Laying Down on the Job

Laying Down on the Job
The Santa Monica Easy

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Born to Run"

I flew to Chicago 10/8/09 to attend a dear cousin's wedding.  I saw my "Better-than-Sister" cousin Cecilia (the one I wrote about in an earlier post) and met her daughter's three-year-old daughter, Aislinn, for the first time!  I had a wonderful time and felt very satisfied to attend cousin Christopher's wedding.  He married a delightful woman, Julie, who shares his love of community theater.  Christopher's a wonderful young man and I love and admire him deeply even though we haven't spent that much time together.  

During the flight to Chicago and before falling asleep each night  while I was there, I read a newly published book, "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall.  

I'd seen Christopher McDougall interviewed on "The Daily Show" talking about how he came to write the book and I was surprised to learn it's not about Bruce Springsteen.  As an ex-marathoner, I was not that enthused about reading the book, whose sub-title is "A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen."  Anyone who can no longer complete marathons due to health issues will understand this.  I don't want to read a book about training for marathons.  Marathons were a love-hate relationship for me but it's a heartbreak not to be able to participate in those hellish events any more.  Anyway -- it was clear Jon Stewart had read the book and he was very enthusiastic about it saying something like, "This is a book for everyone..." or something like that.  I was intrigued enough -- and I trust Jon Stewart's taste in books --  that I looked up the book on and added it to my wish list for a future trip to the library.  

A few weeks later, out of the blue, my friend, "E",  sent the book to me!  I thanked  "E" and told her I'd read it after I was done with Ted Kennedy's thoroughly riveting biography, "True Compass" but she insisted I read "Born to Run" right away.  So, a day later, begrudgingly (because I've come to recognize that "E" is always right so I just follow orders), I started zip-reading through the first two chapters. I wasn't impressed.  It wasn't until half-way through Chapter 3 that I finally began to understand why my friend insisted I read it right away.  A few days later, when I got on the plane for Chicago, I was about a quarter of the way through the book and feeling very resentful towards anything that kept me from reading the book. 

This book's title makes sense (especially at the end of the book) but does not do the story justice. "Born to Run" appeals to athletes, runners, marathoners and ultra-marathoners -- and Bruce Springsteen fans --  but this IS a book for everyone -- men, women, teens, teachers, bankers, politicians and anyone dealing with health issues -- not just runners or marathoners. It's a mystery, a quest, an adventure, history, crime, health and diet, anthropology, disease, joy, love and bliss. I plan to send this book to friends and family just because it's a GREAT read and I want everyone to be as mesmerized and amazed as I was reading this story. It's unforgettable. Towards the end of the book I began to slow my reading down because I didn't want it to end. I'm sure I'll read "Born to Run" many times.

1 comment:

  1. Oh be honest, you were just annoyed with me. But I'm glad you read it, I just knew you'd forgive me once you got into it. You described the book beautifully. I, too, will be reading it again.