Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE PURSUIT OF ENDURANCE by Jennifer Pharr Davis


Harnessing the Record-Breaking Power of Strength and Resilience

by Jennifer Pharr Davis

Pub Date: April 10th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-7352-2189-5
Publisher: Viking

An instructive exploration of endurance, in sports and in life, from a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

Before hiking the Appalachian Trail for the first time in 2005, Davis (Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph, 2013, etc.) took a class taught by Warren Doyle, a renowned long-distance hiker and legendary trail record-setter. He was the first person to suggest that the author attempt a trail record for the fastest known time (FKT) on the Appalachian Trail; in 2008, she did just that. Davis set the unofficial record for the FKT on the A.T. by a woman, completing the 2,181-mile journey in under 58 days. Still not completely satisfied with her accomplishment, Davis headed back to the trail three years later, this time to set the FKT by anyone, male or female. She finished in under 47 days, a record-setting achievement that she explores throughout this enlightening analysis of endurance. With humor and the wisdom of a seasoned adventurer, Davis breaks down the secrets to harnessing the kind of personal strength and perseverance it takes to not only set records on the trail, but lead life to the fullest off it. The author gives equal weight to the nitty-gritty details of long-distance trail-hiking techniques and the intense mental and spiritual preparation involved in record-breaking, and she offers several spellbinding scenes from her famous treks. Throughout, Davis uses science, psychology, history, hiking methodologies, and her own personal experience to craft a fascinating examination of the human spirit. The author’s natural storytelling ability and a charming cast of characters in the form of spirited hiking mentors make the pages fly in this accessible handbook, which reads less like a step-by-step instruction manual and more like an empowering blueprint to building one’s own endurance.

A captivating narrative guidebook that will inspire readers to test their own limits, on the trail and off.