Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a long-time is a longtime ultrarunner who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She teaches for NOLS Wilderness Medicine, coaches, directs the non-profit Band of Runners, and drives her kids around in a minivan.

January 2016
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January’s Book and MdS: Check!

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My good friend lent me a copy of Lahcen Ahansal’s biography, “Marathon Man of the Sands: The Story of Lahcen Ahansal, the child of nomads and Moroccan star of the desert” by Marie-Pierre Fonsny.

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Here’s the story Lahcen’s mother told him about his birth:

“My mother wishes to join my paternal grandfather, my uncles, their wives and the children who have set up tents at a bivouac higher up in the hills a few days prior.  Pregnant fit to burst, she ascends the steep inclines of the massif at a slow and steady pace, and lets the goats graze.  She takes advantage of their appetite to catch her breath….After several hours of exertion, she finally glimpses the heavy black cloth of goat hair signaling the communal tent….At nightfall she feels the first spasms of pain.  She lays the children down on the rugs, lulls them to sleep and discreetly moves away from the camp.  She finds refuge in the goats’ enclosure and braces herself for childbirth alone.  Once the delivery is accomplished, she calls on my aunt for help to cut the umbilical cord, to wash and to swaddle me.”

I read that part right before we discovered a mouse had eaten into our bag of marshmallows that we’d brought to make S’mores during the camping trip.  It lightened the blow.    “[D]iscretely moves away from the camp.”  Sheesh.

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