Your body develops with you

Long runs: the skiers of Norway, the barefoot runners of New Mexico, the Kenya runners, the Mongols, some Nepalese – they all do it. First it is about work and living, in modern times it is about athletics. A good run must last 2 hours, or preferably 3. The sugars are burning away and the the fat-burning starts, and then you can have a long run, a hunt to kill an animal for meat, a marathon or 50 kms ski-run.

It may have started with hard work in the fields and forests – a neccessity of survival.

During this activity the capacity of the smallest blood-vessels in your body develops, your uptake of oxygen increases, and you become mentally strong – a certain toughness develops. You become extremely tired and after some years of this training you develop a liking for the freedom that allows you to run any distance – seemingly forever. Running as part of your lifework is still used, but gradually it disappears.

The top athletes have a tough time, the training is incredibly tough. But you become a whole being, you are independent, you can do anything, your body can take it, you can stand these long tours, you are free to do it.

In some countries this kind of activity has become a national pastime. It takes many years, so to succeed long term it must be part of your culture, it it is tied to the place where you grow up.

Throughout human history, running was universally barefoot or in thin-soled shoes such as moccasins, which continues to this day in some parts of the world, such as people in Kenya or the Tarahumara people of northern Mexico.

Other factors: Kenya’s brightest running stars were born and raised at high altitude. Running at higher elevations builds greater lung capacity, because athletes grow accustomed to the thinner air. This area also possesses a fairly mild climate that allows for year-round running.

The main factor may be a nation’s running culture. In Kenya the Kalenjins represent just 12 percent of Kenya’s population, they comprise about three-quarters of the nation’s elite runners. In Norway the best skiers come from a few places – year after year.

Physiology and genetics may also factor into the accomplishments. The tribes’ cattle-herding background might play a role. In centuries past, the most successful members of the tribes were those who could round up the most cows. These fleet-footed men were thus able to garner more wives, and in turn produce more children.

It all comes back to us – you must use your body – beyond tiredness, many hours till your body has no more glucose left and starts burning fat, up to the next level, keep it there. This is how it should be, but it is too late for us to make changes now – our bodies are degenerating or changing – civilization are destroying us. The hard work is being taken out of what people do, but these principles seems to work well for top athletes.

Shall we let it happen? Well, it already has – except for the athletes. But the truth is: Using your body develops it, gives you ability, freedom – the genius of your body is there for all to see.

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