Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Call of the Wild




Natural instinct or domesticated obedience? That in a nutshell, is how I best summed up to myself my recent rereading of Jack London's "Call of the Wild".

In the story, Buck is a large mixed breed dog who endures several adventures. Beginning with a life of ease on a large estate to the frozen tundra of the Arctic, Buck slowly learns about himself and this growing yearning to tap into his natural instinct. Buck's natural instinct is one steeped in survival, being one with nature, leadership, and a yearning to be with the pack mentality that serves as his moral compass. After many trials and tribulations, he follows his natural instincts and the call of the wild.

As I read the story, I couldn't help but think about how we are all a little bit like Buck. We as humans are born and built to run. Are bodies has evolved over the years to be able to move in such a manner that can carry us great distances. It is natural for us to do this movement. However, as we have evolved over time, we have traded our pitchforks and sweat on the brow for coffee cups and Botox. For all intensive purposes, we have become domesticated.

How do we help non runners see that running is something natural that we should be doing? How do we get them to break out of the domesticated obedience where they blindly follow the latest fad or got to have thing that makes us less self reliant? How do we help them to hear, see, and feel what it is like to step out into nature?

As runners, are we the only ones who follow our natural instinct and shun the domesticated obediance as we dash off in pursuit of the call of the wild?

3 comments:

Rachel in Raleigh said...

Not just runners, Dirt Dawg, but hikers, backpackers, hunters, mtn climbers, etc. I think all of these "recreational" activities are our lifelines to staying in touch with what's "real".

ultrastevep said...

You should see my dogs when either I or my wife zips a zipper of our running jacket or some other running related sound. They get all excited and follow us around the house. They love to run as much as we do....and no, a walk no longer cuts it ;-)

MichaelRunner said...

Whoever figures out how to get non-runners to see that it is natural and something we should be doing will be a very, very rich person. Perhaps they should start with doctors and health care professionals.