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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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July 14, 2010

Persistence Hunting in the Park

By Mark Sisson
333 Comments

UPDATE: Wow! Quite the response to this post! I had a good chuckle at many of the comments at first, but things have spiraled out of control a bit. First, let’s please keep things nice and civil in the comment boards. Heated arguments are one thing. Nasty ad hominem attacks are another, and they’ll be removed. Second, the reality is that if you never get within 40 yards of your target they’ll never be aware of your existence. I thought it went without saying, but don’t invade anyone’s personal space and don’t do anything else that common sense tells you not to do. I took out the line “Hide behind a tree for a second or two.” just so no one gets the wrong idea.

In most locales, summer is upon us. The sun acts as powerful beacon, a call to action for even the habitually sedentary to venture out and frolic in its rays. Hopeful mothers and fathers nudge chubby kids with creaky Xbox fingers, barely able to grasp the brand new football with which they’ve been tasked, out the door to partake in a mysterious, archaic activity known as “play.” Running shoes are finally removed from shoeboxes and attached to feet. Excuses to avoid going outside grow exceedingly pathetic and totally unconvincing, even to the skilled self-deceivers, who can no longer deny the basic awesomeness of a summer day. Squinting into this wonderful, terrible new light, they all gather in public areas – parks, hiking trails, outdoor malls, beaches – each in turn making personal pledges (or fulfilling imposed ones) that this will be the summer they finally take advantage of the great outdoors.

They are also weak and defenseless and, especially as they try to right the metabolic ship with outdoor Chronic Cardio through the park/sidewalk/trail/track, thrown into a state of confusion by all the sights, smells, and fresh air accosting them. Stale air-conditioning this is not. They are unprepared for what awaits them.

You, however, have been preparing for this moment for months, if not years. You’ve been eating meat, vegetables, roots, and fruit, molding your body and stoking your furnace with healthy fat, appropriate amounts of glucose, and measured bouts of intense lifting, sprinting, and steady movement. Even if you’re just beginning your Primal journey, even if you’re still adjusting – you’re still way ahead of the rest of ‘em.

It is a good time to be a persistence hunter.

Next time your stomach rumbles for a little physical exertion, venture out to the local park or track. Any spot where people will be jogging will work. You could even hit up a trail, as long as you’re sure there’ll be joggers. (I did this once in the back of a 10k race). Strap on your shoes (or don’t), wear something comfortable (or wear as little as possible), and survey the area. It’s now sacred hunting ground. You are the hunter; you can have your pick of the lot.

Regard your prey. Pick a jogger, any jogger, and let him or her gain some distance on you. A few dozen yards, perhaps. Now, walk after your target.

Keep your eye on the target, but let it gain ground on you. This isn’t a race, remember. It’s a battle of wits, of picking and choosing your spots.

When your target is a few hundred yards ahead, start to jog. Don’t let it range too far ahead, but don’t over exert yourself. Kiss the ground with a soft stride, making as little noise as possible. If you’re not barefoot, run like you are. You wouldn’t want to tire early and come home empty-handed; you can only subsist on foraged bitter nuts for so long.

Keep that pace for a couple minutes. Now speed up a bit. If you begin to gain ground, stop before you catch up completely.

Now sprint! Sprint for thirty seconds, and really push it – you might even be licking at their heels, but do not pass your prey. You’re not ready to finish just yet.

Stop. Let them continue on. Once they’ve turned a corner, passed behind a bend, or otherwise disappeared from sight, continue on. Jog, but jog in fractals. Start, stop, and run in spurts. For this portion, you aren’t breaking up the hunt into jog/sprint/walk sections; you’re melding them all together on the fly. Sprint for two seconds, stop for three, then jog for ten. Leap over branches, vault over bushes. You can even drop to all fours and crawl along the trail for a bit. Get creative.

(By now, it’s obvious that you’re a bit of a nut. You’re going to look a little strange. Are you okay with that? You should be used to it by now.)

Once you catch sight of your target, catch up by any and all means. Sprint if you have to. Just pass them up (no actual hunting, of course) and take a breather. You’ll probably need it. Flop down on the ground, stretch out, because you deserve it. Keep your wits about you, though, for there’s more prey afoot.

Even as you rest up, start the process of selecting your next target. After all, it’s open season and your tribe is hungry.

If there are multiple joggers zigzagging all over the place in all directions, you might try switching to a new target every time a new one passes in the other direction. Follow one for a couple minutes, then switch to another going the opposite way. Sprint after that one, then jog/crawl back in the other direction. How close can you get and for how many times without any of them knowing you’re there? The possibilities are endless.

Why the mind games?

The success of a workout. Whether you actually motivate yourself enough to begin and complete it, your performance throughout, and your intensity hinges largely on your state of mind. Persistence hunting in the park (yeah, I know, I thought about calling it “stalking” in the park, but somehow that sounded wrong) is a fantastic way to visualize and compel you to workout without “working out.” You’re in the moment, but that moment doesn’t occur on a treadmill while zoning out to the TV; you stay engaged in the act of movement itself. You’re aware of your muscles contracting and extending. You feel each footfall, every tiny pebble, every expansion of your lungs. You can’t ignore your physicality, nor should you want to, because we are physical creatures whose physicality must be nurtured and stimulated for us to be whole and healthy.

Give persistence hunting a try and report back with your experience. Grok on!

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333 Comments on "Persistence Hunting in the Park"

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Justa
Justa
6 years 2 months ago

Gentlemen,

I’d suggest you stick with “hunting” men. I’m guessing a woman noticing this behavior might be inclined to make a scene, call the police, spray mace or have some other unpleasant reaction.

Hey Mark, is there a coupon for a bail bondsman in the primal survival kit??

Russell
Russell
6 years 2 months ago

Ah yes, the “all men are potential abductors/rapists/boogeymen” phenomenon… can’t stand that crap. Not saying anything about you, mind, but just stating observation on the current pathetic mindset of the country at large.

Emily
Emily
6 years 2 months ago

Your remark disgusts me on so many levels.

mike
mike
6 years 2 months ago

Whose remark? Russell or Justa?

Ben
Ben
6 years 2 months ago

I’d guess Russell’s. Justa is merely bringing up the point that women are (and should be) cautious. Russell’s comment is a little closed minded. It’s not a phenomenon. Most “abductors/rapists/boogeymen” are men. Aduh.

Emily
Emily
6 years 2 months ago

Definitely Russell’s. I have an excellent article in mind to help us all out on this difficult-to-discuss subject, but sadly the exact title is not coming to mind.

Jake
Jake
6 years 2 months ago

Hey Emily,

I think I know the article you’re talking about. It’s called, “Shutup Russell”.

Evan
Evan
6 years 2 months ago

Hey Emily – did you know that the overwhelming majority of infant abuse and deaths are the result of women/mothers?

Thoughts?

Does that make you feel like ALL women are bad people? Hmm??

Or maybe just a few individual women did something bad, and maybe we shouldn’t judge the gander, more so the goose???

Justin
Justin
6 years 2 months ago
It is sad and disappointing, but more because there are some dangerous men out there that have to ruin the lives of good people. The news daily has reports of rapes, murders, kidnappings, and so on. I have women and children I love, and when strange men are around, I’m on alert and more protective. Most men are not the ones we need to worry about, but it only takes once for something bad to happen. Trying to pretend that it is a pathetic mindset of the country, rather than a reality that there are bad people present in our… Read more »
Vince
Vince
6 years 2 months ago

Yes, but it isn’t something you would generally say, you know?
While it is true that a lot of crime in DC (where I live) is from african american ghettos, would it be “appropriate” to say I should “avoid” black people while I am in DC?
In general, if you are alone anyone is a threat. But if you’re in the park then what is the big deal?

Dave
Dave
6 years 2 months ago

Well if someone were acting that way around you while you were out jogging, would your first instinct be to think, they are just playing a game? I’m with Justa, it could get ugly if a man chooses a woman as his “prey”.

Doug
6 years 2 months ago

My first instinct would be to wonder why this freak is hunting me in the park.

I love MDA, but this is a BAD idea.

In theory, using a faster runner as a rabbit is a great training tool, but sprinting up behind someone and then backing off…weird

Dana
6 years 2 months ago

You’re so right. Men never rape women. Female joggers are never, ever attacked.

Wow.

I hope you wake up some morning suddenly female. Then maybe you’ll get it.

Shawn
Shawn
6 years 2 months ago
I think what he meant was that its a public place and relatively safe. If you feel like there is a threat, then dont go jogging in the dawn/dusk hours. GO during times when there are lots of people. Criminals dont like witnesses, stay around plenty of other people and the actual probability of being attacked plummets im sure. At that point energy is simply wasted worrying about such things…imo it would be akin to being afraid to walk out the door, since i might be hit by lightning. Nobody is saying a female shouldnt be afraid if they feel… Read more »
Dana
6 years 2 months ago
Also it’s not just this country that has this mindset, and may I remind you that if you’re some random stranger following me in a park, I have NO idea who you are and NO clue of your intentions. I have to assume the worst or I could wind up dead. Some other commenter said “oh it’s safe in a park”–B.S. …the Central Park Jogger was so labeled for good reason. SHE WAS RAPED IN A PARK. I’d suggest that if you’re that oversensitive about a total stranger mistrusting your intentions, and if you are THAT entitled to play-stalk a… Read more »
Carrie
Carrie
6 years 2 months ago
Actually, that is not a pathetic mindset. Nearly 90% of all violent crimes are committed by males. Most of the time our intuition can warn us of those likely to harm us so I’m sure most of you here wouldn’t alarm someone but in a game like this my intuition might cause me to jab you in the eyes. Maybe the reasons it is women who hurt children is because we are the primary caregivers and there really isn’t a very good ‘village’ system set up as there used to be in tribes where mothers only had the responsibility of… Read more »
Brian
Brian
6 years 2 months ago

Carrie, those are truly outlandish statistics pulled out of….what??? You guessed it. Do us all a favor please. Cite sources rather than spouting off BS numbers. You’ll appear more intelligent that way. You people are acting like a bunch of moronic babies. This article was supposed to be a fun, humorous, entertaining way to spice up your playtime. Just try to be intelligent about how you do this in public.

Carrie
Carrie
6 years 2 months ago

Brian –

Here is a link. Please, try not to be so outlandish here in a public forum. 🙂

One of the interesting things to note from this link also is that most of the victims are men also.

I am not living in fear here. I am just well aware of my surroundings and am not practicing denial. We all have a ‘wild’ brain and we should not think that we Primal eaters are the only people who act on ‘fight or flight.’

Carrie
Carrie
6 years 2 months ago
Brian
Brian
6 years 2 months ago

Umm…what link?

Angelina
Angelina
6 years 2 months ago

From what I have seen in my over 40 years of experience in this life is that most children are hurt by step-fathers.

As for strange men following or stalking me, I would also assume the worst. I have known many women who have been stalked, beaten, or raped by men. In my small town women out jogging are major targets and women do get raped in parks and even abducted off main streets and dragged into cars. I am in Australia, so it’s not just the USA.

Carrie
Carrie
6 years 2 months ago
I forgot to add the link to the post. It is awaiting moderation. Spam filter I’m sure. For the record: I am not against this post. I read it with intrigue and a smile on my face as I envisioned the fun it would be. My comment was mainly to Russel who is in apparent denial about male perpetrators. Then after reading the rest of the comments, there are obviously quite a few people who are uncomfortable with this sort of play. Although it seems to take the fun out of it for some of us, I feel it is… Read more »
Evan
Evan
6 years 2 months ago
Carrie – A few things you should note about your statistics. 1) Majority of homicides cited are male on male homicides (ie: no female victim). 2) As cited per your article: Women are more likely than men to have had a prior relationship with their victims, 62% versus 36%. That leads to: most female instances are circumstances of domestic violence. 3) Do you really think female perpetrated instances of domestic violence are fully reported and/or taken seriously? We ALL are aware of the meme that “men are violent prone” – which is what sprung the comments from Russel, Brian, and… Read more »
Carrie
Carrie
6 years 2 months ago
Evan – I did note that men are usually the victims in male violence in my second post. I’m not arguing anything about men and violence. I just read Russel’s comment as dismissive to facts so I thought I would just inform. Also, I am currently reading a non-fiction book by Gavin DeBecker, our Nation’s best-known expert on the prediction and management of violence, that pertains to stalking and other similar behaviors so it’s just something on my mind right now. As I said before, I think this game sounds creative and fun but there is a fair amount of… Read more »
Evan
Evan
6 years 2 months ago

Carrie –

Fair enough.

In regards to russel’s comment, it would be wise to pay attention to the fact that it was even made.

These comments aren’t made by misogynists or chauvinists either (I’m fairly certain the majority of MDA fans are open minded; I like to think I am).

That is, why are men even saying such things that are “dismissive” to the plight of women?

Sylvie
Sylvie
6 years 2 months ago

While I sympathise with your frustration with the view of all men as potential molestors – and I really do sympathise – you have to also look at it form the other point of view.

Most rape victims are still female. And most rapists are still male. So a woman isn’t out of line to be a bit wary of strange men acting out hunting maneouvers on her. imo.

I think the ‘generally stick to hunting men’ comment is a good bit of friendly advice. 🙂

K-man
K-man
6 years 2 months ago

Well said Russel. While there are bad apples in every basket, the real problem is adolescent adults in the US unable to think and judge for themselves.

Here’s my technique: I live my own life and ignore the catatonic freaks. If a female is unsure about me in passing, she’ll find out in short order I’m no threat when she checks out my hot ass and wonders why I didn’t pay any attention to her.

Ah the allure of a focused man. Imitated by many, exuded by few.

Amy
Amy
6 years 1 month ago

considering the language Mark has used and the problems a lot of women joggers have had with stalkers Justa’s comments are justified Russell. perhaps you should educate yourself and open your narrow arrogant view before trying to mansplain to the rest of us.

Tee
Tee
6 years 1 month ago
Well, gosh–for being bogeymen, which usually don’t actually exist, they sure do manage to do a whole lot of real, actual raping. Weird! See if you think it’s a “pathetic mindset” when, at bare minimum, 1 in every 4 people of your gender has been raped (to say nothing of harassed, stalked, abused, etc.). If I see someone who’s been pacing me on a jogging path suddenly start sprinting up behind me, my natural instinct to defend against a possible attack that’s a very real threat on a very regular basis is going to take over. That’s not a “pathetic… Read more »
Dana
6 years 2 months ago
Also, it’s just plain considerate to not treat a woman as prey, given how often women are already preyed upon for real in this world. Can we not approach this in the sense of being considerate? Does it all have to be about what the woman will do? It’s not like she’s doing anything *wrong.* If you absolutely must do this with a woman jogger, I might suggest you arrange it with a female friend beforehand. And you still might get the attention of a random passing cop, so be aware of that possibility too. Don’t let your friend get… Read more »
Jason
Jason
6 years 2 months ago

in my opinion, the point of this exercise is to not be seen. So the problem of scaring women/men into calling the police is null and void. Once you feel that you have been ‘made’ then you should move to a different target. If we were hunting deer in the same manner you would have to follow it and not be seen so this should be done the same way.

Carrie
Carrie
6 years 2 months ago

good point. just hope you don’t pick a strong woman who will ‘see’ you before you notice you have been seen. 🙂

K-man
K-man
6 years 2 months ago

“just hope you don’t pick a strong woman”

You can’t be serious. HAHA

Listen, I treat women kindly because I was raised to and it’s the right manner of conduct. But facts being facts, and reality being what it is, even a ‘strong’ woman is nothing to be concerned of in the physical sense you were inferring. It’s basic physiology, the male human is physically dominant.

Of course, wimpy computer geeks fall outside the range of male and ‘ride’ the fence.

With that said, we all need to be mindful of how we treat each other, gender/race/etc irrespective.

shannon
shannon
6 years 2 months ago
I’m simply amazed at the lengths to which men will go in their minds to re-assure themselves that women are weaker, that men can dominate them, etc, etc. This must be the logic behind attacks on women: “She’s a woman, she’s weaker, I’m more physically dominant, survival of the fittest, etc.” I’m glad K-man was raised to treat women kindly, but I’m also amazed that he and so many men here seem to assume that women’s strength (and dignity, and safety)is laughable. I’ve been to some women’s self-defense classes, and I was amazed at how hard women can hit if… Read more »
mm
mm
6 years 2 months ago
K-man, maybe on a fair one-on-one fight in a boxing ring would be true since testosterone does give men who workout an advantage on upper body strenght (but makes them a bit more sensitive to adrenaline’s mind-numbing effects which doesn’t help), but the more you take into account other real life factors the less this becomes true – weapons (can muscles stop bullets?), backup friends, knowledge of major weak spots in the body, surprise attack/first strike, fighting style/training, endurance/energy, clear-headedness, pain resistance/the ability to take a hit, getting pissed enough to come back for round 2, and willingness to do… Read more »
Primal Toad
6 years 2 months ago

If I decided to “hunt” a women and he or she makes a scene by calling the police or whatever then I will just explain to them exactly what I am doing.

I would tell them I am simply exercising the primal way and would ask them if they would like to know what it is….

shannon
shannon
6 years 2 months ago

Good luck with that.

Grace
Grace
6 years 1 month ago
Never mind that I am already constantly watching my back and on guard whenever I’m out alone, and that if someone was worrying me enough to warrant a call to the police or my pepper spray, their behaviour would have ruined my run (as well as my day) and would probably make me avoid that park from then on. Don’t worry about that, because it’s all a great way to teach women about “the primal way”. Plus, YOU got some motivation out of it, so that’s all that matters. A little off topic, but I’m really sick of being told… Read more »
Tee
Tee
6 years 1 month ago
No, no, no. That’s not how this works. 1) No cop anywhere is going to have a shred of patience for your, “But officer! Don’t you want to know about exercising the primal way?” preaching, and at best, s/he will tell you to get the hell out of that park and go home. 2) How about, instead of putting the onus on female joggers not to get creeped out by you doing something that would appear to almost anyone who hasn’t read Mark’s blog to be creepy, you take responsibility for yourself and your own actions and recognize that the… Read more »
Chris
Chris
6 years 2 months ago

What a fun idea. What a good way to step outside of the comfort zone as far as ” looking normal” is concerned.
I can see how playgrounds and parks could offer ample opportunity to practice moving over a challenging surface.
I have to agree that persistence hunting a woman, especially by a man, might be a bad idea. Unless it’s your significant other, and she is practicing escaping a predator. In that case, let the games begin!

Hannah
6 years 2 months ago

Haha, I thought the same thing…letting the husband wander along ahead, while I save my burst of speed to blow past him at the perfect moment! Though he’s too competitive for that I think, he’d catch me for sure.

I honestly didn’t even think people would consider “hunting” someone smaller/more vulnerable than themselves, but my point of view is that of someone who is smaller than most people, not bigger! A bigger man would definitely have more trouble with this particular workout…

ben
6 years 2 months ago
this is a really cool post. Last summer i actually had this exact framework in mind when i would go hang at my local track in NYC. There were always some low and slow joggers doing endless loops, and i would really do pretty much exactly what you are saying – follow them for a couple laps, establish their pattern/pace, etc then i might fall back and rest for a minute on the side, then pick them up again for maybe one lap, then BAM id sprint like madhell and catch up to them (well, i’d keep going pass them… Read more »
Jim
6 years 2 months ago

Mark, I was very disappointed to find that this article wasn’t about ACTUAL persistence hunting. I want to run down a deer in the park! =P

jeff
jeff
6 years 2 months ago

SO, why don’t you? We have plenty of deer around here. I could see doing this with a deer.

Carrie
Carrie
6 years 2 months ago

deer are so dangerous. I bet they would stomp you. have you seen the videos of them protecting their young?

jus
jus
6 years 2 months ago

I’d love to see someone attempt this with a deer in the woods. They’re like ghosts with how quiet they are and as soon as they get spooked they’re gone. You’d have to be superman to keep up.

Luke in Oz
Luke in Oz
6 years 2 months ago
Well if watch the video that Mark posted (follow the “persistence hunter” link. You can see that these bushmen run down a Kuku which is an antelope. Only thing is this is in a savannah plain, rather than woods. I agree that in wooded forests this wouldn’t work as well. As this WHOLE thread has been hijacked, perhaps quite a few have missed the point: The principle of persistence hunting means that despite their quicker pace, animals cannot pant whilst they run, if they cannot pant they cannot cool down, so if the human can keep them moving they eventually… Read more »
jus
jus
6 years 2 months ago
Can’t watch the video (thanks, Websense) but on the plains I can understand this working. If you had to rely on persistence hunting where I live, you’d be eating a lot of pork. I have actually run down hogs before while hunting (they’re not as fast and can be pretty clumsy so they’re easy to follow as they barrel through the brush). I’m always surprised at how fast and agile deer are in the woods. The closest I’ve come to hand’s reach was when I walked up on a spotted fawn (and that’s only because it’s natural instinct was to… Read more »
Lewis
Lewis
6 years 2 months ago
@Luke in Oz “… the intermittent fractal running that Mark describes is what we are best at…” Maybe it’s best for us, Luke. (I don’t know about “what we’re best at.) But it’s not what anthropologists mean by “persistence hunting”. Quote: “To take a 60-mile run through woods and swamps and over hills and rocks after a deer is an ordinary every-day task for an Apache hunter, and he always gets the deer.” http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9507E0DD1030E433A25751C2A9659C94649FD7CF To coin a phrase, it was no walk in the park. Quote: “… he jogs along at a five miles an hour gait, never lagging, never… Read more »
sara
sara
6 years 2 months ago

I was thinking the same thing! I just finished Born to Run a few weeks ago and have been intrigued by the concept of persistence hunting (real hunting) ever since.

Paul C
Paul C
6 years 2 months ago

I’m guessing most states don’t have a persistence hunting season, so your local game warden may persistence hunt you.

Paul C
Paul C
6 years 2 months ago

Ugh, I just had this horrible vision of narrowly missing a deer with my car, only to strike a guy wearing a loin cloth and VFFs.

sara
sara
6 years 2 months ago

Hahahahaha now that mental image gave me a good chuckle 🙂

Nick
Nick
6 years 2 months ago

HAHA! Awesome visual.

Jim
6 years 2 months ago

Well, maybe, but if he stops me what is he going to arrest me for? I wouldn’t have a weapon on me. =P

And as for the fear of hitting me with your car, I guess I can understand that. But if you hit the deer after I’ve been persistence hunting it, I call dibs!

Doug
6 years 2 months ago

No deer in the city….lots of squirrels though.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm squirrel

anzy
anzy
6 years 2 months ago
I love this post! I love when I can combine play and exercise. So much better than a treadmill. A variation that may seem a little less threatening (though just as crazy- but who cares?) would be running FROM people as they jog along; occasionally sprinting, jogging, crawling low behind bushes to stay out of sight, or climbing a tree to get away. Switch joggers as you come accross them, or just stay ahead of the same jogger the whole time, using your hearing or even smell (those chronic cardio folk can get smelly!) to stay just out of sight.
George
George
6 years 2 months ago

Though I don’t play myself, the pattern of movement sounds like it could be more easily achieved by playing soccer. (Maybe basketball, too, to some degree.)

TexasPrimalSurfWahine
6 years 2 months ago

Agreed, playing soccer is very primal. I got into my best shape while playing in a co-ed over 40 league.

Elenor
Elenor
6 years 2 months ago
Oh-my-good-god, Mark! Only a man would think stalking a woman jogger is a good idea!! The heck with “you might get sprayed with mace” — how about: you might terrify some woman who doesn’t know you from Adam! And Russell? “Ah yes, the “all men are potential abductors/rapists/boogeymen” phenomenon… can’t stand that crap.” Too bad you “can’t stand” what is a woman’s TRUE perception of the world. How about you go take a nice walk in a bad area in Detroit some night? See if you are uninterested in/unconcerned by who might be following or jogging up behind you! I’m… Read more »
Brandon
Brandon
6 years 2 months ago

Someone really needs to take a chill pill.

Or, remove the stick from your @$$, whichever you prefer.

It’s an article on a workout idea and a comment about how this society is scared/freaked out about way to much, mainly because of a failed media that gets off on focusing and over-reporting negatives to get higher ratings at the expense of having an overstressed and overly frightened population.

Dave
Dave
6 years 2 months ago

Your second paragraph really isn’t called for (can’t think of a situation where it would be). It has nothing to do with the media exploiting peoples’ fear. The behavior Mark describes would be unsettling to ANYONE who encountered it, whether they had over-exposure to media scare stories or not.

Brandon
Brandon
6 years 2 months ago

It’s true that if most people noticed someone intently sprinting towards them from behind it would be unsettling. However, let’s face it, most people wont notice. Most people are completely oblivious to their surroundings. Those you are aware, for the most part, are the people freaked out by the media.

Dana
6 years 2 months ago
Rape and murder aren’t over-reported. Just the opposite. I was raped in 1992 and never reported it because it wasn’t violent and I had gotten myself into a stupid situation. But I also did not consent, and I was drunk, so it sure wasn’t consensual sex. I didn’t have physical injuries, but there were emotional consequences that stayed with me for a long, long time, ruined my relationship with my high school sweetheart and stunted my ability to relate well to any other man or to make healthy choices in relationships. Up to that point, I had been OK. Afterward,… Read more »
Brandon
Brandon
6 years 2 months ago
But they are over-reported. I don’t mean in the sense that they don’t happen or are falsely reported. I’m talking the nightly news. Not just with rape or murder, but with all negatives. It’s statistically true. If in one day, there’s one rape, but three cases of women fighting and preventing rape, the news is only going to cover the one rape, and they’ll cover it for days. I’m not saying that the rape shouldn’t be covered, but so showed the failed attempts. It’s not a secret. There are books about it. It’s common knowledge. The nightly news is designed… Read more »
Tracy
Tracy
6 years 2 months ago
?? A lot of women have ‘close call’ stories, or true horror stories, unfortunately. While I’m with you on the media stuff, at the same time women worry about these things because, chances are, we’ve actually experienced them. Why am I careful? Several reasons. I was stalked by a schizophrenic man who ended up murdering his mother and daughter (luckily, after I moved away to college)… he was a customer in the donut shop I worked at, who I’d always thought was very nice, just a bit quiet and shy. Grabbed and dragged down an alleyway by a stranger… in… Read more »
shannon
shannon
6 years 2 months ago
Right. I lived in Jamaica Plain, MA, in the early eighties. There was a beautiful big park there. An amazing number of women had been assaulted while jogging there. I met several of them within a few days of moving to the neighborhood. Shortly after I moved there, a woman got stabbed by a junkie in the park and only survived because a couple found her bleeding. This was on a tuesday morning. she had a dog with her. Later somebody followed me in that park. I’ve been assaulted twice, and fought him off both times. Next time I’m going… Read more »
Evan
Evan
6 years 2 months ago

I bet you think domestic violence is only perpetrated by men, huh?

Brandon
Brandon
6 years 2 months ago

Yes, because women are incapable of hitting or hurting people…

Brandon
Brandon
6 years 2 months ago
So, Joe, were close minded for being tired of being automatically labeled or thought of as predators for simply being male; or just having a differing opinion on the situation as you. SO what makes you so enlightened good sir? I love how the people who pride themselves on being so open minded automatically feel that they can label others as being close-minded just because they don’t agree with them on an issue. If you’re the example of open-mindedness, I’m glad you don’t want to associate yourself with me. And it’s safe to say whatever you want, just sit well… Read more »
Evan
Evan
6 years 2 months ago

HAHA. The one accusing others of ignorance is using ad hominem arguments.

Its okay Joe, my ability to get laid has everything to do with this discussion! Thanks for the laugh.

Luke M-Davies
6 years 2 months ago

A great light-hearted idea with great potential.

We all know how our minds can be the difference between an intense, rewarding workout, and a dissappointing, soul-sapping session. The idea of entertaining the mind in this primal scenario should work a treat! The HIIT training will come as a bonus. Beats intervals on the tredmill anyday.

mere
mere
6 years 2 months ago
When I was about thirteen or so my friend Michele and I would hike barefoot up into a wild area in a park close to her house. The terrain was rough with lots of sharp rocks and pebbles. We had a favorite perch that was hidden from the path by low branches, but was visible to the rest of the park because it overlooked the whole play ground. We would pretend to be savages, looking for our prey. Then we would hear it, the sound of bells on the wind, and would jump up and run as fast as we… Read more »
Dana
6 years 2 months ago

Aaagh! Stickers! They’re not just in Texas! I’ve seen them all over the South. They make going barefoot interesting, that’s for sure! >.<

Jeff
Jeff
6 years 2 months ago

Although I know the original intent of this was humorous, it is somewhat tasteless too. If I saw someone doing this to my wife or daughter (even though they of course would not be doing chronic cardio) I don’t care what the perpetrator’s intent was, I would put a stop to their actions.

Justin
Justin
6 years 2 months ago

To be fair to Mark, I don’t think he ever said, “Hey men, go jogging, locate some women runners, and run them down.” Maybe he even attributed a bit of common sense to us that we would locate an appropriate person, whether a stranger or someone known or a man or a woman, and someone that could challenge us, i.e., a runner that wasn’t too fast or too slow for us, and have fun with it.

Jamie
Jamie
6 years 2 months ago

the post refers to the chosen jogger as “him or her.” I can say as female jogger I would definitely use my pepper spray if someone actually hid behind a tree and then sprinted after me, not to mention be absolutely terrified. Any man who would even consider “stalking” a female jogger (pretend of otherwise) is seriously clueless.

Justin
Justin
6 years 2 months ago
Like I said, I think we can assume people, no matter what they are doing during their day, need to exercise a bit of common sense. Yes, the post may refer to a chosen jogger as him or her. But I guess if you are imputing to Mark that he meant men go chase female joggers, you think he is writing only for a male audience. But I think enough has been said about how bad some people think this is. I also agree with the post below that I doubt most people would notice your behavior when this should… Read more »
Nick
Nick
6 years 2 months ago

I think another point was to do this in a way that you wouldn’t be noticed by the target. If you get noticed, you just lost your game, and you starve to death.

Use common sense… don’t single out a lone runner in an empty park. Also pick a target that’s in their own world with headphones on, etc, and make sure they never see you. Find a “herd” of joggers, single out the weakest of the group, and hunt that one down. If they look back and also start sprinting, that’s not a good sign.

Shawn
Shawn
6 years 2 months ago

SOMEONE GETS IT……the rest of this whole thread can die, it really wasnt needed.

Steve1907
Steve1907
6 years 2 months ago

I really like the idea and can visualize it. I too would be concerned with hunting the “wrong” jogger. I guess if you hang back far enough, the prey would never be the wiser.

The switch-off idea might be a better option, except to the casual on-looker…you will definitely look like a nut!

Heather
Heather
6 years 2 months ago

I’m sorry, but this idea seems creepy and ill-advised. Male or female, I would NOT appreciate being chased like this. Why not chase a squirrel instead?

kctex
kctex
6 years 2 months ago

I think you guys are missing the point. You’re not supposed to look like you’re actually chasing/hunting/stalking a person.

shannon
shannon
6 years 2 months ago

I look over my shoulder a lot while walking in my not-so-safe neighborhood. If you were stalking me, I would know.

Tim
Tim
6 years 2 months ago

Interesting idea, but yes, trying this where I live would get you shot or arrested, or both.

Sam
Sam
6 years 2 months ago

Before you try this, please consider that many states issue concealed handgun carry permits, and the jogger you choose to “hunt” may be legally carrying a concealed handgun. If you engage in such “hunting/stalking” behavior, and then come thundering up on an armed jogger, you may well find yourself the prey rather than the predator.

I would strongly suggest that this type of play be done with a willing partner, and not with an unaware stranger.

Tim
Tim
6 years 2 months ago

Or rabbits, which can run like crazy and need very careful stalking. Squirrels just head for the nearest tree, so that would be a pretty short run!

Deano
Deano
6 years 2 months ago

I was just about to suggest that very thing. Rabbits are excellent for chasing. They stop after several yards, I suppose to assess their pursuer and figure out what they need to do. This gives you the chance to run them down. Just don’t hurt the little fellas.

Carrie
Carrie
6 years 2 months ago

a handgum while running at the park? Hmmm? That would be annoying.

Anonymous
Anonymous
6 years 2 months ago

Awareness of one’s surroundings, and exercising common sense are always one’s best self defense. That being said, carrying a concealed handgun (including running with one) is not nearly as annoying as you might think.

Keith
Keith
6 years 2 months ago

Or, be sure to bring your atlatl in case there’s a firefight.

Helen Zimmerman
Helen Zimmerman
6 years 2 months ago

Read the article with a bit of shock at this kind of behaviour, but then read the comments. What a laugh, as they say in facebook lol. Hope no one actually tries this.

Oneil
Oneil
6 years 2 months ago
I did this once in Orlando, FL, although it wasn’t in a park and nowhere near any people (to you guys who took so much offense to Mark’s idea of it). In fact, I was dead-smack in the middle of the woods with nature made trails, going on for miles. So nature-y to the point that fallen trees of all sizes with craw holes gaps under and places to climb to jump/vault over. as I was walking, observing my surroundings, I began to sprint. Leaping, climbing, jumping over streams! until i came across deer tracks (this is the persistance part)… Read more »
John
John
6 years 2 months ago

People really need to lighten up. God forbid if we assume others to have common sense.
Keep up the great ideas Mark. Some of us love them!!

Jared
6 years 2 months ago

A-groking-men

Jared
6 years 2 months ago
I do this with my 9 year old ALL THE TIME but on a smaller scale. The place is this HUGE outdoor play castle in my town called the Imagination Station. We play a very disorganized game and hide and seek/tag. We chase each other, hide, run, jump, and climb (the FiveFingers are AMAZING for this!). I’ll bust out a set of pullups on the monkey bars for good measure every so often, too. It’s as close as I’ll ever get to feeling 9 again. If you have little Grokitos or Grokitas, this is a fantastic way to spend a… Read more »
Jared
6 years 2 months ago

But I especially wouldn’t do this with someone else’s kid, BTW.

unless you’re really itching to try out Mark’s “prison workout!” LOL

Clint White
Clint White
6 years 2 months ago

Now THAT is funny!!!

Jaye Sunsurn
Jaye Sunsurn
6 years 2 months ago
I get the whole ‘uproar’ of comments on this post, I personally interpreted maybe not hunting a single cardio jogger, but a pack of them. The idea behind this is to return the idea of the ‘hunt’ to our bodies not just our minds. While I am sure there will be some who do get maced arrested and the like doing this to which well proves that they didn’t keep the sense a hunter does going after prey. Does Grok go after the bear cub with Mama near by, Grok isn’t stupid. But this isn’t actual hunting either, maybe find… Read more »
Jared
6 years 2 months ago

I think the ‘uproar’ of comments is because some people just cannot appreciate good satire. Russel’s misogynistic threadjack didn’t help, either. Oh, well.

Ben
Ben
6 years 2 months ago

I didn’t catch the ‘satire’ part of the post. BOOM! You just got comment uproared!

Jamie
Jamie
6 years 2 months ago

I didn’t catch the satire either. It must be very subtle, and very funny. Maybe I’ll pretend to steal my neighbor’s car later.

Vince
Vince
6 years 2 months ago

He is misogynistic because he is upset that all men are considered suspected rapists in this country?
Someone needs 1000 chillograms of chill pill STAT.

Grokette
Grokette
6 years 2 months ago

I’m not sure I’d use misogynistic, but definitely an uncaring, unsympathetic post to a very real and – to some who have been assaulted – debilitating fear.

Jared
Jared
6 years 2 months ago

Sorry, Russel. I didn’t mean to call you a misogynist, per se. However, someone who truly believes that women treat all men like rapists has some sort of axe to grind, don’t you think? Knowing women who have been victimized, I will never criticize anyone for being too cautious.

I wasn’t trying to offend the guy, but I can see why women would have a problem with that post is all.

Dave
Dave
6 years 2 months ago

Not all men, all *unknown* men, and not suspected, but *potential*. Big difference, particularly if their actions and behavior seems suspect. Remember, the “prey” are chronic cardio people who in all likelihood have no clue what being Primal means. They wouldn’t see it as a game but a potential threat.

trackback

[…] Original post by Mark Sisson […]

Dave, RN
Dave, RN
6 years 2 months ago

Wow, that’s the first thing I thought “stalking 101”.

Maybe I’ll try this with my wife. I’ll just give her a head start… then the hunt is on!

Jamie
Jamie
6 years 2 months ago
Clearly not all of the readers here have common sense- see Russell’s characterization of concern about being hunted down while jogging as “crap” and “pathetic.” But I agree the majority probably do, and fortunately the commenters have clarified what should have been part of the post- don’t “play stalk” a stranger who could be physically intimidated by you (regardless of whether you or the “prey” are male or female). It’s mean and you could end up getting hurt. Of course the post has good intentions, but given how suggestible people can be I don’t think something like that should be… Read more »
Kat
6 years 2 months ago

Haha this sounds fun! I have been going out sprinting a bit at lunch time but all my coworkers jog. Now I can at least participate with them. Not sure yet if I’ll warn them first… probably no need since I’m smaller than everyone and no one here owns a gun.

Primal Toad
6 years 2 months ago

I will be trying this in my own unique way. I was very into reading this article. I haven’t been this engaged in a while. Sure, I am not going to literally hunt down a stranger. I may choose a squirrel or rabbit instead or something.

But doing something LIKE THIS adds A LOT of fun to a workout!!

Josh the Monkey
Josh the Monkey
6 years 2 months ago
Wow, some people who follow this blog really didn’t “get” this post. Do you all know what persistence hunting is, or understand its relevance to the Primal lifestyle? If not, look it up, it’s fascinating stuff, really! If you’re lacking in mental facility to the point where you thought Mark was suggesting we go out and hunt down people, run down women, or any thing of the sort, then there’s really nothing anyone can do to clarify your misunderstanding. But, I would assume that most people who follow this blog are intelligent and like to think outside the box. Take… Read more »
Joshkie
Joshkie
6 years 2 months ago

Do you watch the News. A high school girl went out for a jog and was raped and murdered. He was cought and had done the same thing the year before. Ladies feel free to mases any one that makes you uncomfortable. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Even though this was not the point of marks post let’s use rule #10.

Anonymous
Anonymous
6 years 2 months ago
“Take it easy and don’t assume that everyone carries mace, or that you’re automatically going to get shot. Most people on this planet these days are horrendously oblivious to their surroundings as it is and are highly unlikely to notice they’re being “tracked.” ” It’s safer to acknowledge that strangers have the potential to be dangerous; and one should assume they are until proven otherwise. Woe be to you if you mistakenly pick one of the people who do happen to pay attention to their surroundings, and do carry some sort of personal protection. You’re right, Josh, the odds of… Read more »
Katie
Katie
6 years 2 months ago

This sounds so fun! Obviously the people you’re “stalking” shouldn’t have a clue as to what you’re doing unless you’re acting like a fool. It’s not like they can read your mind. I loved this Mark! Thanks

Clint White
Clint White
6 years 2 months ago

EXACTLY!! That seems to be the thing most are not getting!! The other person is not supposed to KNOW you’re doing some sprinting behind them.
SHEESH!!!!!!!!!!!!

thank you.

Craig Brown
6 years 2 months ago

Hate to say it, but even as a fairly big and rather laid back guy, you launch yourself from behind a tree at me while I’m running in the park…

As Jeff Martone is fond of saying ‘nothing good can come of that’.

Excellent idea, but I’d suggest you switch ‘partners’ often, stay a solid hundred yards back, and watch your butt. Prey shoots back sometimes.

Jean-Patrick
6 years 2 months ago

Cool post!

It’s all about the mindset.

David Csonka
6 years 2 months ago

You’re quite right Mark, “Stalking in the Park” does sound a bit sketchy for a title to this blog post. LOL

Debra
Debra
6 years 2 months ago

I love the spirit of this post. Use common sense, people. Keep a big distance between you and your goal. Or sneak up on a tree, for goodness sakes!

TexasPrimalSurfWahine
6 years 2 months ago
Just wanted to say that as a female that will not wear headphones when running for security reasons that I was not offended by this posting.I believe that Mark is not intending for anyone to do anything stupid like frighten people. If you are doing it right then you will go unnoticed. If the person you are following glances your way for any reason at all you are spotted and must choose another. Mark never suggests that you jump out from behind a tree towards anyone. Do be careful I you choose to run past someone though. I always call… Read more »
TexasPrimalSurfWahine
6 years 2 months ago

Last paragraph should say “…if you choose to…” Sorry.

Hanuman
Hanuman
6 years 2 months ago

Thank you for that refreshing bit of non reactionary level headedness.

Brad Gantt
Brad Gantt
6 years 2 months ago
This post was well-intentioned but not well thought-out in execution. Looking weird would be the least of your worries. You could get the same training effect and have even more fun by getting your “prey” in on the act. If you work as a team with one (or more) predators and one prey, then both parties get a great workout. Prey that is aware of it’s pursuer creates a much bigger challenge and is more realistic. Prey can sprint, evade, etc. Switch roles to mix it up. This is something Frank Forencich of Exuberant Animal has had in his playbook… Read more »
Vince
Vince
6 years 2 months ago

How about you pretend you are searching for prey if you are worried?
You could also whip out the ol’ “sandbag with a friend” hunting game.
And to anyone who is still somehow “offended” by the posts, I think we can all agree it was no one’s intention to make this out to be a “stalking game.” The idea is that they have no idea you are there! Then again, everyone else might be suspicious…

Caitlin
Caitlin
6 years 2 months ago
A few years ago, a large groups of my friends starting playing capture the flag in the park every saturday evening. It was a BLAST! So fun. One time, I crawled on my belly army style around the whole perimter of the park to approach the other teams flag from behind. It probably took 30 minutes of crawling. I managed to grab the flag, and then sprinted like hell to my teams side of the park. Of course, my team won that round! Took them all a little while to realize what had happened, as I had seemed to come… Read more »
Chris
Chris
6 years 2 months ago

Or you could just ride a bike. Mountain biking is all about fits and starts – short bursts of high intensity followed by low intensity. It’s full-body too as you shift your body weight around hopping over obstacles, climbing over roots, and decending. (ah, let’s not forget about descending – the adrenaline filled part!)

Sarah
6 years 2 months ago

I second mountain biking! Had a great ride today.

I would feel weird chasing strangers – I’d probably use my kids as prey instead.

Christos
Christos
6 years 2 months ago
Astonished by how serious people are taking this hilarious idea. Has it come to this point in society? Running and exercise must be done according to guidelines and rules. This could be a lot of fun if done the way Mark implies. Do you tell your children to carry pepper spray when they play hide and seek and tag in the sandbox? Seems like there are a lot of Korgs and not enough Groks on today’s board. The thing I love about MDA is it brings out your inner child quite often. Its sad that we don’t acknowledge our inner… Read more »
Kelda
6 years 2 months ago

From what I’ve seen of most runners here they wouldn’t notice if a herd of bison crossed their path, too busy plugged into ipod land and too maxed out in the land of CC.

Great fun Mark, as you say its all about mindset, my brother has developed the most intricate routes around London taking in themed landmarks to make his Grokathons motivating.

Mary
Mary
6 years 2 months ago

Easy solution to the “stalking” problem: play with buddies! Make it a group event. Split the groups into predators and marked prey. Set the prey to jogging, and sneak up on them. (My kid’s outdoor primitive adventure camp (Wolfcamp) plays variation on this every day)

Nick Kirkes
6 years 2 months ago

Reminds me of playing “ditch” as a kid, except we hunted in teams against other teams acting as the prey. Maybe it’s time to take that old game out of the closet, grab a bunch of friends, break into teams, and go for it. Parks, open space, even a friendly neighborhood with nooks, crannies, alleys, etc. would work. I recall it being the best game to play just before dark, when you really had to work to see people.

Way fun!

Jamie
Jamie
6 years 2 months ago

children on a playground are generally aware that they are playing a game. the issue is with recruiting strangers without asking them when the result could be that they have a terrifying experience while you get a great workout. and that is exactly what the post suggests one do, it’s not suggesting a game of capture the flag. Which would much more fun in my opinion.

michael
6 years 2 months ago

ROTFLMAO

Thanks everybody for a great laugh.

Gary
Gary
6 years 2 months ago

I think Mark drank too much primal koolaid this morning.

Rob
Rob
6 years 2 months ago

this game seems like it would enhanced if your prey KNEW you and that you would, at some point, stalk and then come barreling down at them. then they would also need to keep their wits about them and really, nobody runs faster than when they’re being chased!

George
George
6 years 2 months ago

Then make it a game!

Norm
Norm
6 years 2 months ago
Norm
Norm
6 years 2 months ago
Done. Below is the Game of Antelope. “This game is inspired from persistence hunting seen by the Kalahari bushmen. To play, a group of runners is broken into two groups: Hunters and Antelope. The Hunter has only one rule, to catch the Antelope. This is done through a foot chase, as done by the bushmen. The Antelope must behave and think as one. That being said, it should only run when it feels threatened. It may not attempt to outsmart the Hunters, as this only occurs by accident during an actual hunt. The most functional breakdown occurs with more than… Read more »
Deborah
6 years 2 months ago

I am banging my head as I read this thread.

A lighthearted and helpful post has become a crapfest of comments.

Really? Now we have to worry about this?

I’m thinking if it is a primal woman that feels threatened the primal buy better watch his bits. 🙂

I like what Mark said; if you’re really good at it, no one will know.

Robert
Robert
6 years 2 months ago

Lol, not one of mark’s best ideas. Still, the principle of making your workout a game using your imagination is a good one.

Deborah
6 years 2 months ago

I meant primal guy. :sheepish:

Ken
Ken
6 years 2 months ago

What a shame…

I started out with a big grin on my face reading the post by Mark. I absolutely loved his description of Grok vs. the modern day “prey”.

Sad that it turned into an opportunity for folks to remind us of the dark side of humanity. That there are people who’s thrill it is to hurt others, and how that has brought about “shoot first, ask questions later”.

Deano
Deano
6 years 2 months ago

I’ve played a similar version of this on bicycles. Chase a car for as long as you can in a city and try to catch up to it. I’ve always thought of it as “car hunting.” Just be mindful of the law and safety!

Anonymous
Anonymous
6 years 2 months ago

That’s funny! My driving instructor used to say, “The red light is the great equalizer,” with regards to passing other people, and why weaving in traffic wasn’t the best idea. When we would end up at red light, next to the guy that just blew bye us, my instructor would always smile & wave. I suppose you experience a similar feeling as a cyclist.

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