Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: Run like a girl

Any book that combines Goldilocks, outdoor divas and a trapeze has got to be worth a look. When it comes packaged with an author bio listing no less than nine sports, you know you're in good company. 

Author and sports-fan Mina Samuels sent me her book Run like a Girl longer ago than I care to reveal. I've been reading chapters on the go and finally made it to the end. Finishing it this week was, shall we say, most useful. You could sum up her main theme with "If not now, when?" and just pull on whatever sports shoes you need and hit the road (or mountain, river, sea ....). 

Unlike some motivaltional books, Samuels uses people you might know in her examples. Sure, some of them have run marathons at high speed but others are the women who finish the 10km and know they've achieved something. Some have survived shocking accidents or illnesses but others just come to sport at messed-up time in their lives and it solves a problem, fills a gap. 

Samuels writes: "When I meet a goal I’ve set in sports nothing outward changes in my life. I don’t get product endorsements or coaching contracts or highpaid (sic) speaking engagements. I fit my sports in around my work and other obligations. Sometimes staying committed to the sports is an enormous struggle and I think, “I can’t wait until I’m too old for this.” At other times it is pure bliss and I know that I will be doing some sport for as long as I’m here. So it is for most of us."

It's inspiring reading the stories about women who set up clothing companies - Outdoor Divas - women who climb mountains or learn to ski at times in their lives when it seemed like it was all over. And readers, when some commentators say it's all over by 16, it's refreshing to hear someone say that sometimes you just have to wait until it's right. Could be 26, could be 66, it's up to you.

It's one of those books you will probably dip into again and again. A good book to keep on the shelf for when that old injury acts up again, when an illness comes by to say hello or just for when you need a little extra something to get out in the cold. Read it, share it and keep on doing sport. 
A final thought from Samuels: 

"What is running like a girl, anyway? It’s getting out there. Challenging ourselves. Finding new possibility within. Finding strength in our own accomplishments. It’s accessing our ageless girl spirit, where the enthusiastic “let’s go” of youth meets the “I can” of experience"  


Have you read any books that gave you that kick-up you needed?

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