17 May 2011

Book Banter -- The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life

Title: Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life: What 35 Years of Running Has Taught Me About Winning, Losing, Happiness, Humility, and the Human Heart
Author: Amby Burfoot
Genre: Non-fiction
Length: 150 pages
Where Stacie's Copy Came From: Personal Library
Plot Basics: Amby Burfoot has been running for 35 years. This book won't tell you about what stride to hit or breathing pattern to follow. Instead each chapter is designed to reignite the reader's passion for running.

Banter Points: I loved this book. Each chapter had some heartfelt lesson about the strength, grit, determination, it takes to get on the road every day. To log the miles, face the mental battles, to get through the hurdles.

Honestly, the book moved me to the point of tears at times.

I have fallen in love with running an away that I could not imagine a mere six months ago even. Amby captures that spirit I feel each day when I run. Whether the run is pure joy or pure punishment, the book gave me the "Me too!" feeling in every chapter.

As a Word Nerd, I feel like Amby also gets the joy and pain in writing. It's a long solitary activity that is as maddening as it is rewarding. As editor of Runner's World, Amby surely gets the parallels I saw between the two activities, even though he never mentions them.

The best part of the whole book is the passion that he captures. Running isn't so much about speed or beating the other guy. Running is overcoming the mental hurdles and knowing you can do it. During a tough day at work, I can think about the morning's run and know that if I can slog through 2-4 miles, the problem in front of me isn't going to get the best of me. If I can log 12-15 miles a week, the to-do list isn't going to beat me either. I'm not the fastest, longest or best runner. I'm never going to be. But I'm not stopping either.

That personal satisfication is the best feeling in the world.

Amby captures is perfectly.

Bummer Points: The book ended. No, seriously, I wasn't ready for it to stop.

Stacie's Recommendation: You don't have to be a runner to understand the passion of Amby's experience. You just need to be passionate about something to get why he is about running. Pick it up. (Or borrow from your fellow Nook reader.)

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