Last night, I had the pleasure of going to a film that was held in a theater about 30 minutes away from me called Run Free. I came to figure out that it is actually going to be made into a major motion picture with Matthew McConaughey as the main character (Micah True). I wanted to share about the film, and link it up on Vimeo because it's totally awesome and inspiring.
I really love documentaries. While shows are great to get into, documentaries always inspire me or teach me something. It is hard to find running documentaries to be honest and I'm always looking for new ones. When I saw this was close to me, I knew I had to go out there and watch it especially with my marathon on Saturday. I was needing inspiration from those that do far more running than me.
Micah True ran 170 miles per week normally just for fun. I'd say that's inspiration. He was the true definition of someone who was doing it ONLY for the love of running. When he entered a few competitions, he won some, and felt that was too much pressure so he stopped signing up for any races and just continued running on his own. He ran in the Copper Canyon in Mexico with the Tarahumara people. I'm not sure if you have read the book Born to Run, but it's all about these people. They are called "The Running People" and have been known as super athletes because they are able to endure INTENSE distances of running with no good running shoes, not enough food & water, and minimal proper training.
Micah became known in the villages and across the world as Caballo Blanco (which means white horse). He would have never been known if it wasn't for the book that was a New York Times bestseller by Chris McDougall's book "Born to Run". He was the central character. Chris sets out on a mission to figure out why there are certain people that can run further than others without getting injured specifically the running people in the Copper Canyons. He finds out about this American from Boulder colorado who had moved there just to be able to run with him.
Micah is an amazing human that although gone, will forever hold a place in ultra runner's hearts. He started an ultra marathon in 2003 with the Tarahumara people to preserve their culture and running heritage. He was against corporate running races and sponsorships and trophy and winners. The goal is just for everyone to come out for the love of running free in the canyons, and at the end every finisher takes home a massive bag of corn. The distance is 50 miles, and some of the people run in jeans and flip flops in this culture. They don't have the money for running clothes or shoes, but they know if they can finish this race then they can provide for their families. Many of the American runners just give their corn away to the people. It became an annual event and some of the biggest ultra runners in the world come out for it.
I could talk forever about this film, but the message was clear. Micah was a simple man who wanted only a few things. He felt running was a spiritual awakening of the soul basically, and that you find yourself in the midst of moving your feet. He wanted faith, peace, love, harmony and running. That was it. That was all he needed, and he was good.
The tarahumara people run to everything. Women in long dresses run. Men in their native outfits run. They run everywhere. Their faces light up when their feet start moving. Every time I go to these documentaries or I see something like this, it really shows me that movement and pushing ourselves to the limit awakens the soul. It's so much bigger than ourselves, and as humans, we can't tap into that until we have gone over that edge. Ultra runners are not crazy people, but just chasing who they are. You start to really figure that out the further and further that you run. The same goes for those that might want to climb Mt Everest. We long to find ourselves, and it's not until these dark moments of pushing through the worst that we are enlightened to that. We don't have to have these races and fast times. Those are all great, and duh, I'm shooting for fast times! It's just that we never want to lose sight of those deep moments of finding ourselves just by the motion of our bodies.
Micah died in 2013. He went out for a long run, and he was found 4 days later at the edge of a creek. He was lying there peacefully as if he just went to sleep, and the cause of death was unknown but he did have cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart).
I'm becoming a running quack, but gosh I freakin love it.