Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Great White Horse

Gday crew!  Hope this finds you all well and ripping in training for...somethin!

This blog has been on my mind for some time now and I think it is important that I write it, for me anyway! 

Let me start by saying that if you haven't read the book 'Born to Run' by Christopher McDougall, do yourself a favor and borrow, buy, steal it (OK, I am not endorsing crime here people, I'm just sayin!) and read it!  It is a little slow at the start but once you get into it, it is a compelling and very well written book!  McDougall is an amazing writer and even if you are not a runner, I guarantee you will enjoy it.  I don't guarantee much so that is telling you something!  It was this book that initiated my journey to minimal/barefoot/sandal running.  One of the main characters, Barefoot Ted is the creator of Luna Sandals (who's namesake is also based on a key character Manuel Luna).  Apart from work, Luna Sandals and barefoot is my sole footwear.  Excuse the pun!  This is a story for another time however!

So as you can see, my day to day life has esentially been affected by this book.  This is not the reason for this blog however.

Micah True, aka, 'Caballo Blanco', aka, The White Horse is the reason for this blog.  True was a pivotal character in the Born to Run book and a real mad man!  He had a beautiful and free spirit which was incredibly contagious to all who came into contact with him, so I'm told.  True knew his adapted homeland of Mexico like the back of his hand as he ran countless k's in the canyon and spent all his time traveling in the area, assisting the indigenous Mexican people, otherwise known as the Tarahumara Indians.  True would try his hardest to assist this very shy group of people by getting them food, blankets, supplies, and probably what he is now most known for, organizing the Caballo Blanco Ultra Marathon in Copper Canyon Mexico where the Tarahumara would race some of the best elite ultra marathoners in the world.  Prizes would be cash and a vast quantity of corn which is a stable for the Indian people.  Caballo, from ALL accounts, was a 'crazy gringo', but one who essentially gave up his 'normal' life to help others.  True touched so many lives and inspired so many people to run free and keep things simple.

On March 27th, 2012, Caballo went out for a run as he usually would in Mexico.  Sadly however, after four days of searching by volunteers, including some of the best American ultra marathon runners of all times and even McDougall himself, True's body was found lifeless near a stream.  I have read many blogs and tributes to True, all reflecting the contagious, crazy, free man that he was.

I don't know why, but Micah's death has really affected me.  I never met him and have only read about him.  His life and character however is one that you really take to heart and can relate to, well I can anyway!  I have read a lot about him since him dying and watched a number of clips on YouTube with sadness.  It has been strange to me, feeling this way about someone that I have never even been in the same country as, but it is what it is.  It feels like I have lost a friend...

It has also prompted me to think about people that are close to us and people that we love.  We never know when might be the last time that we see them.  Life is so precious and something that we need to grab a hold of and share together with joy.  We need to cherish our loved ones and tell them often how we feel.  Life is too short to NOT live that way.  So much of what we argue about and complain about in life is so stupid and un-important.  We need to toss this garbage aside and move forward together, enjoying the time we have.  Love is the key people and we need to keep that at the center of all that we are, otherwise what is the point!?

'Run easy, light, smoooooth, happy...and run free!'  Was something that Micah was heard laughing just before he passed away.  For those of us who run and can appreciate the link between its simple movement and life will know how well the attitude from this quote can be used in every day life to stop worrying, live life to the full, easy of burdens and enjoying every moment!

I know that my little blog is only a drop in the ocean in the big scheme of things but for what its worth, the world will miss you White Horse...if we all had an life like yours, the world would be a better place.



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