If Alexander's Hamilton's life can be told in rap, as is being done on Broadway, I thought I'd try my own hip hop rendition of how running began.
We should be amazed that our early ancestors blazed
Trails through the bush and plains
To provide for food, which is why they maintained
A form of subsistence based on persistence
In chasing down prey throughout the day
‘Till it was tired and gave no more resistance.
Sure, the history books may have missed it
But some insist it was due to the existence
Of our ancestor’s ability to run long distance.
At least that’s what scientists would have us think
Seeking reliance on that missing link.
The anthropologists and biologists?
I may be an apologist
For their theory that our anatomy
Did so uncannily model us to be
Not just hunters but distance runners
These Ph.Ds have since resolved
That we humans have indeed evolved
Due to the body parts involved by the dozens
In setting us apart from our animal cousins.
Like Achilles tendons that give us that spring
It’s silly but Chimpanzees don’t have those things.
And jeez our larger heels and knees?
These in proportion are in charge of shock absorption.
Sure for other primates it is their fate
For them to stay drier while humans perspire.
Hey we may tire and our feet take a beating
But unlike apes, we’re not overheating!
Our gluteus that’s maximus should not offend
It’s really an asset, no pun intended.
That facet we have is no liability
It provides us with balance and stability.
And our longer legs enable that stride
Why even shuffle when we’re able to glide?
What’s implied is a funky notion of locomotion
That in the primate world should cause a commotion
Since no monkey can boast of a runner’s high.
But eons passed before we embraced
At last the joys of a run or a race.
We got fast with comfy shoes to lace
And a cast of friends to keep the pace.
A vast new world around us exploded
We no longer fasted we carbo loaded.
And thousands would run with smiles on faces
Race numbers pinned on various places.
And at some point running ceased to be
Just a way to get from A to B.
It became a bigger part of you and me
The genie was finally
Out of the bottle, at full throttle.
Despite ugly toes purple and battered
Or tight shoes so torn and tattered
We got used to bodies thinner not fatter
And knew by then running really did matter.
There’s no more need to run after prey
Like our forefathers did back in the day.
Then it was meant for food and survival
Now we can only marvel
At the ways running helps us today.
For relieving stress or losing weight
For testing ourselves and minding our shape
For staying healthy or finding a mate
Or being in nature to contemplate.
And for a worthy charity there’s no debate
How much a race can generate.
And while colleges seek a championship
And colleagues run for companionship
Most don’t care if we lost or won
Because ideally when all’s said and done
We really just do it for the fun.
So in hindsight there is no mystery
Why our feet and toes get all blistery
Just a very long history
Of how Homo Erectus did connect us
And remind us how running defined us
And finally became our destiny.