Prayers and Blessings

The North Face recently released a documentary called The Invisible Wall, featuring ultrarunners Mike Foote (American), Mauricio Carvajal (Mexican), Mario Mendoza Jr. (Mexican-American) as they run along the Mexico-US border. You should check it out (here).

Ever since learning about the running traditions of the Tarahumara people of Mexico and the Navajo of southern US, I’ve been fascinated by running as a spiritual practice. The documentary 3100: Run to Become highlights several ancient cultures who hold running as a tradition and a connecting, spiritual experience.

Through running, these ancient cultures connect to the earth, and realize their place in it, and their connection to the Creator who is in all and through all.

Readers of Scripture might be reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words spoken in ancient Athens: “In him we live and move and have our being.”

In The Invisible Wall, Anthony Fransisco Jr. of Tohono O’Odham nation in the Sonoran Desert echoes Navajo Shaun Martin’s words featured in the 3100 film in describing running as a prayer and a blessing.

When you’re running on the land, one footstep is a prayer, the other is a blessing. So when you’re offering you’re also receiving at the same time.

Anthony Francisco Jr. (Tohono O’Odham resident)

There are myriad motivations for running, or for hiking, walking, biking, tricycling, moving over the land powered by our own bodies. But I’d like to think that one of those reasons is to connect. To the land and to the Creator. To give, and to receive. One footstep at a time.