Micah True’s Life & Death: Love, Community, and Masculinity

For those of you who may not know, the world lost a true spiritual adventurer this week in 58 year-old eccentric, Micah True, also known as Caballo Blanco. I was first made aware of True’s existence as he was portrayed in Chris McDougall’s much-celebrated book, Born to Run, an epic true story of the community, spirituality, anthropology, physiology, and politics of long-distance trail running.

True’s central role in the story was a reluctant creator of community, of brotherhood, and of the sacredness of nature and his life within it. As he fled to the desolate and treacherous Copper Canyon, Mexico’s jagged wasteland/paradise, he seemed to be escaping society, community, and togetherness. But while Micah True seemed to be running away from his current society, he also was seeking another.

What I take from those who have depicted True’s life so beautifully, is that the biggest leaps in life may often come with the most fear, the most resistance, and the least assurance. Micah left nearly every tether in his life to live in one of the most dangerous environments in North America, only to build what might have been his most significant relationships, and experience his greatest joy. He brought communities together that weren’t supposed to understand each other, created brotherhood between rivals, and practiced generosity of resources and spirit.

In this way, his self-given name, is paramount. He stayed True to himself and his vision, even in the face of the most dramatic doubt, danger, and despair. As I continue to ponder for myself how the masculine can grow and evolve, I wonder if a big part of Caballo’s gift is for me to give of myself, not based on what I have, but of who I am and who I want to be.