Sunday, January 6, 2013

Accidental Athlete Book Review

January is the time of year in which lots of people start to workout and set their physical goals for the year.  The Accidental Athlete, by the well known John Bingham (Penguin Runners), talks about how our past comes into play in our daily adult lives.

The Accidental Athlete goes into John's athletic past, or lack thereof.  I think we can all relate to his traumatic tales of gym class and teenage angst.  

Bingham then dives into adulthood.  And as most of us did, we lost our athletic (if we had any at all) when we entered our career and family forming 20's and 30's.  We then journey into John's first days as a runner.  They are difficult, disheartening and astounding all at the same time.  Everyone can remember those first few miles as a runner.  Panting, sweating and feeling like you were going to die.  But at the same time, falling in love with this tortious sport.  

Once you start to race (and you WILL get the urge to do so as many of us know), you will quickly learn about your lack of athletic prowess.  I always feel like an Olympic athlete as I run through the woods, but race at the back of the pack.

John chose to continue racing, running all distances and collecting all sorts of medals and tee shirts.  While we is competitive, the nature of his running principles is that there is No Need For Speed (another book title by John Bingham) and its all about finishing for yourself.  

Bingham goes into what running means to life and to him.  Its not just a race, its a metaphor for life.  Often, its your health and your youth that you are running for.  Getting older isn't necessarily a bad thing.  With age comes wisdom and the wisdom of preventing injury and spending time wisely.  These are lessons that are valuable in life but no where more important than they are in running.  

Just as it is important in life, you should take it one day at a time when running.  Know when to push it, know when to take it easy and taking recovery time are all valuable pieces of the puzzle.  

You can buy the Accidental Athlete here:
Its a great read to start the New Year!

No comments:

Post a Comment