“Great things are done when men and mountains meet; This is not done by jostling in the street.” — William Blake
Nature can refresh the brain…“Our senses change. They kind of recalibrate — you notice sounds, like these crickets chirping; you hear the river, the sounds, the smells, you become more connected to the physical environment, the earth, rather than the artificial environment.” — from a New York Times Magazine story about neuroscientists researching the therapeutic effects of wilderness expeditions
Running has been used as a response to clinical depression for a long time (Ultrarunner Lisa Smith-Batchen believes it saved her life, and back in the ’70s a California psychiatrist named Dr. Thadeus Kostrubala was taking his depressed patients out for morning jogs each day on the beach ). But an innovative mental health group in the UK noticed it’s not just about moving your legs; it’s also about where you move them:
I know why I got such a jolt out of iskiate, the Tarahumara’s Stone Age energy brew, when I was down in the Copper Canyons — I was dehydrated and hurting for calories. So was Carl Lumholtz, the great Norwegian explorer, when he explored Tarahumara country in the 1800s and took his first stunned swallows:
“I arrived late one afternoon at a cave where a woman was just making this drink,” Lumholtz wrote. “I was very tired and at a loss how to climb the mountain-side to my camp, some 2,000 feet above. But after having satisfied my hunger and thirst with some iskiate,” he went on, “I at once felt new strength, and, to my own astonishment, climbed the great height without much effort. After this I always found iskiate a friend in need, so strengthening and refreshing that I may almost claim it as a discovery.”
Witch's brew starter kit.
Recently, New York Daily News columnist Lauren Johnston has been experimenting with her own home-brewed Tarahumara Red Bull. Her reaction mirrored mine: You seriously expect me to drink this gunk?, followed by Holy moly! It works!
Meanwhile, over at Runningquest.net, Clynton adds his own gourmet version.
i just wanted to say that this is the best book i have ever read. it felt like a series of lighbulbs going off. your insights and research made me realise what was wrong with my running… the shoes. i am now running in minimal shoes (still working on getting my feet strong enough to run in vibram fivefingers) and my knee and ankle pains are all but vanished, and i now smile when i run. not only is your book full of insight and useful information on nutrition (i now take a flask of chia seeds and orange juice on runs over 10 miles, i like it much more than gel) and training, it is also beautifully written – your descriptions of the tarahumara running are brilliant – and, even though i am now reading it for the second time, i still got excited reading about the tarahumara racing against ann
trason in the leadville run. i will keep an eye on the newsletter to see if you ever come to the uk to talk
thank you so much for this book, it might sound like frothing hyperbole, but i think i can say that it has actually changed my life. running now feels more like flying
thank you mr mcdougall