On the Tarahumara and Caballo Blanco

Interestingly, I had picked up the book “Born to Run” about a month ago and could not stop reading it —  because I am a runner, because of the example of Caballo Blanco in describing running as a joyful part of life, and because of its focus on the Raramuri’s natural spirit and values tied to running.  At the same time, it dealt with two locations that had become a big part of my life — Colorado and the Copper Canyon in Chihuahua where my father had lived.  In particular, it also included two places where Caballo Blanco hung out — Guachochi/Creel area (where my father had lived) and Boulder, Colorado where I had attended the University of Colorado (and the flatiron mountains where I always went to run and hike).  I had just finished the book (and Rose, my wife, had started it) when I received my monthly copy of “Runner’s World” magazine — and there was an article there about “Caballo Blanco” and his passing away.  This article, however, did not include how he had passed away.  The NYT article picks up where the book left off – and is a testament to Caballo Blanco’s life – in that he died while doing what always brought him joy, in the wilderness that was a part of his nature, and found by fellow runners who called out his name as they ran to find him.  The significance of Caballo Blanco is how he learned the lessons of running from the Raramuris and that running is a part of living – a way of keeping healthy — but also, outside the world of competitiveness – a way of building community with collectivity — a part of nature’s gifts of joy and celebration.

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