Taylor Made: Study tips from the Tarahumara
There is an indigenous tribe called the Tarahumara in Cerocahui, Mexico. Locally called Raramuri, or “running people,” the tribe members love to run. They run in competition, to deliver messages to other tribe members, to travel, and overall for the joy of motion.
Historically, Tarahumura members would also run after prey while hunting to tire the animals before shooting them with arrows. They are famous for their long distance running abilities and have been the subject of many studies concerning running form and technique. Their running footwear, flat tie-on sandals called huaraches, has been the subject of study as well.
Various American runners who have travelled to Mexico to run with tribe members have written about their experiences. There are a couple commonly reported methods employed by tribe runners that can be applied to managing the workload here on campus.
One rule the tribe seems to stick by is “don’t waste energy.” This is pretty literal when it comes to running, but it’s also good practice for work. On complex projects that have many different areas of work, it can be easy to get bogged down in one of the less important sectors or continue too far with a side project instead of focusing on the main goal. It is important to maintain vision of your objectives and deliverables. After all, your time and energy are very valuable resources.
The Tarahumara also run and race in groups or as a tribe instead of individually, leading to the age-old lesson “work as a team.” As we all know from some of the more infamous TAM classes, working in groups can be an essential resource for getting through pages and pages of homework calculations. Pacing yourself through a task alongside peers working toward the same goal can be great for keeping you on track.
Lastly, the Tarahumara are known to laugh and smile while running, seeming to truly love what they are doing. This is a good reminder that life is for enjoying. The attitude and perspective with which you approach a task makes a big difference in your experience of it.