Friday, September 16, 2011

Chris McDougall runs at Appalachian State

Best selling author and "know your footstrike" proponent Chris McDougall was the featured convocation speaker at Appalachian State University.

Having the "Born to Run" author on campus was an invigorating experience.  Despite my trashed right foot, I sucked it up to take Chris on a trail run Thursday...then we repeated the effort for 30+ students and friends who came out for today's run.

It's great to get a new crop of runners into the woods and to watch McDougall work the crowd. He's tireless in selling the running form over product mantra.  He's a good communicator, convincing, and receptive to all individuals.

McDougall brought a real twist to convocation.  Instead of a regurgitation of the book, he told the tale of an accomplished tree climber who fell from the height of 96 feet.  Instead of screaming and flailing, the falling man filled his lungs, moved his body into a horizontal position, and used an arm to absorb impact.  Yes, there were broken bones, but the climber was out of the hospital four days later.

What does falling out of a tree mean to you?  What can/would you do in that last instant before a key life event?  Succumb to the norm, or use a level head to make the best of a bad situation?

I've known high speed motorcycle racers who could stay totally composed during a 150 mph crash.  They'd push the motorcycle away, slide with precision, and in some cases pop back onto their feet using the last of their momentum.  When crashing becomes the norm, chaos can become calm in the storm.

Let's look into our own lives and see where the crisis points are originating.  We may be able to fall out of that tree with a better outcome than we expected.

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