Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run

I normally put all my book reviews for a month together, or that is what I intended to do so I could quickly go back and look at what I read each month of the year.  However, this book was just so amazing and I wrote so many different quotes down that I decided it needed it's own post. 

 
 
This book was on my Christmas list last year and my mom bought it for me.  I somehow had put off reading it until this month- a year later- and found a GREAT Read!
 
I really enjoyed her writing style and her dedication of each of the 26.2 chapters to a certain topic/subject/thought (i.e. warm up, beginnings, friendship, healing, play, mothers, etc).  I found so many different quotes that really struck a chord with me.  So here they are with some of my own feedback or thoughts on her comments. 
 
page 4 "I am not a good runner because I am me.  I am a good me because I run."
Hello- love this line- totally makes sense to me and I can pretty much guarantee I'm a better "me" because I run.
 
page 14 "How often in life do we place undue emphasis on our performance and fail to appreciate the pleasure of our accomplishment?"
As with so many lines in this book, that I loved, this one can be applied to all of life.  I think many of us, myself included, look at our failures more than our accomplishments.  If we all looked at all we have accomplished I think we would be pretty proud of ourselves. 
 
page 15 "Going physically beyond yourself helps you understand that there is some thing bigger and mightier than you."
Yep- there is something definitely "bigger" out there- we all have different ideas about what that "bigger" is and I don't really think it matters that we agree on it, but I think it makes you understand when you physically go beyond your boundaries that's when you realize there is something "bigger".
 
page 38 "Clarity comes to me like this: I need to be living my life in such a way that if I knew my expiration date, I would continue living just as I am."
Good goal to live up to- basically the live life to its fullest and if not change it up so that if you left the world you'd be o.k. with the way you left it.
 
page 49 "Maybe this casual pace works best for me.  Maybe I can go farther and enjoy more fully when I just go and let go, leaving the planner in me home in bed."
I'm a planner and I think this quote hit home with me, because sometimes it is nice to go out and do something and just fully enjoy it not thinking about all the "to do's" or the "what ifs" but just enjoy the present, at a nice casual pace.
 
page 53 "Katharine Hepburn said ' Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, only with what you are expected to give... which is everything".
This is on the first page of the chapter titled "Mothers".  Giving your everything is a theme many moms and mother runners deal with on a daily basis.  It has nothing to do with what you are going to get in return, but giving your all to your kids.  Don't mother to get back, but to give.
 
page 69 "When we run we are showing our children, teaching without words, that we value ourselves, our hearts, our fitness, our health, our friendships, our clarity and our balance".
AMEN!
 
page 81 "When it come down to it determination has a greater impact than giftedness."
Definitely agree with this.  I've said before there are many people who could run laps around me very easily, but give us both a goal of 26.2 miles and those faster/more fit/athletic people just might not make it, but little old me who has this need for goals will finish because not being a fast, fit, athlete, but just having the will to finish and train to get there.  I truly believe we all have the ability to get to the start and finish line- we just have to want to.
 
page 107 "Thank Goad for running.  It is the ultimate detox for me, whether my poison is champagne bubbles, a foul mood, or a bad attitude."
Running is a great way to sweat away the bad stuff. Other than barfing or with fever I try to run threw colds, because I normally feel better.  I don't do as well as she writes with running after a night of "the bubbly" though, however if I have a long run or hard workout the next day the running will deter too much "bubbly" consumption.  Lastly, I think if more people were active in some form on daily basis and sweated there would be less depressed people on this earth.  Now don't get me wrong-  I totally don't think depression is a farce or a "whoa is me" thing- it is real and medication is helpful for treating, but if people added running or swimming or bike riding- anything to get their blood pumping and sweating they may find their moods to improve.  I did and do feel much happier/balanced emotionally when active on routine basis. 
 
page 114 "There is something about women that permits us to vie for a better impression of and for ourselves by belittling someone else."
I've never understood this, but see it is true almost everyday.  Wish we women could be nicer to each other, less judgemental and just more supportive.   I think women have had so many different hurdles to deal with that we get defensive about losing our position in life and so think by belittling someone else we will bypass others.  Don't know how we can improve this amongst women.  Ideas?
 
page 122 "Today I live peacefully (and gratefully) as an 'I am'.  I am a mother.  I am a writer. I am a runner.  It has taken me awhile, but at last (thank you, God) my identity ties directly into who I am rather than an action I perform.  Even though I mother, I write, and I run; these verbs are less important to me than what the nouns signify".
I like the thought of describing myself as a noun instead of as an action.  Sounds like you are stronger and more powerful when you say these words as a noun.
 
page 128 "Because it's who you are when no one is watching that builds the confidence and the comfort to give your best in moments when it's time to be seen."
Many runners feed off running around others- you run faster/longer when around others (i.e. in a race, at the gym).  I agree though that it is how you are when no one is around that is more important to the character you are building.
 
page 146 "Sooner or later, we just have to own and enjoy who we are, the whole crazy concoction".
Taken awhile but I'm getting there.
 
page 169 "If you have a friend who has a gift, tell them, quickly.  It really matters."
We need to do this more in life.  Another way to help others see the good within themselves. 
 
page 202 "Usually I have one run each week that speaks to me on a metaphysical level, telling or teaching me something that I can't seem to get when I read, write, connect with people, or do the things that require doing in the rest of my life."
I have had these runs- don't know if they are weekly, but when I have them they are pretty powerful.  I think running makes you be in the present and that's when you go to a higher level of observation/thinking, etc.
 
page 207 "Do the same thing you have always done and get the same things you have always gotten... We parent the same way and expect more from our kids. We put the same old energy into our marriage and expect it to be more fulfilling."
Basically- if you want life to change you have to change what you are doing and not put it on others. 
 
page 211 "Wherever we are and wherever we're going, we won't break if we break it down."
Puts perspective on taking it day by day, step by step, looking at the picture in pieces etc- less overwhelming.
 
page 231 "I realized that I am out here, most days of every week, pursuing something that does not come naturally or easily to me."
I feel the same way about my running.   I don't have a runner's body.  I don't have a runner's diet.  Yet I am a runner. 
 
page 237 " It encourages me to gravitate toward people whose standards inspire me subconsciously to raise my own, just as the company of a particularly honest person elicits integrity, or a highly motivated person adds momentum, or a particularly funny person piques my sense of joy."
Who we surrounds ourselves with clearly has a bearing on what kind of life we live and experience.  I'm trying to focus on finding these very type of people noted above to spend my life with.  If I do I will have lead a pretty lucky/happy life. 
 
page 238 "Right now is a perfect time to consider the people who lift us up and to make a conscious decision to spend more time in their good company." 
Reiteration of the quote on page 237- but again reminds me to find my "peeps"!
 
page 251 "I train because I want to be someone better than I would be if I didn't train."
This is my hope in training- to be a better person not just runner.
 
page 265 "I believe gratitude is one of the most powerful forces in the universe.  It is underrated and underutilized, yet it has the power to transform people and perspectives."
Need to use this more in my life.  I need to do a better job of being thankful: vocally or outwardly to those who I'm so thankful/grateful for, but also inwardly to assess regularly the great life I have. 
 
Hope you enjoyed reading these quotes as much as I did and don't mind my take on them.  After I finished this book the one thought I just couldn't quite get out of my head was "Did Kristin Armstrong know her husband was doping?"I asked my husband and he answered "Yes" quickly and surely.  They are no longer together, I realize that, but her writing and thoughts seem to speak about being honest and living a purposeful/true life and Lance's recent admissions to utilizing drugs to enhance his athletic ability doesn't quite fit with how I picture her.  I also wonder if her children have felt the affects of their father's lies.  She talks about her children quite frequently throughout the book and how athletic they are.  I wonder how they have dealt with their father's coming out about his false boosting of his own athletic abilities through use of drugs.  This was the only thing I felt a little unanswered on who Kristin Armstrong really is.  That said I still really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone- runner or not!  So much of what she said can be applied to real life, especially being a mom. 
 
 
 

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