Wednesday, April 23, 2008

High Goals

from Health Beyond Civilization Remedial health for the aspiring indigenous soul

Having established a certain degree of grounding in our experience of our own health, it’s worth it to start exploring goals.
I’d like to set the bar sky-high by looking at a few accounts of, for lack of a better term, superhuman feats.
Ernest Thompson Seton, in Gospel of the Redman, wrote,
The most famous runner of ancient Greece was Pheidippides, whose record run from Athens to Sparta was 140 miles in 36 hours. Among our Indians, such a feat would have been considered very second-rate. In 1882, at Fort Ellice, I saw a young Cree who, on foot, had just brought in despatches from Fort Qu’Appelle (125 miles away) in 25 hours. It created almost no comment. I heard little from the traders but cool remarks like, “A good boy”, “pretty good run”. It was obviously a very usual exploit, among Indians.
The two Indian runners, Thomas Zafiro and Leonicio San Miguel, ran 62 1/2 miles, i.e. from Pachuca to Mexico City, in 9 hours, 37 minutes, November 8, 1926, according to the El Paso Times, February 14, 1932. This was 9 1/4 minutes to the mile.
The Zunis have a race called, “Kicked Stick.” In this, the contestants each kick a stick before them as they run. Dr. F. W. Hodge tells me that there is a record of 20 miles covered in 2 hours by one of the kickers.
The Tarahumare mail carrier runs 70 miles a day, every day in the week, carrying a heavy mailbag, and he doesn’t know that he is doing an exploit. In addition, we are told: “The Tarahumare mail carrier from Chihuahua to Batopiles, Mexico, runs regularly more than 500 miles a week; a Hopi messenger has been known to run 120 miles in 15 hours.”
The Arizona Indians are known to run down deer by sheer endurance, and every student of Southwestern history will remember that Coronado’s mounted men were unable to overtake the natives when in the hill country, such was their speed and activity on foot.

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