Friday, June 1, 2012

“Running the Edge” book review

When I ordered this book, I wasn’t quite sure what it was all about. My original assumption was that it was another collection of stories about running, achieving, and how running is a metaphor for live. Yadda Yadda Yadda. Oh! and when I bought it, they were including an autographed postcard of Shalane Flanagan AND one of these:

gone running

I mean, seriously. How could I pass that up??? I have nowhere to hang the flippin’ thing, but it is still COOOOL. and I have one!

I jumped right into the book and was greeted head-on by the fact that it is more of a self-help book than a book about actual running. Umm….yea. I wasn’t really sure how I’d like it. It has tasks and self reflection activities designed to help you become a better person, specifically a “Distance Maven”. Yea. really. “Distance Maven”. But I continued to read, because both authors (Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano) offer stories of their lives that play very nicely with the themes being discussed. This isn’t always played off well in other books, but these guys nail it.

There were a few things in the book that I found worth mentioning, but I won’t go into too much detail. One of the early chapters is called “Someday is today”, and the boys (I think I am almost twice their ages, so…boys) tell a great story of a time they decided that ‘someday’ typically means ‘never’, and made a pledge to each other that someday would be today. In essence, do it now, because you may never get the chance if you wait for ‘someday’. Wise young men….

In another chapter, later in the book, Adam tells a story about emotional deposits. He shares,

“I have damaged various relationships that are important to me.This is not who I want to be, and I am fully aware of the areas I must improve to become closer to my ideal. Although I believe I am kind and friendly 95% of the time, it is that 5 percent – when I lose my temper and say or do things to damage not just my public image, but also my image of myself – that I need to work on.”

Yep. HELLOOOO~! Have we MET? while I don’t really HAVE a public image, I sure have been know to cause damage to my FAMILY IMAGE.

The book contends that running IS a metaphor for life. If we take a close look at how we are in certain areas of our running, we can apply those same findings to how we are in our non-running life, and work to achieve success in ALL areas, one step at a time. Pick one thing each week that can be improved, and IMPROVE IT.

So what is my take? Here you go, and thanks for hanging around this long. I enjoyed the book. We ALL know I could use some help, and this book does a good job (IMHO) of linking running with life. My intent, now that I’ve read through the book, is to go BACK through the book and actually DO the exercises. To take the time to think honestly about each section and how they apply to me. How CAN I become a “Distance Maven”?? Toward the end of the book, they discuss guilds.

Here’s my challenge to you: read the book. if you like it, let me know. If you’d like to start a guild (as discussed in the book, no further spoilers here!), hit me up and we’ll explore it further. Find the book here: www.runtheedge.com

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