When I travel, I find the megafocus to read like my mother, who routinely starts and finishes books in the span of 24 hours. Shortly after embarking on the first leg of my flight to Houston, I finished the book I've been reading, Way Up North in Dixie, and finally started Born to Run. I finished Christopher McDougall's book last night after reading all but 10 pages while I was out of town for work. And I must say, I'm disappointed.
After reading here, there and everywhere about Born to Run, I had gotten the impression that the book was all about barefoot running. If nothing else, barefooting seemed like "the big takeaway" from the recent best seller. Shockingly, I find the media (including you bloggers) has latched onto a ancillary topic of an otherwise very good book.
Yes, there is a chapter that decries the evils of the shoe industry for making products that ruin our running. Yes, there is a character named "Barefoot Ted," as all barefoot runners must have the same moniker prefixed to their names, and a whole tribe of Mexicans who run almost barefoot. And the author has since switched over to barefoot or near barefoot running himself. But barefooting was hardly the book's focus.
The main spotlight was on this amazing race set in the Copper Canyons and how running is an essential component of our humanity. McDougall does a splendid job of building suspense by interspersing scientific research about running's role in human evolution, his own foibles with running, and the lead up to the race between some of the best ultrarunners in the United States and the Tarahumara tribesmen.
Two of the ultrarunners, Jenn Shelton and Billy Barnett, would be perfect BHI teammates, as they proved that excessive boozing and excessive running go hand in hand, even if they almost died.
The conclusion of the race is both triumphant and heartwarming as the audience learns the fate of all these interesting characters, how their lives intertwined and were enriched by the act of running.
Booze Hound Rating: 4 fingers, neat
[Drunkard's note: The Booze Hound rating system is based on a good pour. Up to five fingers, either "on the rocks" or "neat." If you can't figure out what's good and what's bad, you need to spend more time drinking.]
Wherein we skip the Back Talk and learn how to I singlehandedly raised the threat level to Orange--or was it already at Orange?
I left for Houston Tuesday morning and was a bit rushed. I threw on the jeans I had worn the day before and gathered the last of my things so the Enthusiast could drive me to the Akron-Canton Airport. I signed in and waltzed through security without a fuss.
Later, as I was standing in the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, I reached a hand into my pocket and felt the butt of my ...
... knife. Ever since I was about eight years old, I've carried a pocket knife. In fact, I probably had one on me when I flew down to Asheville, N.C., by myself to visit my grandparents when I was eight. But that was before "box cutters" became a whispered word in airports throughout the United States.
You'll be happy to learn that this knife I carried on two packed flights was just sharpened late last summer and features a thumbstud for a quick-action blade deployment. The TSA guy at Akron-Canton even patted me down because I was wearing a bulky hoodie. But he didn't touch my Schrade Old Timer.
I can't decide if this story is hilarious and terrifying.
Thanks to those of you who recommended the Saint Arnold Brewery. I didn't have time for a visit, but I picked up a sixer of the Texas Wheat at the Kroger across from my hotel. Pretty tasty. Didn't knock my pants off or anything, but I'd get it again. Maybe next time I'll be able to take a tour.
Happy Hour is nearly upon us, teammates. Have a finely brewed weekend. Run well and drink well. Cheers!