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


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 185 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; 1st edition (March 19, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679448438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679448433
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Greg Ford on December 18, 1999
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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David F. Daniels on January 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I would give this book 10 stars if I could. First, I should mention this is *not* a book about running any more than Moby-Dick is a book about whales. Rather, it is a discourse on how best to live one's life, written by someone near the end of his. I read this every year, and every year I'm amazed at how wise Dr. Sheehan was. Like Shakespeare or the Bible, it opens up to me the more I read it, and every time I learn something new, if only because I've changed and understand it better through experience. It helps me measure my own growth. I can't express what an influence it has been.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By W. Chu on June 6, 2013
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 1997
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 28, 1999
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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