  How can I feel what they feel ... how can I know when enough is enough  ... or where to pull out that extra energy?

Sometimes when I ride hard and I see the ground, grass and trees flying past ... all I want to do is get off my horse and run  ... run like the wind.  I love running with my dogs, because they do a million things while they run ... same with the horse.  I pick up on that and sharpen my instincts ...

I feel it's my duty to get back to my roots ... to run with the horse and the wolf ... knowing each step where I put my feet ... listening to the silence between each breath ... what is out there??  In between scanning where I put my feet and scanning my surrounding areas, while tuning my ears to the slightest sound ... I'm all connected ... because I run with a horse and a wolf/dog ....

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