Every runner knows this, and marvels at it, and finds it hard to wholly describe: Running will change your life. These four dozen essays capture the power of running to change and shape our existence, to elevate us, to inspire and strengthen us in all our pursuits. They were selected for the fine quality of their writing, the emotional strength of the stories, and for their narrative drama. Collectively they are motivational, inspirational, and instructive, thus making a fascinating book for dewy beginners and grizzled veterans alike.
In this book are personal tales of running to quit drinking or drugs, to escape a bad marriage, to lose weight, running out grief, developing self-esteem, running for the sheer joy of it. A daughter finally bonds with her distant father when she wins a local race. A man diagnosed with a tumor in his lung runs his way back to health. A teenage girl living in a crack-infested neighborhood of the Bronx takes up running and finds her strength, and a good side of life. One man, viciously attacked on a remote beach in Africa and bleeding profusely, runs miles to safety, saving his own life. One woman’s story tells us, "Everything I need to know I learned from cross-country running." A Pakistani man, as an orphaned child, was introduced to running by a kind teacher—and went on to become a national caliber marathoner.
They are all here—every type of runner, and running in all its physical and spiritual glory. This is a book to inspire anyone to go run, and love every miserable, glorious second of it.
Garth Battista is the editor of The Runner’s Literary Companion.