Although I enjoyed my brief stint as a runner, I have realized that running is not my spot. When I had no motivation to lace up after finishing my 10K, I decided that I would dedicate my fitness efforts to the sports/activities I really enjoyed. That would be spinning, yoga and weight lifting. Add in the long walks I enjoy taking, not to mention living in a city and I’ve been happily active without pounding the trails. Of course, my routine long-haul flights and long-haul study sessions probably cancel out the benefits of my lightly active life but, for right now, I’m okay with that.
Even though I’m not a runner, the sport fascinates me. I loved reading Born To Run by Christopher MacDougall last year and left the book feeling inspired in all areas of my life. When Eat And Run was released, I knew it was a matter of time before I picked it up (ie. when it was released in paperback). I finally did and enjoyed it just as much as if I had been trotting to the gym afterwards to run three miles on a treadmill.
Eat And Run tells the story of ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek. You aren’t running like he is. If you are, then more power to you. The memoir illuminates the life and choices that led him to be able to accomplish amazing physical feats. He talks about his childhood and his introduction to the sport. He talks about his family life, his friends and all manner of personal motivations. The book doesn’t exactly tell you how to be an ultra-runner, though Jurek does give a few tips on how to improve your running, but rather Jurek explains how he was able to transform himself into a long-distance runner.
His path is inspirational, no matter what sport you practice. It’s inspirational regardless of whether or not you practice a spot. Jurek’s narration isn’t beautifully written, but it doesn’t interfere with his message: you are capable of doing more. You are capable of doing amazing things.
Jurek doesn’t forget the fact he is a vegan and discusses his path toward becoming a vegan at length. This may annoy some people, but keeping your mind open is part of what Jurek wants his reader to learn. He provides vegan recipes at the end of each chapter so those who remain skeptical can try out some vegan eats for themselves (the tofu spread is delicious!). There is a decent amount of “hippie” talk in the book, but I didn’t find it annoying. You might if you are of very different stripes, but I think the people who are reading this story probably have similar viewpoints.
Eat And Run was a quick read that serves as an interesting tie-in to Born To Run. I don’t think I would have been able to get the same enjoyment out of the book had I not read Christopher MacDougall’s book. It’s not because they discuss the same things, per se, but because Born To Run gave a decent background to both the sport and Jurek that was lacking in Eat And Run.
If you’re interested in running, an active vegan life style, inspirational stories or simply read Born To Run, you’ll find Eat And Run to be an interesting, pleasant and quick read. Not to mention, you’ll get some awesome recipes to impress your friends with.
What’s your favorite sport? Do you enjoy running?