Posted by: cctracker | January 29, 2012

Born to… Persistence Hunt?

Evolutionary biologists make a good case that we were “born to run.” In fact, they say we are the best long-distance running animal on the planet. For many thousands of years we made our living running down the animals we needed to eat by simply pursuing them until they were utterly exhausted. Our limbs, lungs and brains still remember how it’s done. They call it “persistence hunting.”

To see what it looks like on the African Savannah, David Attenborough narrates a great film here.

But if you’d like to try it at home, go outside and get off the pavement.  Find a trail through the woods–or at least a gravel trail as I did today–and a natural landscape to engage the eye. Run slowly, but tall and alert. Run as if you were barefoot, your toes and arches taking up most of the load with your heels striking lightly. Let your eyes dart from trees to ground to horizon, focussing on anything that catches your eye. Watch for the tracks of your prey on the ground, and ankle-busting holes for that matter. Glide along. Settle in as if for a day-long run. There’s no hurry. If you keep your eyes open and keep going, the odds might be on your side. And you just might feel as if  you’ve found your niche.

Photo by Brian Gilmore

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