I recorded this conversation back in 2012 for my mental game athletes in my Ironman Mental Game classes. The things that we talk about are completely in tune with my beliefs on connecting our body, mind and soul to ignite our primal senses in our athletic journey.
Shaun talks about how running is an important part of his culture and how the Navajo see running as a form of prayer and personal sacred journey. He brings us through some amazing inspiration and points of view on why endurance sports is important for our personal growth as well as embracing the challenging times within your race.
He also discusses the importance of the Navajo base being feminine. That strength comes from the feminine and that all things within Navajo culture are coming from the feminine. He explains why that is. This is a very ancient culture that we can learn a tramendious amount from when it comes to our own endurance athletic journey’s.
Please remember that this was recorded many years ago so the quality of my equipment was lacking compared to podcasts of today.
Here is a link to the article in Trail Running magazine that I referred to in my conversation with him. This article was published in 2011.
Here is a 2019 video with Shaun Martin talking about an ultrarun event on private Navajo land
Here is a quote from Shaun in an article in iRunFar
Running embodies four distinct lessons, according to Navajo tradition: to celebrate, pray, learn, and heal. Martin explains, “We run to celebrate all of the positive blessings and hardships we’ve been presented. The act of running in the morning is a prayer, so we yell out loud to pray. Running is a mentor: When we push on and overcome physical obstacles, that translates to other areas of our life to help us become more successful, grounded, and better people. Lastly, running is medicine. It helps us heal and better ourselves in a ceremonial way.”
I love this point of view on endurance sports as it truly brings us into a more primal connection to our body, mind and soul through nature and moving our body.