A memoir of running, endurance, and overcoming grief.
When Sydney Review of Books editor Menzies-Pike’s parents were killed in a plane crash, she didn’t know how to handle her grief. At age 20, she was suddenly faced with being the oldest in the family, in charge of her siblings and the estate, but all she wanted to do was run away from the responsibilities. It took 10 years, time spent in school, traveling, and making bad decisions, before the author laced up her shoes and started running on a treadmill to figure out the next phase of her life. In this honest, funny, and moving memoir, which also serves as a meditation on the place of women in the running world, Menzies-Pike reveals how she worked through her fears and found her own rhythm amid the clamor of running long-distance races. Beginning with a half-marathon wasn’t easy, but the author explains how she navigated the training one run at a time and gradually found the ability to run outside, ignoring the catcalls and many fears about being attacked, slipping, or being too tired to get back home. Interspersed with her personal reflections is an interesting history of the female pioneers who first entered the sport of running, of how they overcame the stigmas of their time and gradually forced competitions to accept them in races, which in turn provided a gateway for product development of shoes, sports bras, and clothing for female athletes. For anyone contemplating running a half or full marathon, the author’s thoughts on the physical toll these types of runs can take on a body, as well as the joy she experienced after successfully completing them, are highly useful.
An authentic account of surviving devastating loss through the art of running.