Chris McDougall

Chris McDougall
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Chris McDougall: [0:04:33] The only thing I have to do this morning is go bodysurfing. So that’s it. The only thing on my schedule is Starretts, go to the beach.

Kelly: [0:04:40] Everyone, that is our intro. Welcome to The Ready State Podcast, Chris. And thanks for rubbing a little sea salt in the wounds. Welcome. 

Chris McDougall: [0:04:49] Dude, thank you so much. First of all, for two reasons. Number one, Juliet, I’ve never actually seen you before, so this is very cool.

Juliet: [0:04:55] I know. I feel the same way. We started talking back in like 2008 because remember we were trying to plan an event in San Francisco. So we’ve known each other for a long time but never actually laid eyes on each other. So this is amazing.

Kelly: [0:05:08] Let me tee that up for everyone just because an event in San Francisco, it was going to be like a happening, secret run through the Presidio, up to Golden Gate Bridge, and we weren’t going to get a permit. It was going to be too hard to organize that. So we were going to do-

Juliet: [0:05:24] It was like a flash mob.

Kelly: [0:05:25] Like a guerilla flash mob. You were the first flash mob. So that’s how we started interacting the first time.

Chris McDougall [0:05:29] You know, you’re lucky to find out what you missed because we actually did that in Boulder and I was like that close to getting arrested. I had a toe to toe with a park ranger with his hand on his pistol, saying, “Look, either you disband or you’re going to jail.” I’m like, “Says who?” The guy with his hand on the gun says who, jerk off. So Juliet, you wisely avoided basically a standoff with San Francisco PD.

Juliet: [0:05:55] Well, it would have been fun, I’ll say that much. 

Chris McDougall: [0:05:58] Yeah, right.

Kelly: [0:05:59] Okay, so just so everyone understands, we’ll get into this around Running with Sherman, but you were living in Pennsylvania in a different situation, and now, where are you currently? Something has changed in your life a little bit. Not wearing shirts, bodysurfing. Where are you?

Chris McDougall: [0:06:13] Before I even get to that, sorry, the burning thing on my mind is I told you guys I was going to lead off with this. So my wife has been running a lot more. Built up to eight miles a day or so. But her feet are chronically nagging her. Not injury; annoyance. And she can’t get over it, can’t get over it. So I bought like my fifth copy of Ready to Run because I get them and it’s always like people come to me like-

Juliet: [0:06:34] You just give it away.

Chris McDougall: [0:06:35] “What should I do?” Read this. I don’t have any answers. Here, read this. So I give it to my wife who has seen it around the house forever. The next day, she’s like, “Oh my God, my feet are already 60 percent better.” 

“Oh, what’d you do? Is it the lacrosse ball?” 

She’s like, “Drinking water. Drinking water.” And then she goes, “You’ve always told me this, but I had to hear it in Kelly’s words,” which is not what any husband ever wants to hear, like, “Yeah, yeah, you talk a lot, but I only listen when somebody else speaks up.” And dude, it’s unbelievable. So she has a giant metal canister she drinks water from. I think the thing’s like a half a gallon. She doubles up. And it is miraculous. She says that her feet are so much better just from the water and nothing else. 

Kelly: [0:07:15] You know, one, we appreciate that an expert is someone who lives a mile away. That’s always the case.

Chris McDougall: [0:07:21] Right. Right, right, right.

Kelly: [0:07:22] And second, I think you have been at the forefront of this strength and conditioning performance movement, functional movement revolution from Born to Run, when you started writing that, but really came out, just the genesis, the last 10 years of the world has been crazy. And it’s easy to forget the things that make us feel safe, the things that build tolerance around sleep and movement and hydration, nutrition. It’s just not very sexy sometimes. It’s much more sexy to get a pair of these carbon fiber Nike running shoes and talk about which gel you’re running with, right? And I think sometimes you miss the forest for the trees there. I love that that’s where she started because it was an easy grab, and it made some change. That’s the point; experiment.

Chris McDougall: [0:08:07] Yeah. Well, I think the thing about it was however you laid the book out, she said this time, because she’s read it before, you know? But I think what she did in the past was I need this solution, she went right to whatever page was dealing with plantar fasciitis or something. This time, she’d go page to page, cover to cover. And I think water may have been on page three or something. So as soon as she got there, stopped, let me try this, which again, I think is also kind of cool because her approach was let’s just be systematic and start with simple and build with complex as opposed to like let’s go to the nuclear option about a carbon fiber orthotic or something. Anyway man, way to go.

Juliet: [0:08:43] It’s so amazing that she was able to… I think often sometimes the simple solution is the solution, but everybody thinks they have to go to the nuclear option. So I love that story. Thank you so much.

Kelly: [0:08:54] There’s a person I’m kind of obsessed with right now, Ivan Illich, and he’s a writer about sort of medical processes. And he really takes this view that we have injected the need to see a doctor into our lives for things that should not ever need to see a doctor for, right? We have completely just handed over our agency. And I’m not saying… look, I’m a big fan of physicians, obviously, but there’s some things here that we have lost the curation and narrative about how to take care of ourselves as humans. And I think for those people who don’t know, our book Ready to Run is full homage to Born to Run because it’s that important a book. And I think as a way of starting this conversation more formally, your books have been about the systems and about how robust and durable people are without this preciousness around how tolerant and how extraordinary people are.

Chris McDougall: [0:09:48] It’s a curious thing too because so vivid in my mind, Born to Run was one of those flashbulb like fireworks, mushroom cloud experiences in my life, where it was like Before to Run and after Born to Run. So I remember a lot of the details very vividly. And I do remember sitting in my room working for two years on this book and thinking, number one, if people don’t buy this book, it’s totally your fault. Like it’s my fault because the material is f-in truffles. Someone’s giving me auction grade sashimi; if it sucks, it’s because you mangled it. That was my first thought. 

And my second thought was how did I never know this stuff. Like why did I never hear of barefoot running? Why did I never hear of minimalism? And I think that’s where the elements came together. Like there were all of these various tribes out on the wilderness who knew what was going on but they were out in the wilderness and nobody knew about them. And that was the good fortune of Born to Run, was I happened to be in a place where I had barefoot Ted, who’s clearly, we’ll say the most vocal of the barefoot advocates; Caballo Blanco, who’s been living this for years in the canyon; the Tarahumara who have been living it for 2,000 years; Eric Orton, who did a masterful job of training me. So the beauty and the luck of that situation was it was almost like Ocean’s Eleven, like the gang got together for the perfect heist and I was lucky to be there to hear all these voices at once.

Juliet: [0:11:14] I love that. And that actually sort of dovetails into a question I wanted to ask you. And I love hearing the backstory that you’re like if this book fails, it’s only my fault. But what do you think the secret sauce of that book was because it was so important to so many people, including us. And you obviously did get it right. And was it luck, was it timing, was it amazing writing skill, was it editing, or all of the above? I mean what do you attribute it to?

Kelly: [0:11:39] We talk about your book right now once a week at least. Like we are talking about the same thing, like how did Chris pull that off?

Chris McDougall: [0:11:45] Yeah. You know something? Honestly, I don’t know. I thought I knew. So I wrote Born to Run and then I thought, okay, I’ve cracked the code. Not only do I know how to write a great nonfiction book, I know how to sell a great nonfiction book. I’ve got this all figured out. And then I do Natural Born Heroes, and I was like, hey, salt is good; more salt, you know? Sugar’s good; double the sugar. And I feel like I overdid it. I overpacked that book with too much stuff, everything that I had learned about natural movement, it’s all going in. And I think I overdid it, and I feel like the narrative, the adventure, suffered for it.

 And I also didn’t have to sell it because with Born to Run, it became its own phenomenon so much that I felt like I was like the master ring leader. I was putting on these events and we’re doing runs and talks, and whatever I did was magic. And then I tried to reproduce that for Natural Born Heroes and it wasn’t working, because I then became Professor Chris McDougall where I’m going to come out and lecture people for an hour about stuff I think they should know like a 60-minute TED Talk.

So I tried to reverse that with Running with Sherman and I feel like I did. I feel like I got back to the primal roots. But ultimately, man, I don’t know. There is some magical alchemy that goes on that catches people’s attention. So my guess with Born to Run is where I was able to come at it was… Have you guys seen the film Brittany Runs a Marathon?

Kelly: [0:13:09] Yeah.

Juliet: [0:13:09] Yes.

Chris McDougall: [0:13:10] Okay. And I think the filmmaker was genius for revisiting this. You see the same little moments again and again and again in the second half of this film where she’s about to turn the doorknob, and she’s like, I don’t know, dude, I’m wearing like gray Champion sweats, I’ve got my CHUCKiES on my feet, I’m not a runner. And she pauses and she’s looking at that doorknob, trying to get up the stones to turn the knob. And we see that one image again and again and again. I thought that’s the Born to Run audience right there; people who are afraid to try and they just need a little bit of a push to turn the knob. And so I think Born to Run spoke to those people.

Juliet: [0:13:42] Yeah, I mean it was so impressive. It could have such been a little niche book for this very niche athletic population, and it just blew up and went so far beyond. I mean it cast such a wide net. It’s just amazing. Amazing.

Kelly: [0:13:56] And as a personal story, the way you reflected with your wife’s experience through a book, I was a heel striker my whole life and had knee pain running. I could sprint – interesting – then run, didn’t heel strike during sprinting because I was sprinting. I could do all of these other things. I was working with a running coach who was a good friend, Brian Mackenzie, who had taught me how to run. I knew Romanov, I was doing these drills. But it wasn’t until I read Born to Run, I literally put it down, I went outside, and I was like, oh, and I tried running, and I was like this is what they meant. And it was a description that you had where I learned to run. And then that year I went and ran an ultramarathon thanks to you. 

Chris McDougall: [0:14:38] Interesting because I would have supposed that you had worked out all the schematics and the science first and then applied it, as opposed to, oh, here’s a fun story, let’s go, you know? That doesn’t seem like you. You would have had it all white boarded out, you know?

Kelly: [0:14:53] I was doing all the technical stuff. The story was the pin. And what’s so great, it’s interesting you felt like Natural Born Heroes was so different because that ended up being a favorite book for so many people. Laird Hamilton was the one who said to us, “Have you read one of my favorite books of all time?” And this is the book. And I was like, “Oh, Chris’s book, I can’t believe I hadn’t seen that.” And it really is such a page turner. And what’s cool about that for you is that we have some friends who have discovered Maffetone through that book. And you really have led a lot of people tangentially. I don’t think you had the same sort of immediate hot fire nuclear reaction, but that was a slow burn. And we have handed out so many copies of that book.

Chris McDougall: [0:15:37] Thank you. You know, it’s funny because here in Hawaii, there’s a lot of military here. And I’ll constantly bump into a guy, be chatting with him, and he’s like, “Hey, by the way, man, I’ve got buddies from Navy SEALs, that’s all they talk about is Natural Born Heroes; they’re obsessed with it.” So I think there’s a good little subculture out there. I like the fact that you and I are also driving each other’s sales. Like I’m handing out copies of Ready to Run and Supple Leopard all over the place. You’re doing Born to Run and Natural Born Heroes. But dude, you guys had the same situation with Supple Leopard. Like that took off like a freaking skyrocket. And I mean did you anticipate that? It was the only thing of its kind, but it seemed like it was targeted to specialists, and yet I feel like everybody bought it.

Juliet: [0:16:17] Yeah. It went way beyond that. I mean we had no idea. We thought for sure it would be like some physical therapists and CrossFit coaches who would buy that book. And it was, I mean as you know, it’s like a $65 or $69 textbook that’s very dense. So no, we had no idea. Like you, I think it was a variety of factors, and some of that is just plain luck and timing, having nothing to do with us.

Chris McDougall: [0:16:40] Personally, I also keep buying that book and gifting it and then thinking, okay, I’m bulletproof for life now. And then I’ll get a little bit of tendinosis or I sprain my ankle playing basketball. Like oh shit, I’ve got to kick out another $65.

Kelly: [0:16:52] Hey, you can call me. I know a guy.

Chris McDougall: [0:16:54] Yeah. But you guys got the VooDoo straps figured out. And I hadn’t seen anybody else make it that clear and that pointed. And like how do you do that again; I thought I knew it. So yeah. I’m driving those sales for you too.

Juliet: [0:17:05] Yeah. It’s not really a book that you read from start to finish. I think the best way to use that book is it’s like an encyclopedia so-

Kelly: [0:17:10] Should keep it in the freezer. 

Juliet: [0:17:11] Yeah, keep it in the freezer.

Kelly: [0:17:12] And when something hurts, put it on-

Juliet: [0:17:12] Yeah, exactly.

Kelly: [0:17:14] Whatever may hurt.

Juliet: [0:17:14] I mean it’s a reference book for sure. 

Kelly: [0:17:15] I think one of the things that you’ve sort of hinted at is you sort of went to your second official big title, Natural Born Heroes, was such an adventure and a historical context and kind of bouncing back and forth. Your last book, which I got an advance copy, I got a galley copy of that book, and then as I was reading it, I literally was live texting you as I was like crying on the airplane. And you were like, “Dude, you’re live tweeting this book to me.” Running with Sherman really brought you and your family, and the context, it humanized this total adventure. And I hope whatever you’re working on next, you do the same thing. But I think that tees up for your experience… You should tell us where you were a little bit because I want people to go out and find this because this book particularly has been interesting during the pandemic where people have rediscovered their relationship to animals, right? They’ve rediscovered their need.

Chris McDougall: [0:18:09] As you were talking, I was thinking to myself, that would actually be the greatest blurb of all time. Only have one blurb where you have one guy live tweeting you from a plane chapter by chapter. Like that’s the blurb on the back of the book, you know? Like holy shit, can’t believe it, you know, he died? So that would be really cool. So yeah, I mean let me give you the background then.

Juliet: [0:18:27] Yeah, I mean just to add to that really quick, Chris, I mean I would love if you could just share sort of the backstory of Running with Sherman and add one quick thing, which is we are gigantic fans of all of your books, but I have to say Kelly talks about Running with Sherman so much. And it actually sort of changed our feeling in our relationship, even just with like our house pets. So if you could tell everybody the backstory of that book and a little bit about it, that would be awesome. It’s such a great story.

Chris McDougall: [0:18:49] It’s interesting. I’m making connections here between Kelly and I because I have a feeling we probably have similar emotions, you know. And we’re at this stage in our lives where expressing them, being comfortable with them, is kind of a new thing. And that’s probably why it spoke to you too because we were probably both in that like, right, that plateau.

Juliet: [0:19:09] I don’t want to stop you, but Kelly actually and I have this ongoing joke now because I’m like, “Oh, are you feeling a feeling, baby? Like are you feeling that thing? It’s called a feeling.” Yeah. So you’re exactly right, Chris. You’re exactly right.

Kelly: [0:19:22] I think technically it’s being vulnerable.

Juliet: [0:19:24] Well, whatever. It’s feeling a feeling.

Kelly: [0:19:25] Feeling a feeling.

Chris McDougall: [0:19:26] We call it the V word. We don’t even say it in my household. My daughter loves shows like The Bachelor and as soon as somebody starts crying, I’m like, “Ah, I’m going to go get some chips or something.” It’s like, oh yeah, he’s showing an emotion, you’ve got to leave the room. Yeah. Okay. So here’s the background that led to that. So yeah, I came out of an Italian Irish family from South Philadelphia, West Philadelphia. Typical upbringing, which is like you got in trouble, you cried and complained, you got double the punishment. So you learned to kind of shut up and just take your licking and move on. 

I was an overseas correspondent for a bunch of years for The Associated Press, so you’re kind of bouncing around a lot, high pressure situations. The breaking point for me was actually covering the massacres in Rwanda, which for a long time I just didn’t want to address. I didn’t want to get into it at all because you just see a part of people that reflects back on you. You second guess your own reactions. Was I compassionate enough? Did I do enough? A whole swirl of second guessing goes on after an experience like that, that is not comfortable. 

And most of all, it just makes you look around at people around you and think of them as less. I think when you see the way… It was unusual to be in a situation where suddenly there is no safe zone. We go through life and you kind of assume that everything’s kind of okay. Like hey, I’m in trouble, call the cops, you know? I get a flat tire, someone will probably pull over and help me. And then you’re in a situation, and it’s curious because we’re kind of in there in America now where it’s just horrible, every man for himself. I don’t care if I lie, I don’t care if I cheat, I don’t care if I’m cruel as long as I win, which to me was not part of my upbringing. There was sort of a code that, yeah, you’ll push, but you won’t overstep. You won’t take advantage of the vulnerable.

And then you’re in a situation where they do it to such an extreme. Children are… Let’s just say to such an extreme. So after that, I decided I need to step away. Moved back to Pennsylvania and started to do magazine freelancing in Philly where I knew a lot of people. It’s where I grew up. I had a lot of opportunities for stories. So it was a great feeding ground for me to pitch stories. 

But then when my wife and I had our first child, it was kind of cool being in Philly, but we wanted this kid to be running around in a yard like barefoot and stuff. So we just went full extreme the other way. We went from downtown Philadelphia literally like blocks from city hall to a place called Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania, which you’ve got to zoom in pretty hard on Google maps to even find Peach Bottom. It’s almost all Amish farms. All of our neighbors were Amish and Mennonite. My wife grew up in Honolulu, so she was a local kid in the city, on beaches but never out in the country. So here we on a five-acre farm, in a log home. Looks great on television, but in reality, it’s like holy shit, there’s like an eight-foot rat snake just climbed into the roof. Like now what, you know? It’s getting cold, we’ve got to get firewood. Where do you get firewood? I don’t know. How do you light the stove? I don’t know.

But that was our existence for almost 25 years. And year by year, we just loved it. Everything that was a challenge became an adventure. It was fun. So our second daughter was born there, lived her whole life there. And then gradually we just started to bring in animals. My wife discovered that she’s lactose intolerant, but she can handle sheep and goat milk. That was one of the lessons from our Amish neighbors. Anyone who’s lactose intolerant, they just raise a sheep or raise a goat. So we began raising sheep and chickens, geese and ducks. And then this sort of led us to the whole sort of click over point with Sherman. Taking care of a sheep is pretty easy. You basically just open the gate, let it eat grass, give it a bucket of water, sheep is well maintained.

But then my daughter got this idea when she was nine. I said, “Hey, your birthday’s coming up, what do you want?” And she goes, “A donkey.” And a donkey was like a whole different thing. And I’m like, “Man, there’s no way we’re getting a donkey. It ain’t happening.” But I knew why she was excited, because we had seen this woman one time in the woods on a hike riding a donkey up the trail with like a saddle. And I-

Kelly: [0:023:34] Donkeys are rad.

Chris McDougall: [0:23:35] Donkeys are the best, man. Everything you think you’re going to get from a dog you actually get from a donkey, plus. They’re dogs plus because they’re affectionate, they’re loyal, they’re fun, but you can ride them, you know? 

Juliet: [0:23:48] So cool.

Chris McDougall: [0:23:49] So we saw this woman on horseback and it all of a sudden clicked in my mind, donkeys are kid size. Donkeys are like kid sized horses. So I think in my nine-year-old’s mind, a horse is a freaking dinosaur, but a donkey. And that was what led us to Sherman. We were like, all right, let’s see if we can get this kid a donkey. And off we went.

Juliet: [0:24:07] And where did you find Sherman? Like how do you even go about… I mean I realize I’m not living in Amish country. Maybe that’s obvious. But if you’re not, how do you go obtain a donkey?

Chris McDougall: [0:24:16] No, no, there is no question you can ask, Juliet, that is not the same question I asked, because again, we’re newcomers to this world. And if you think you know it all, you’ve got a lesson coming. So I just said, “Hey, where do you get a donkey?” And people are like, “Not here. Not in Pennsylvania. Maybe Colorado because they’re mountain animals. They’re not working farm animals on the East Coast.” So I’m asking around, asking around, people are giving me the hairy eyeball like, “Dude, you’re so not from here.”

That’s the way it went for a while until one of my neighbors I kind of knew third hand came by the house one day and he said, “Hey, yeah, I heard you were looking for a donkey. We have someone in our church – he’s Mennonite – we have somebody in our church that has a donkey. We need to get it out of his hands. He’s a hoarder and we need to fix this situation.” That’s one thing I really love about the Amish and the Mennonites. They seem extremists, but they genuinely walk the talk. So by church, he doesn’t necessarily mean where we go to the building. His church means his community, his brothers and sisters in that community. And if someone needs help, it’s the entire community’s responsibility to help them out. And so they knew this guy was a hoarder. He was spending more on animal feed than he was spending on his family. The family was impoverished. And I’m like, man, sounds like a win all around, you know? This guy… Right?

Kelly: [0:25:35] Amazing.

Chris McDougall: [0:25:36] Amazing. Free donkey, this guy’s not spending on feed, everybody wins. And so me and the kids get in the truck and we’re following Wes to this guy’s house, we’re excited. We’re like, yeah, man, we’re going to call it Skullcrusher, Zorro.  It’s actually not bad. We get to the house, we get back to the farm, and we walk into the barn. As soon as we walk in, man, it’s like pure Addams Family. Your heart starts to sink. It’s like this is really gloomy, this can’t be good. We’re walking through muck inside the barn; it’s like over our boot tops. We’re looking around, it’s like I don’t see any donkey. And then we look in the back of this one stall, like in this literal dungeon, and this thing is mucking through like knee deep rotten straw and mud. And it just looks like death. Oh my God, that’s my kid’s birthday present. And my daughters were just… Right? Hey, happy birthday. So and my daughters are just like dumbstruck. The three of us are just staring at this thing. My first thought was like, okay, well, this is not our donkey. But then my second thought was we’re definitely not leaving here. It’s coming out of here. And that was it.

So we told Wes, “Yeah, tell this guy we’ll take it.” So he pulls the guy aside and the guy was like, “Nah, I’m not so sure. I don’t think so.” And I’m telling Wes, “Dude, you can tell him whatever you want, but there is no way that donkey’s staying here. It’s coming out. Either you let him out or we’re calling the cops. He’s coming out.” Wes talks to the guy, and I love this. So Wes is a truly good person. He’s honest in the way that none of the rest of us are. Like he will tell you the truth kindly no matter what it is. But now he’s got to talk to this guy who has mentally imbalanced. The truth ain’t going to work. So Wes comes up with I thought the most flexible version of the truth. He says to this guy, “Hey, here’s what we’re going to do. Chris is going to take the donkey just for two years. Take him for two years, fix him up, get him healthy, let you catch up on your finances. Then after two years, we’ll see what happens.” I’m like, “Yeah, Wes, you are quite the bullshitter.” But that works. That works. We were able to get the donkey that way. But then began this whole thing of I didn’t realize how sick this thing was. And so it actually showed up at our door the next day.

Juliet: [0:27:54] Right. So not only have you gotten a donkey and you have to figure out how to take care of a donkey, but now you have to figure out how to rehabilitate a donkey.

Chris McDougall: [0:28:00] Yeah.

Juliet: [0:28:01] Yeah. Where did you even start? Did you type in like “rehabilitate a donkey”  into Google?

Chris McDougall: [0:28:06] No. So here’s the thing about it; there’s like that impact moment. So we told Wes, “It’s got to come out of here Wes, one way or the other.” He’s like, “Okay, look, we’ll be there tomorrow.” So the next day, I think he said he’d be there by 8 a.m.; it’s 11 a.m., there’s no Wes yet. And then the truck pulls up and there’s a hay wagon behind it and I see that there’s an animal in the back. Here it was at the gate. And then we look in the back and we realize, oh shit, this thing can’t walk. Its hooves were so overgrown it looked like sleigh runners, it looked like diving fins. And this thing is kind of like splayed out on these long, curled up hooves. What the hell? So we managed to kind of ease it off, sort of carry it off. And then as we’re doing this, my mind is racing. What are we doing? What’s the next step here? And in my mind, I only know one person with a donkey; it was that lady in the woods. I don’t know who she is. I don’t know her name. 

So we get her, the donkey, off the truck. Wes leaves. And I go inside and I call another neighbor. I say, “Hey, we saw this woman in the woods riding a donkey.” And that’s as far as I had to go. “Oh yeah, yeah, sure. You want Laurie. Yeah. She’s right around the corner.” Apparently, in farm country, if you’re a woman riding a donkey in the woods, everybody knows who you are. 

Kelly: [0:29:17] Seems reasonable.

Chris McDougall: [0:29:17] So she was the donkey woman. So yeah, they gave me her number, and that was it. Gave her a call. She was over there in a heartbeat. And then this became her personal rehabilitation project. She just dug right in.

Kelly: [0:29:30] Juliet and I were in New York not so long ago, before the pandemic, with our kids. What we noticed was that there was a culture of people who had dogs, that would bring their dogs to the hotel. And the dog ended up being a surrogate reason to interact, that people had, it was like a connection where people could talk about dogs and you could reach the dog, and people were just looking for interaction and connection. And I just am sort of struck by this animal suddenly just mobilizes an entire community around it and suddenly you’re making connections around it and they way you’re… There’s a story you talk about in the book I think is so important because I think in context of COVID and people getting so many dogs and feeling self-soothing, you kind of pondered why you thought Amish people were still using horses. Do you remember that story? Why they were still… Would you talk about that, what you kind of rationed out there?

Chris McDougall: [0:30:19] Yeah. I’m really intrigued by your observation too because I had never thought of that. I have a friend, Alexandra Horowitz, she is a psychologist. She specializes in canine thinking. She actually wrote a book called What A Dog Thinks. And she did a column for The New York Times one time where she just kind of eavesdropped at the dog park to what people were saying to their dogs. And it was actually pretty humorous, those conversations.  Like “Billy, if you do it again, you’re not going to get your… I’ve told you,” you know?

But I think what’s interesting is you’re making… I wonder if those conversations were not designed to be overheard, you know? You’re opening my eyes to the fact that maybe people get a dog so that that becomes an access point to them from other people. And I wonder if a dog is also not a way for you to air things that, yes, you kind of want people to hear and respond to, but in New York, you can’t just say to somebody, “I have a problem.” Anyways, it’s very interesting. They become this… Yeah, this is avenue to contact.

But to your point, so you know it’s funny, when I first moved out to Amish country from Philly, and every once in a while I would go back to the city. I was working at Philadelphia Magazine then. I would go back and people would talk to me about the Amish. Like, “Oh yeah, man, they’re so cruel to their animals.” I’m like, “Really? I haven’t seen it.” “Oh yeah, yeah, they beat their horses to death. We saw it on something.” “Really? I’ve never seen this.” I thought, okay, I’m new, maybe these people in Philly know more about my neighbors than I do, even though I see them every day. But maybe I’m missing something. And it took a while before I could definitively say they were dead wrong. 

And the catalyst moment was I bumped into a guy, we were picking up a ram that we were borrowing. We got to this guy’s farm, an Amish guy, and he had a bunch of used split rail fence just lying in a pile. And I said, “Hey, man, can I buy it from you?” He gave me a great deal on used split rail, which is super expensive stuff. It was hundreds of rails. So I did a lot of trips in my trucks every morning for like a week. And every day I went at the same time. I would go at six in the morning because I wanted to be off the road before the cops were out because it was like an unsafe load. So I would go at six in the morning, load a bunch of fence rail, then drive it home. And every day I went there, this guy was in the same spot. Cup of coffee, elbows on the side of the fence, sipping his coffee, just looking at his horses. Sun’s coming up, looking at his horses. And I started to chat with him every morning when I came by. And he goes, “I just love this. I just love watching them.” 

And that’s when it clicked. This conception that people have that if you make an animal work you are therefore abusive, was really misguided. This man loved and respected his work animals the way he loved and respected his work mates in the shop. He treated them well. He admired and respected it. And I think for him, it was a moment of Zen where he was connecting and it was bringing him peace. 

And that’s when the wheels began to turn in my mind of like it’s so easy to marginalize a group like the Amish. Like, ah, those old throwback dudes in their black pants and their long dresses. But then you start to dig in a little bit and you realize, huh, there’s a culture in America that has three percent obesity, that is nonviolence, that has almost no crime rate, has only one recorded homicide in their entire history in the United States, that has close, cohesive families, that does not burn fossil fuels. Hey, they sound great. Who are those guys? They’re the Amish. So again, we think that we can outsmart the world. We’re SpaceX man, we’re going to Mars. The Amish are like, “Well, we’ve got a pretty nice place right here if you just don’t mess it up.”

Kelly: [0:34:06] You know, Juliet and I were really struggling or wrapping our heads around this gigantic environment organism sort of-

Juliet: [0:34:14] Mismatch.

Kelly: [0:34:14] Mismatch.

Juliet: [0:34:15] Mismatch.

Kelly: [0:34:15] Right? I think is that a Lieberman term?

Juliet: [0:34:16] That’s a Lieberman term. 

Kelly: [0:34:18] And what we’re seeing is that people have just moved so far away from what it means foundationally to be human. Sleep, walk, have good relationships, eat.

Juliet: [0:34:26] Interact with animals.

Kelly: [0:34:27] Right. Eat food. And I feel like one of the missing pieces for you… It’s interesting because I’ll talk about it in a second, it’s come up in some other things, but this interaction with animals, I think it was you who said E.O Wilson noted that it was going against our evolutionary psychology not to be with an animal. Is that right?

Chris McDougall: [0:34:44] Yeah. I think the myopia we get is that whatever we’re doing in 2021 is the best, you know? Like we’ve progressed always upward. And then you think, you know actually E.O. Wilson was the guy, yeah, maybe you should circle back a little bit because a lot of times, speeding forward, you leave stuff behind you that you actually really need. And what he pointed out was that for the overwhelming majority of human existence, up until the internal combustion engine became a form of transportation, which is very, very recent, it’s only in the past say 100 years that cars became pretty universal. Prior to that, you always used animals for transportation. You could never travel too far from your source of food because there was no way… There were no trucks, you couldn’t get the food there. So you lived close to animals for both meat and for eggs and also for farming. And there’s the idea of raising animals and raising crops were hand in hand. You fertilized your soil with the animal waste.

So you lived near animals, animals were your companions, they were your transportation. And if you did not live near animals and understand them, then you were basically in trouble. You would not live very long. So for years… So when you think about it, I love the hypothesis that the first humans who domesticated cats and dogs really depended on them. It wasn’t like we were the strong ones. We weren’t like Conan bringing in the pet wolf. Like no, the wolf had everything figured out. The wolf didn’t need us at all. Wolves doing fine out there. We were lucky that the wolf decided, hey, you know what, let’s take pity on these naked, bipedal weaklings.

Kelly: [0:36:22] Apes.

Chris McDougall: [0:36:22] Yeah. Yeah. Who are wondering around chasing deer and getting nowhere. Let’s partner up with them. Because if we had not partnered up with wolves who became our early trackers, our nighttime security, our best hunters, if we hadn’t partnered up with them, human history might have taken a much more sort of tragic trajectory.

Kelly: [0:36:39] I was just in Zimbabwe last week. And I was on this… As one does.

Juliet: [0:36:45] He was on a fantasy man kayaking trip, Chris.

Kelly: [0:36:47] I was on a fantasy man kayaking trip. And but I went to a local homestead, which wasn’t a tourist homestead. It was a local homestead, working farm. And we were talking about how do you manage elephants because elephants were coming through and ripping through this farm. Fourteen people live on this farm and they have no means of making revenue to buy things. They have to raise goats and then if they’re going to sell something. But they’re all 100 percent self-contained. And so if an elephant goes through and rips through their garden, it’s a real problem. And they were like, “Oh, this is why we have dogs, because the dogs scare everything else away.” And once again I was like, ah, Chris is on it, man. If you have a dog, you can sleep a little bit, you know? There were a couple feral cats, and they were just like, “Yeah, it helps with all the rodents.” And I was like, man, these cats living in Africa are bad, bad cats. I mean these are amazing cats.

Juliet: [0:37:35] Yeah, how long do you think our cat would survive there?

Kelly: [0:37:37] Seconds. It’s over. You know, as we’ve sort of moved away from ourselves, I thought that the framework for this was a good reminder that putting in context how important these relationships are, one of our friends, John Berardi, he famously had a nutrition client who was really struggling to lose weight. And what John said was, “Hey, why don’t you get a dog? Just get a dog.” And the guy was like, “Okay, I got a dog.” And he was like, “How’s it going?” And he was like, “I lost weight. I haven’t done anything yet.” And just by getting a dog he had an excuse to go out and walk. He had an excuse to see his neighbors. He had an excuse to leave the house. And sometimes it just can be that circuit. And I think you tied so many aspects of that together. Beautiful book.

Chris McDougall: [0:38:19] You know, it’s funny, so near where I live, there is this crazy, I call him devil dog, Maca. And whenever I see Maca from a hundred yards away, he’ll see me, I’ll see Maca. It’s a neighbor’s dog. And I’ll go, “Maca,” and this dog takes off like a shot, just comes galloping at me and he’s like… You know what? That little dog just like injected a full syringe of joy into my heart because he’s so happy about everything. And I think that to that guy’s point about a dog is that whatever else was going on that was fueling the weight problem – maybe it was anxieties, maybe therapy or whatever else – this creature brought something of happiness. 

And again, the thing that you can’t underestimate, I was looking at it, looking at evolutionary history, where you had… You know feral cats are night creatures. They’re nocturnal. So they have super acute hearing and eyesight, night vision. And so if you’re in an exposed area like the Zimbabwe homestead, and that cat is purring and relaxing, it’s telling you that there is nothing in your perimeter that is a threat because the cat would be otherwise up. So if the cat’s relaxed, you can relax because that cat is hearing stuff that you can’t hear. Even now to this day, you bring a cat into the cancer ward or children’s ward where kids are struggling with chronic illness, you give them a cat and the cat purrs, that’s medicinal, man. That’s pain relief in a furry form, just because I think we are hardwired evolutionarily to get a sense of contentment from our contact with these creatures.

Kelly: [0:39:51] Right.

Juliet: [0:39:52] So one quick side story is we have this black cat named King Louie who literally sleeps on my pillow touching my head. And I fall asleep and we’re holding hands and he’s purring. He’s like my emotional support cat.

Chris McDougall: [0:40:02] Yeah. 

Juliet: [0:40:03] So I really resonate with that. So I don’t want to-

Kelly: [0:40:05] And wait, the second you’re gone…. zoom.

Juliet: [0:40:07] Yeah. When I fall asleep, he bails. He waits until I fall asleep and then he bails. So he knows that that’s his job. Anyway, so I think anyone listening to this podcast should read all of your books, including Running with Sherman. But can you give us a quick… And I have a bunch of other non Running with Sherman questions to ask you, but what happened with Sherman? I know he was rehabilitated, and is he still alive?

Chris McDougall: [0:40:27] Yes. Yes, he is. And you know, it’s funny because when I was on book tour-

Kelly: [0:40:32] Living his best life. Champion.

Chris McDougall: [0:40:33] Oh, he’s doing amazing. I know. I feel like he should be King Sherman now with a little jaunty crown on his head. But you know, it’s funny because in the book you realize how dire his circumstances are. So I would go on book tour and I would do a talk and people would ask me questions. And often the first question people would ask is, they’d be very apologetic, and they go, “Is Sherman dead?” I’d be like, “Dude, why are you killing Sherman in your brain? No. Sherman’s awesome.” 

Our COVID story was as much as I like living among the Amish, they are also not the best about masking, distancing, and vaccinating. So when the stuff started coming down during those first few months of COVID, I’m like, you know what, we live 30 miles from the nearest hospital, surrounded by people who don’t drive. If they get sick, my phone’s going to ring. “Can you take our sick grandmother to the hospital?” If we get sick, there’s no one to take us to the hospital. And I thought, man, we should really get out of here for a while. And I thought, you know what, my wife had been trying to get back to Hawaii for 25 years, that’s where she grew up, this might be the moment. So like that in six weeks, man, we just bugged out. 

So our first question was, well, what are we going to do with the animals. We’ve got to rehome them. So we called our farrier Leslie, this saint of a woman who trims the donkey’s hooves. And I said, “Leslie, do you know anybody who you totally trust who can take three donkeys because we’re not separating them?” And she’s like, “Yeah, this guy. I’ll take them.” She’s got a 150-acre farm, she has five other donkeys. I’m like, “Can you handle three more donkeys?” She’s like, “Dude, I can handle a freaking circus.” So she brought in the three animals and they’re looking around like, wait, we just upgraded from five crappy acres behind McDougall’s house to 150 with heated stalls and heated water. So Sherman basically gave me hoof and said, “All right, dude, you know, smell you later.” So that’s where they are now. The three of them are together, tromping around, having a good time. We gave the sheep to my daughter’s best friend, goats to an Amish neighbor, cats to an Amish neighbor. And in a matter of six weeks we sold the farm and headed for Hawaii.

Kelly: [0:42:32] There’s a side note of Running with Sherman that I want to just brush up on. You do such a wonderful job of having an adventure in your books. Like they’re all about you sort of having an adventure. Your whole family comes along with this one. Ultimately, without giving the whole story away, there’s a big running race in Leadville. Can you talk about what that is and how Sherman ran that race?

Chris McDougall: [0:42:53] Yeah. So this woman Tonya, our savior from the woods who rides around on horseback. I think you get the mental image. anyone who’s willing to ride through the woods on a donkey in Pennsylvania is a pretty tough customer, you know. She’s pretty sweet, but you don’t mess around with Tonya. And Tonya’s the one that kind of just bullied me into like, “You better find this animal a job. You can’t just stick him out in a field with a bow on his tail. He needs a purpose.” I’m like, “All right, Tonya.” And I’m like, “What purpose? What job? I don’t have a job for a donkey.” But I did remember the burro races in Colorado. And what I love about this is I think at first blush, you look at burro races and you think, okay, here’s another little novelty, goofy little thing. But actually, this race is to me like the purest expression of an animal, human partnership because you’re not going to make a donkey do anything. Either you understand the donkey and he’s on your team, or you’re done. He ain’t going.

Kelly: [0:43:49] There’s a reason Mary rode a donkey into Bethlehem and not a horse.

Chris McDougall: [0:43:52] Exactly. You know what? She knew she was heading into a firestorm; she wanted a donkey underneath her. But there’s actually something about that though too, is donkeys have that reputation throughout history, throughout mythology: Stubborn but reliable. If a donkey signs on, you know you’re safe. A horse will do whatever you tell it. A donkey has got to be down. A donkey’s got to sign off first before you make any forward progress. 

So the old prospectors knew this. Like when the prospectors went into the mountains, they didn’t want a horse because you can force a horse to do something stupid. But a donkey, if you’re on a pass and its footing is tricky, the donkey will sniff it out, and if it’s not safe for the donkey, the donkey will just stop. No matter how much you smack it, he’s like, “I ain’t doing it.” 

So these burro races are old throwbacks to the old prospector tradition of running alongside your donkey. You would strike a claim in the mountains, you’d run into town, register the claim, it was yours. So to this day, people will run, races are 15 to 29 miles, side by side with a donkey. So if it’s a Sunday morning and it’s a race and you want a donkey to run 29 miles, you better hope that the donkey did not have other plans for the day. Otherwise, he don’t care it’s a race, you know? He ain’t going.

These guys, these people who do this to this day are not only superb mountain athletes, I mean these are banging out like three-hour, 20-minute marathons at 12,000 feet. They’re great athletes. But beyond that, they’ve invested years of training and working with the animals so that you watch the best burro racers… There’s a woman named Barb Dolan, you watch her and this is like a full-on partner. This is like two paddlers in a kayak; they’re totally in sync. Barb barely… She’ll make a little noise, and the donkey’s like, oh, okay, turn right, you know? So I loved the fact that not only have they trained their bodies but they have partnered these animals to perform this great routine.

Kelly: [0:45:39] And yes, Chris just said the name of the donkey. It was Barbarian.

Juliet: [0:45:42] Okay, so Chris, I’m going to take this in a little bit different direction. The context is that I just started reading Matthew McConaughey’s book Green Lights randomly. I’m like halfway through. And then when I was preparing for this, I was like, oh, Born to Run is being made into a movie with Matthew McConaughey. So I would love to hear more about that and how that came about and anything you can tell us about that project because that’s cool.

Chris McDougall: [0:46:04] Well, Matthew, if you’re listening, call me. No. That’s gone through some weird permutations. So he was early on. There was a producer who was friendly with Matthew McConaughey, he read… Oh, actually, I think he was already a barefoot runner. There’s like pictures of him running around with FiveFingers. But that just kind of dissolved, didn’t happen. And so now it’s going into the hands of another producer, a guy named Chris Bender, the guy who did The Hangover, all the American Pie movies. He is a minimalist runner and sort of die-hard Born to Run fan. He’s now currently working to turn it into a TV series. But the movie which would have had Matthew McConaughey unfortunately has never worked out. I know, right?

Kelly: [0:46:47] So you and I sometimes jump on the phone, we have these wide-ranging conversations about how do kids’ games teach kids fundamental skills. You are one of my favorite nerds. I can’t help but think that you are also currently thinking, working on something else. And I think you wrote to Lisa big waves, deep bruises, and the occasional shark. What are you working on these days?

Juliet: [0:47:11] Yeah, what are you working on and-

Kelly: [0:47:13] Because I actually can’t wait to go on the next adventure with you. It’s really remarkable to just be a voyeur on your sort of crazy, manic, deep, sensitive brain. Like what are you doing?

Chris McDougall: [0:47:25] It’s kind of cool because now that you’re… Oh yeah, I do remember that email. That was kind of a cool email. You sort of dash it off, after you’re like, oh yeah, that was kind of a cool thing to say. But I kind of forgot about it. And it is true when you and I talk, just like that comment you made about the dogs, I think we trigger things in each other like I go this far, you say something that takes me to this level, this level. So I love the way we kind of walk the stairs together, you know, trigger ideas.

So yeah, and sure, and this would be really cool, man, if we could rope Laird into this. It’s way below his pay grade. But basically, what I’m interested in is bodysurfing. So I came to Hawaii and I looked around, didn’t see anybody bodysurfing. I think I’m the best bodysurfer. I think I’m state champion, you know, because I’m on a little wave and I dive onto it like you do Jersey, you know Jersey Shore style, and I just plank out right into the sand, I think I’m awesome. 

And I was just talking to this guy, there’s a pickup basketball game here on Sunday mornings and I’m talking to this guy, he’s like 65 years old. And he mentioned he’s bod surfing at Pipeline. I’m like, “You’re body surfing at Pipeline?” “Oh yeah, yeah.” Sixty-five. I mean how do you do that? He’s like, “You just do it.” So he took me off to this place called Sandy Beach, which is a notorious surf spot here because it’s got tight breaks. Anyway, he took me out there. I just got manhandled. I mean I came home bloody and bruised. And I realized that there are bodysurfers out there but they’re on these little secluded breaks where they don’t have to compete with surfers, and what they’re doing is such an art form. 

And now I’ve spent a year working on this and I’m still baby pool level. I’m still below beginner. And that’s why I’m intrigued by because it brings into my lots of things. Breath holding, the body’s relationship with the water, the body’s relationship with itself. Because what I love are these moments where you have to execute a function and you don’t have time to think. Either you know it and you have it right and your hand understands your foot, or it’s disaster.

I was watching a video recently about Laird’s iconic wave at Teahupo’o where the jet ski tower looked over his shoulder and said to Laird, “Hey, man, don’t catch this one,” and realized Laird had already let go of the rope. He’s already on it, you know? And someone did it as like it a breakdown. It’s a weird thing; Laird is dragging his right hand in the water. Everybody drags their left, but somehow Laird knew instinctively he needed to drag the right hand so he wouldn’t get sucked in. And to me that’s what it is. In that moment, you’re doing something you’ve never done before, but your body from head to toe is so synthesized, it knows how to compensate. You watch his posture on that too, this dude is in such a low crouch. His butt cheek is on his right heel and his knee is at nose level. And this guy has his perfect posture, but he’s not processing it; it’s happening. So anyway, that’s what I’m working on. I’m working on the exploration of bodysurfing with these OG, old school dudes. I’m out at Point Panic,  I’m out at Pipeline, I’m going to Sandy’s, and just trying to figure out this thing, man. Yeah.

Juliet: [0:50:35] So I don’t really want to speak for Laird, but interestingly, we just watched the 100 Foot Wave documentary about Garrett McNamara and surfing the 100 foot wave in Portugal, and there’s actually a section in that documentary where Laird is interviewed and he says that he specifically thinks of himself as a surfer and that that includes all forms of surfing, including bodysurfing. So I don’t know if you remember that little… or if you’ve seen that documentary yet. But he specifically sort of thinks of himself as a full waterman and a surfer of all kinds, including bodysurfing.

Kelly: [0:51:04] Let me just jump in with a little funny bodysurfing with Laird anecdote, as one does. We were out working on an event with them, and we went to his favorite spot, which is called Lumahai, which literally means like death by broken back in the sand because you sucked at bodysurfing. That’s what the translation is. The ehukai is there. It’s the mist from the beach. And it’s a really remarkable place. So we’re body surfing and I’m getting shacked and taking off. And I come back in, I was like, “Did you see that?” She was like, “You know what? No.” She’s like, “You’re just not as good as Laird in a bodysurf.”

Juliet: [0:51:35] Yeah. I did say that. It came out of-

Kelly: [0:51:37] And she’s like, “Laird would take off and everything,” and I was like-

Juliet: [0:51:38] It came out of my mouth before I realized how truly preposterous it was.

Kelly: [0:51:41] But I was like, “Did you just compare me bodysurfing to Laird Hamilton?”  And it really is, your whole body is a surface. It all matters. I think it’s so accessible. And I can’t wait to hear what comes out of this thing because it’s really… The few times I’ve bodysurfed in my life, they’re transformational and scary because you end up with your feet touching your face the wrong way. 

Chris McDougall: [0:52:05] Exactly. Like your feet is where your head supposed to be. They call it getting scorpioned. Scorpioned, your legs are flying over your back. And it’s funny, this place Sandy Beach, you’re sitting on the beach and you’re like, “Aw, it’s so pretty. Oh, look at these guys. They’re just so effortless. They’re just cutting diagonally across the wave.” And then you go out there and you see a wave and you turn to catch, and you’re like the beach is right there. If you catch the wave, you are facing down sand. How do you not get killed? And I haven’t discovered that yet. it’s a cool thing. 

Talking about the 100-foot wave, there’s a dude named Kalani Lattanzi who bodysurfs at Nazare. here’s a little video, it’s called Kalani – Gift of God. And you watch this dude, he’s doing a four-minute breath hold under the foam of the wave that just broke. And people are looking at him like he’s dead, there’s no way. And this guy will get on a 50-footer, and he’s like, “Whoo.” He’s over now. I’m waiting. I just want to get a little bit less awful before I even talk to these guys. there’s no way, there’s no way at gunpoint I reach down to Laird to ask this question. I’m just way, way, way too low. When I get there-

Kelly: [0:53:13] I think haole means without breath. That’s what it means. 

Chris McDougall: [0:53:16] Right.

Kelly: [0:53:17] Because the white people would come in and not honor the ocean with the breath. So I think that’s… So you can work on that. You can work on your breath hold too.

Chris McDougall: [0:53:24] That’s me.

Juliet: [0:53:25] I’m definitely watching that video of the Nazare bodysurfer immediately after this.

Chris McDougall: [0:53:30] Oh, it’s crazy.

Kelly: [0:53:31] How is your family dealing with relocation because there’s this thing in Hawaii called ohana that really is like family. You are really, I feel like from what I know about you and from the few times I’ve met, family is really important. How has your family made the transition?

Chris McDougall: [0:53:45] Yeah. It’s been a crazy adventure. And sometimes I look at it as a series of mistakes, and sometimes I look at it as a series of things to be proud of. So we first got here and it was, we were really hurried because we wanted our daughter who was going to be a junior in high school at that time to transition to a new school. She got here but they were still doing school virtually here, even in Hawaii. So she’s like, “Man, I’m a stranger in a room. Nobody knows me. No one’s calling on me.” She goes, “I want to keep doing school back in Pennsylvania.” I’m like, “Good luck, champ. That means 2 a.m. until 9 a.m.” She’s like, “Nah, I’m good.” 

So I said, “Okay, I’ll tell you what, if you’re going to soldier it out from 2 a.m. until 9 a.m., if things get safe, we’ll find a way for you to go back in person,” thinking this is a pretty safe handout plan because there’s no way there’s going to be a vaccine. It’s not going to happen. So she guts it out, man, August until April, 2 a.m. until 9 a.m. And then she’s volunteering with this aid organization that she volunteers with from like 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. And then she’s at the beach. And holy cow. I tried to get up with her a couple nights in a row. And forget it. You’re on your own.

So then in April when we got vaccinated early over here, we get vaccinated here as far back as February. And then we contacted the school, said, “Hey, man, you guys know any houses to rent?” Like “Yeah, we actually have a house that we rent out to teachers; it’s right across the street.” And so unfortunately, I had to come good on my promise. And so we were able last April to go back with my daughter and let her go to school live because my wife and I were doing like rock, paper, scissors. Well, who’s going with her? Like not me, not me. So right now, we’re sort of tag teaming it. We’re going two months at a time. So my wife last year did six weeks and I did six weeks, and we all came back. So my wife is there right now with my daughter. And then October 14 she comes back and then I go back over there and then I’ll be there until Christmas. 

So and then my oldest daughter took a year off. So she had like the dream gap year. She was working at a coffee shop/tattoo parlor by day and then surfing all afternoon and just bumming around Oahu in a Jeep looking for surf breaks. So in some ways, I feel like having my daughter go back to school in Pennsylvania, it has kind of physically pulled us apart. But I think spiritually it pulled us together because she did her part and she got the benefit. We made a promise and we came good on the promise. It’s hard to be apart but it’s great when we come back together. So it’s one of those elastic pulls that I feel like has really showed the bond. And it kind of sucks but in some ways I’m kind of proud. Super proud of my daughter. Man, I cannot believe she did that. So yeah, that’s where we are now. So right now, I’m living bachelor, sink full of dirty dishes, bodysurfing all day, eat and play, lunch. But two more weeks and then the piper comes due; I’ve got to go to Pennsylvania.

Kelly: [0:56:29] Amazing.

Juliet: [0:56:29] Amazing. Well, Chris, this has been such a pleasure. I feel like we could talk to you for another three hours. But I just want to thank you so much. And if you can just tell our audience where they can find you. Obviously, we’ll link to all of your books, Born to Run, Natural Born Heroes, and Running with Sherman. But where else can they find you, follow you, learn more about what you’re working on?

Chris McDougall: [0:56:49] Yeah. So I’ve got a website, There’s an email center. I’m kind of iffy on answering questions, a ton of questions on which shoes people should buy. But if it’s a genuine, heartfelt, you know. But if it’s a genuine heartfelt people looking for guidance or advice or a coach, I can steer them in a good direction. Yeah, just look on and go from there.

Juliet: [0:57:09] Awesome.

Kelly: [0:57:09] That’s the equivalent of me saying, “I don’t want to talk about why your shoulder hurts.” I really love that. I’m going to use that a million times. Chris, it is great to see you. We can’t wait to get back to Hawaii and run into you. Thank you so much, my friend.

Chris McDougall: [0:57:21] That was so fun guys. Thanks a lot.

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