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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"After the Last PR: The Virtues of Living a Runner's Life"

by Dave Griffin, non-fiction, 2010, 123p, rating=4.5

"We all have a comfort zone, a safe room we usually avoid leaving, afraid of what might happen if we do.  With preparation, we can expand its walls, but even the, our greatest potential never resides there.  Running challenges me.  A thousand times, it's confronted me with obstacles I didn't think I'd overcome.  It's brought fatigue and weariness, and yet even in the throes of exhaustion, it leaves a small burning ember of strength, always just enough.  After so many trials, I've learned that hope is always present if you look hard enough, and hope is a precious thing.  I'll keep reflecting on the races of my past.  I'll keep remembering the victories and the disappointments.  And, sometimes, new light will be shed on something that used to be unclear, and new hope will grow from the sweat that still stains the old gravel." (back cover)
This was an incredibly breezy read.  Often times, a non-fiction book is bombarded with facts that it can be tedious or even boring to read.  Not this one!  I got the feel that Mr. Griffin was speaking from his heart and his words reflected that.  No fancy words or long drawn out stories.  He was brief, to the point, and even punched each chapter with inspiring summary.  I must admit the simplicity in his writing was also what threw me off.  Each paragraph averaged 3 sentences.  As a reader who has become accustomed to novel style writing, this was incredibly too short.  In any rate, the important message was there and quite powerful in its simplicity.  Moreover, a true test of a good book is if it moved the reader.  Well, I was going to give excuses to tell you that I can't be a runner at this point of my life but I'd be missing the point of the book.  It's a matter of just beginning something, running or anything else.  Sure it will be hard, but that's how you'll get to a goal; whether successful in the end ... it's that you started!  I experienced a  gungho feeling, so as soon as I've recovered from this bug that got me, I'm going out for a walk/jog (work my way to running).  I want to feel that peace, relaxation, and self affirming stage that he described.  Sincerely, this was a refreshing read. 

On a personal note, I "ran" a 5K once.  My husband, then boyfriend, was into athletic stuff ... mud runs, relay races, 5-10K runs, judo, etc.  I don't know how I roped myself into it but I signed up for the run (perhaps to get acquainted with his likes).  Anyway, I really didn't know what I was getting into.  Yes, I practiced on the treadmill but as Mr. Griffin pointed out, there's nothing like gravel.  So come event time I was awful!!  There were many little girls, dogs, and mommy strolling runners who whizzed by me.  It was incredibly embarrassing!  More so that I had an athlete-like friend of my husband to run along with me (it was a run for women).  For sure I slowed her down but she was a dear and stayed with me through it all.  I don't remember where we placed... maybe next to last!  But, my husband's friend commented that it didn't matter where we place, but that I showed willingness to try (more true than she knew because I did not have any athlete bone in me!  I spent my spare time watching movie videos, a pathetic couch potato!).  In the end, receiving the commemorative medal was pretty neat!  And the experience as a whole was wonderful.  Hence, I understand a little bit of the joy and life leason that running can bring. 

I want to thank Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for sending me this book for review.  She was backlogged with many books to review for publishers that she enlisted the help of her fellow bloggers to lighten her load.  I was happy to obliged and more so now having had the opportunity to read this book.  I don't think it would have come my way otherwise.  Oh, I took on a commitment to review two more books, Dream Bigger and Battle Ready Moms Raising Battle Ready Kids, so stay tune for those. :)


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  2. Congrats on running the 5K and Kathy deserves a huge round of applause for all she's done for all bloggers especially the newbies like me. She's a great lady!


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