Posted by: cctracker | March 21, 2013

Becoming the All-Terrain Human – NYTimes.com

The NYT is running an astonishing portrait of a man who may be the greatest endurance athlete in recorded history: Kilian Jornet. Read the piece here:

Becoming the All-Terrain Human – NYTimes.com.

The title of the piece hooked me right away.  I expected amazing statistics and they are certainly there, but that title also gave me an appetite for finding something spiritual in the piece. Something about the human potential for connection to the landscape.

A few pages in, I found just the gem I was hoping for:

“His parents tried to instill a sense of humility and a deep feeling for the landscape. ‘Por las noches we walk out to the wood, the forest, without lamp,’ [Jornet’s  Mother] says, describing how she sometimes took Jornet and his sister, Naila, a year and a half younger and today also a SkiMo racer, out barefoot into the night dressed only in pajamas. Listen to the forest, their mother told them. Feel the direction of the wind against your cheeks, the way the pebbles change underfoot. Then she made her children lead the way home in the darkness. “All this,” she says, “to feel the passion of the nature.”

After a week of “Office Marathoning” I’m missing exposure to that passion.  I’m overdue to get outdoors for a long run in the elements, even on a still very cold, early spring evening. Jornet was raised running in mountains.  I’ll be on asphalt, but  in his honor I’ll imagine myself jogging up through an alpine meadow with the snow melting from the peaks and the mountain sunflowers in full glory.

Alpine Meadow

Photo James Burton


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