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The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter's Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete Paperback – August 16, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
My muscles atrophied, I gained a hell of a lot of weight, and most importantly for me I couldn't (still can't) enjoy the many benefits of being a lifelong endurance athlete. Quite literally, when I have a bit of trouble getting to sleep at night, I think my way through a day of bicycle riding, from preparation to the post ride beer.
So of course I needed a bit of help. I knew (know) I would be OK in a year, but in the meantime I'm pretty sure I will have lost my job or maybe even my career. And this book responded to those conflicting thoughts of motivation and doom rather well.
Matt Long was injured far worse that I was (am). He was run over by a bus. So while modern medicine and surgical procedures are miraculously good, it really takes the difference in the individual to change someone like me from being disabled for life, and driven to do the work necessary to a full recovery. This book will help anyone in a similar situation because Matt Long is one such individual and reading his story will help you with your own comeback.
And that's the way I think of it. I'm going to do a major comeback, a Lance Armstrong, and a Matt Long in getting back to doing the things I love to do most.
Matt Long was a New York Firefighter, a 9/11 responder, and a Boston Marathon qualifier when he was hit on his bike by a corporate shuttle bus making an illegal turn during an illegal transit workers strike. He went from being in the best shape of his life to a 5% chance of living, having been literally torn open as the bus ran him over and dragged him and his bike, ramming his seat post up through his body and crushing his pelvis.
Through the heroic efforts of surgeons, doctors, and nurses, he lived, but that was only the beginning of his struggle. He had to learn to walk again, a goal that many physical therapists told him was noble but unattainable. He didn't give up, finding therapists who believed that his competitive nature and his peak physical fitness at the time of the accident gave him an excellent chance of not only walking again, but running another marathon. Most remarkable, I think, is the amazing family of New York's Bravest who stand beside any of their comrades no matter if they were hurt on or off the job. I wonder if Matt would have been able to survive and recover without their support. He talks only briefly about his experience on 9/11, and only to give the context for some of the firefighters helping him recover and for the motivation he had to do right by the 343 firefighters and paramedics who gave their lives that day (a number he wrote on his arm as he competed).
Most of the book is about his recovery, which was slow and ponderous at times. Matt doesn't skimp on the medical details of his injuries or recovery.Read more ›
The book is well written, but poorly constructed. What I mean is that far too much of the book is the author recounting his childhood, his bars, his girlfriends, his lifestyle, and his family. These topics add something to the book, but could have been cut by 60%.
The book also spends very little time talking about his recovery. The reader jumps from his running a mile to his running a marathon, with little in between about how he trained. He then throws in a brief story of a triathlon as a kind of dessert. I'm sure Mr Long is an excellent athlete, but I was hoping for a book more about running and less about how he tries to be the life of the party.
The book is easy to read and is an interesting story, but it can be repetitive. I learned nothing about being a better athlete myself, and the inspiration I gained from the book I gained from the chapter published in the magazine. I'd like to sit down with the author over a beer, but not over the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book, an inspiration to someone that might want to feel sorry for themselves.Published 13 days ago by David Dieffenbach
This is a great story of perseverance and how a positive outlook can get you through almost anything. I couldn't put it down once I started.Published 22 days ago
I remember seeing this accident on the news. this was a great read. It didn't take very long. I could not put the book down.Published 3 months ago by Tracie Ann Stiers
What an incredible story of overcoming! Inspiring and uplifting. Matt is an amazing guy - gave me such an appreciation for the brotherhood of firefighters as well. Read morePublished 4 months ago by allgirl
If you're a runner, cyclist, triathlete, or just want to be, and are looking for a little motivation to get moving, be inspired by this book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by JAYNE C. RICHARDS
Fantastic book. The book is filled with pure authenticity. It doesn't seem that Matt held back with what he went through. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Rob Wilson
It was a very inspirational story about a man overcoming a great adversity.Published 10 months ago by Adam J Goff
Amazing and inspiring book! Even if you're not a runner or athlete I recommend this book, it's one of the best books I've ever read!Published 10 months ago by Stephanie Schlegel