An inspirational memoir about finding the inner athlete in yourself.
Says Reynolds (The First Marathon: The Legend of Pheidippides, 2006), a self-described clumsy pre-Title IX baby, â€œI have long believed I have a great journey in me.” Here, she traces her recent steps in that trek, hoping to inspire others to follow their own paths to health and self-fulfillment. In her late 40s, the author was overweight, in otherwise poor health and generally so disgusted with herself that she decided to take up walking to remedy the situation. â€œIn the end,” she writes, â€œmy goal was not so much thinness, as that is a way I have never envisioned myself. My goal was fitness. I wanted to feel good inside my skin. I wanted to wake up without achy joints and stiff muscles. I decided that I would do this for myself.” Though initially unable to find the time to walk significant distances–she’s a mother of four and wife of a prominent lawyer with muscular dystrophy–Reynolds fell in love with walking while on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. She also modified her diet, eliminating gluten and lactose products, and soon dropped more than 60 pounds and her â€œmoose-woman self-image.” Exploring the Black Range Mountains near her southern New Mexico home inspired Reynolds to not only complete a number of half-marathons, but undertake major walks and hikes in the western United States, France, Costa Rica, Scotland, and even to stage her own 38.5-mile Ghost Town Ultra (any distance event longer than a marathon’s 26.2 miles). â€œIt is funny,” she writes. â€œI was not an athlete until my first marathon at the age of 50.” Though Reynolds tends to wax a bit too poetic and her narrative meanders at times like a diary, her story should motivate those in a rut to take charge of their lives.
This frank, enjoyable â€œwhy-to” guide to walking offers direction for personal growth as well.