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Tom Brown and walking attunement

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Tom Brown and walking attunement

Postby Hetchy » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:43 am

Don't laugh... this is what happens when you don't have TV, live on a ranch, and have no (nearby)friends.. you read a bunch of books and dig up nuggets of knowledge to pass on to Topix High Sierra Forums in the dead of night.. indeed it is well past thru-hiker midnight..

From, Tom Browns Field Guide to Nature Observation and Tracking:

The City Shuffle
Just as a domesticated horse walks and runs much differently than it's wild counterpart, we move much differently than our aboriginal ancestors. Evidence of this can be found in the following statement from The Gospel of The Red Man, by Earnest Thompson Seton:

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.... The Tarahumare mail carrier runs 70 miles a day, every day in the week, carrying a heavy mailbag, and he doesn't know he is doing an exploit... A Hopi messenger has been known to run 120 miles in 15 hours.

These feats were not unusual. In fact it was not uncommon for an Apache boy to run 300 miles nonstop.
Even many aged Indians had an endurance that makes our modern day marathons seem like child's play. When Rick and I(Tom Brown) were about fifteen years old, we left Stalking Wolf for a campground 20 miles away. We didn't think the distance was all that great, so we decided to run. We started off at a healthy jog, and Stalking Wolf (then in his nineties) jogged right alongside us. Not only did he keep up with us, but occasionally he berated us about how sloppy and citified our gait had become after spending so much time in school.
After ten miles, Rick and I were getting very tired. At sixteen miles we had to sit down, and Stalking Wolf passed us giggling. We got up and started walking after him. We watched his footprints, hoping they would slow down or stop somewhere. A few times they did, but only in places where he had detoured to pick a few herbs. Three miles from camp, we saw plumes at the toes of his footprints, indicating that he had broken into a fast run. The plumes never got smaller. By the time we got to camp Stalking Wolf had built a shelter and a fire and was already cooking the greens he had picked.
Part of this amazing ability, of course, is conditioned endurance. But a lot of it is also technique...

Later on.. regarding the city shuffle (And being a soloist I find the following hysterically true of the groups I meet on the trail.. no offense)
Tom Writes:

Mother Nature did not mean for us to walk this way. and it becomes strikingly evident as soon as we leave the sidewalk. When we take the city shuffle back into the woods, we suffer all kinds of unexpected mishaps, from bumping and tripping over roots and rocks to sprained ankles and broken legs. Even more commonly, we clomp along a trail this way expecting to see some wildlife and then wonder why nothing shows up. Not only do we blind ourselves to what's there by looking down all the time, but we scare all the wildlife by our thrashing and pounding.
You can make more money, but you can't make more time.



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Re: Tom Brown and walking attunement

Postby Snow Nymph » Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:02 am

LOL! I thought this was about our Tom Brown (tomcat)!
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Re: Tom Brown and walking attunement

Postby cmon4day » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:28 pm

More good reading is Tom Brown's "Way of the Scout".

One of my BP partners took one of TB's classes in tracking and living off of the land. While on BP trips Don shares what he has learned in the class and it is amazing. We've made traps, sweat lodges, and slowed down our pace to watch wildlife. Everyone should become a student of TB. Read the above mentioned book and it will change the way you enjoy nature.
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Re: Tom Brown and walking attunement

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:08 pm

Very interesting indeed. There is a legendary Chinese epic novel known (in English translation) as "Outlaws of the Marsh" a tale of 108 warriors who, for various reasons, are forced to the greenwood and eventually become a rebel force that defeats all comers. One of my favorites of the 108 is a character known as Dai Zong, who goes by the nickname of "The Marvellous Traveler". Most of the other 108 are known for superlative skill with weapons, but the Marvellous Traveler's main calling card is his ability to travel long distances at high speeds on foot. In the book, this is ascribed to magical powers: by wrapping charms around his legs and reciting some magic words. However, the distances he travels in a day are not out of line with the Native American feats listed above. With "one charm" Dai Zong is said to cover 500 li in a day (a bit over 150 miles), and if he really wants to go fast, he puts on two charms and goes 800 li in a day. He is said to stride effortlessly as the wind whistles in his ears.

By the way for those of you who haven't tried some classic Chinese literature, give Outlaws a try. It is an epic on a scale beyond anything you are likely to have read. It is second among my own favorites in fiction, only to the even more revered Romance of the Three Kingdoms (the most widely read novel in the history of Asia). Outlaws is an easier read off the bat, though, given that its plot thread is a closer to be single threaded (ie the type of plot development most of us are accustomed to) versus the amazingly intricate multithreading of Three Kingdoms.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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