You would be forgiven for not seeing modern humans as natural runners. We have moving walkways at malls and airports, elevators in our offices and apartments, all comforts designed to keep us from exertion. And yet, though we long ago exchanged brains for brawn, endurance running is as human as community or society, and perhaps an indirect progenitor of those other two.

What I learned in boating school is...

If you asked me to name the first things that come to mind when describing my childhood, I would tell you that they are the same things that I preoccupy myself with now: TV and Sports. The TV part is pretty straightforward. Watching my favorite shows used to be so automatic, I knew entire episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Spongebob Squarepants by heart. The sports part is a little less conventional. A highlight reel of my short-lived middle school football career would feature clips of my 7th grade self being annihilated by bigger kids in practice, warming the bench for most of the games, and ultimately quitting a little more than halfway through the season.