running requires you to be vulnerable
July 29, 2020 11:20 AM   Subscribe

Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through North America’s Stolen Land is a memoir by Noé Álvarez that begins his freshman year of college, when raw and lonely and feeling out of place as the working class kid of Mexican immigrants, he dropped out to run with Peace and Dignity Journeys. Every four years, this spiritual run connects Indigenous peoples from across the Americas, with runners starting in Chickaloon, Alaska and in Tierra del Fuego Argentina.

"In their early days in Yakima, my father and mother planted pine trees deep in the Cascade Mountains, bandaging the land after logging companies wounded it. After a long day’s work, my parents gathered around a fire among other campesinos who lived like they did—one day at a time. They shared their food and what little they had with one another." His own journey through the landscapes and Native communities of North America and Central America is one that brings pain (physical, emotional) and deep healing, as well as profound emotions (affection and animosity and the whole gamut) with fellow runners.
posted by spamandkimchi (3 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Very interesting, thank you for posting.
posted by Not A Thing at 1:01 PM on July 29, 2020

Wanting to know more details, found in this WaPo review ... and in this Ari Shapiro interview.

What a remarkable turnaround. "The college dining hall offered food that was unfamiliar to him. 'Words like, vegan, toxins, paleo, organic, grass-fed, and soy-based don’t help clarify for me what the foods actually are,' he recalls.... To overcome his self-consciousness, he sat in his room, 'stomach growling,' and waited until 15 minutes before closing time to go to the dining hall and eat alone."
posted by Twang at 6:11 PM on July 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Reminds me a lot of "A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail" by Bill Bryson. Similar tales of physical and emotional exhaustion and nearly being mauled by a bear mixed with some fantastic writing and humor. Would recommend everyone read it if you liked this article
posted by MetaSquid at 12:15 AM on July 30, 2020

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