"As the hours and days pass into the autumn of a lifetime, I find myself more respectful of the Native Americans that came before us, and the way they valued the land, while continuing to be mystified by, and distance myself from, my own culture.
I recently stumbled upon an old Sports Illustrated article on the Internet which told the story of a Pueblo Indian mountain runner named Al Waquie. The article was penned in 1988 and it chronicled the life and accomplishments of Waquie, who was a multiple winner of races such as the Pikes Peak Marathon, the grueling La Luz Trail Run to the top of Sandia Crest Mountain near Albuquerque, N.M., and the 1,575-step Empire State Building Run in New York.
Reading about Waquie's race victories wasn't what caught my attention and interest as much as his love and appreciation for the land and the mountain trails that he frequented on his daily training runs.
“I run as a way of being closer to the earth and gaining harmony with the land,” Waquie stated in the SI article. “This is the spiritual foundation of my culture. When I am up in the sacred places, I just don't want to come down.”"
Get the Story:
Mike Vidakovich: Native American way of life a great example for all
(The Glenwood Springs Post Independent 5/28)
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