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Going the Distance: One Man's Journey to the End of His Life Hardcover – March 19, 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although it was cancer that prompted this memoir by the cardiologist and runner who died in 1993, its message is less to those with terminal illness and more to older individuals. Sheehan (Running and Being) did not see aging as a period of decline, but rather of growth and opportunity, "a game of verve and imagination and excitement." He believed that the very young and the very old share two great yearnings: for love and for knowledge. Because distance running was the center of his life for 20 years after he left his medical practice, Sheehan has a cogent and coherent philosophy of exercise and play, which he considered as essential to well-being as an alert mind. A loner despite having 12 children, Sheehan felt that he had at last achieved intimacy with his family after 40 years of marriage, i.e., he finally became an adult. He approached death as "a self in evolution," and his book may inspire others to do likewise.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

With Sheehan's death in 1993, every runner felt a sense of loss. Viewed by many as a pioneer in sports medicine, Sheehan was the acclaimed guru for the running community, publishing seven books on the subject, including the best-selling Personal Best (Rodale, 1989). When he was diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer in 1986, Sheehan dedicated his remaining years to detailing "what dying actually means to the person undergoing it." He lost the battle with cancer but ultimately won the greater struggle of finding peace of mind. This frank, inspiring tale by the man Newsweek called "the philosopher of sport" is a useful guide for those affected by a serious illness. Recommended for all public libraries.?Larry Robert Little, Penticton P.L., B.C.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 185 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; 1st edition (1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679448438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679448433
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #898,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I bought this book when it first came out in 1996. I have now just gotten around tor reading it (1999). I am bad about putting off things I suspect are going to be very good (Delayed gratification).
One of the great pioneers of not just running, but healthy living via serious play, George Sheehan, wrote a book that is the final work of his life. Subtitled, One Man's Journey To The End Of His Life," Sheehan has his eyes wide open, avoiding clinging to pure emotionalism and the could-of-should-of-would-of mentality, looking deep into his own felings and observations.
This book is not for everyone. It is for those that choose to face life and death with their eyes open -- willing to face themselves and what makes them tick.
Just as you cannot put a bandaid on cancer, George Sheehan doesn't try to cover up his humaness. He fully embraces what he was, what he is now, and acknowledges the similarity between the very young and the very old.
Unfortunately, this book will hard to find if you have an interest . . . Long overdue for a reprint.
G.R. Ford
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some athletes have a kind of spiritual drive to hone themselves and perform well in their chosen sport. Other athletes are just naturally gifted in their chosen sport (success based on genetics, timing, opportunities, etc). Some athletes do not hone themselves spiritually.

In 2002, I read G. Sheehan's "Going the Distance", and till this day I still recall gems from Sheehan's reflections. While George Sheehan is not a perfect man, from his writings, one can see that at least he is focused on improving -- not only on improving the quality of his performance as a runner, but also trying to be conscious about life, and to find a path that leads him to do what is right. He sets an example by noticing his own areas that need improvement, and somehow, he touches the reader, and inspire the reader to do the same.
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Format: Hardcover
While George Sheehan is best known for his expertise in running,
he may be more accurately described as a philosopher than a runner.
Going the Distance is a wonderful journey through a dying man's
thoughts and reflections on dealing with the end of his life. Diagnosed
with prostate cancer, Sheehan embarks upon a journey to battle the disease, and then come to terms with his own
mortality when the battle is lost. As per his usual work, there is the
obvious emphasis on running, but even the non-runner will enjoy this book. Not
merely a book for "jocks", Sheehan once again displays his artful writing style
and philisophical nature. A must read for the runner, walker and couch potato alike!
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Format: Hardcover
This was the first running book I ever read, I am trying to read all of his books. But some are hard to come across. A touching story of a man and such a stong devotion of the meaning "life," god bless him.
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This is an inspirational book especially for an old guy like me. My goal in life is to live well and die well. Dr Sheehan did both. He inspired me to run in my early life and today at almost 70 i am still very active as a long distance cyclist and was encouraged by his perseverance. Cancer is no respecter of persons but this man did not waste his cancer on self pity. He lived as a victor and not a victim. Worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have all of Dr Sheehan's books and I was so lucky to have met him several times in San Diego and attended his lectures. The books he autographed for me are some of my treasures.
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Format: Hardcover
I met Doc a few times at races here in Jersey at the shore mostly. He was always friendly and was sincerely interested in what other runners had to say. He would stay around after his talks and give advice until the last question was answered. He was a huge part of my running life. I still read his books over and over.
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I was always a fan of Dr. Sheehan's writing for Runner's World. I found out that he was ultimately struck down by prostate cancer. When I was diagnosed with the same disease at about his same age, I wanted to know his story. This book demonstrated the doctor's courage and character to the end.
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