“Think Easy, Light, Smooth and Fast. You start with easy, because if that’s all you get, thats not so bad. Then work on light. Make it effortless, like you don’t give a shit how high the hill is or how far you’ve got to go. When you’ve practiced so long that you forget you’re practicing, you work on making it smooooooth. You won’t have to worry about the last one - you get those three and you’ll be fast”
Micah True (aka Caballo Blanco) was an ultra-runner who died a few days ago in New Mexico, The quote above appeared in Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run when Caballo was teaching McDougall how to run ‘ultra’. The freedom implicit in this simple philosophy was also how he lived his life. Running was life for Cabello Blanco, and there are few better ways for human beings to get in touch with body and soul.
When you think about how far we’ve come from our evolutionary running origins, we get a clue to what we’ve lost. Running (though preferably not on a revolving rubber band) brings our feet, and our self, back down to earth. Even running down a city pavement does this, but further out - on the trails and hills through which Caballo Blanco ranged, or even the country lanes around my Pembrokeshire home - things get purer and simpler.
And its not just running. Easy, Light, Smooth, Fast - in that order - not a bad way to live a life.
For more about Caballo Blanco and ultra running see this BBC article.