Can you believe it? Another week has come and gone! I wanted to follow up on Wednesday’s post, featuring my Top 10 Wellness Tips, with something that might be enjoyable to do, while practicing wellness: reading a book. Now before you get ready to click out of this post and say “Nope, I’m not into books” or “I don’t have time to read at this time,” just hear me out; I promise you’ll be so glad that you picked up this book in the end.
So the first tip I shared was “less screen time.” This tip was inspired by an article I read by Fast Company called “What Happened When I Stopped Using Screens After 11p.m.” One of the many benefits that came from this wellness experiment was more reading time. Personally, while I’m sad to be finishing up my second master’s degree at Boston University (BU) in a couple of weeks (really, I’m going to miss being in a classroom), I realize that this extra non-school time can be filled with more time reading for pleasure again. That being said, I figured it was only fitting to share a book recommendation for my Feature Friday post.
The book I encourage you to all pick up is Running Ransom Road: Confronting the Past, One Marathon at a Time by Caleb Daniloff. Again, before you trail off because you think this is your typical inspirational running book, don’t go anywhere. Now while I do think this book should be in the hands of every runner, whether you’ve run no more than one mile, a race of any length, or even if you are a marathoner for the umpteenth-time, I also wholeheartedly believe this book is a must-read for the non-runners alike. We all have a past–and moments, actions, and decisions within it–that we are none too proud of and Daniloff’s book is an absolutely raw and brutally honest narrative about his journey as a mean, hopeless drunk through the difficult trials of sobriety and into a spiritual redemption of marathon running that will go straight from the ink on the pages and into your soul, if you let it.
Throughout his book, Daniloff poetically describes the rhythm and cadences of running, the swift movement of his arms as they chop through the weather elements and the way his feet pound the pavement below him–he brings you along on his runs and opens his mind and soul to you so that you may experience his thoughts and feelings along the way, for better or worse. As the pages turn (and trust me, I underlined and dog-eared most of them), Daniloff proves that he is not only an accomplished runner and amazing storyteller, but most importantly, he’s an inspiration to anyone smart enough to pick up his book.
To me, he personally opened up a new way of thinking about running; a new way to experience it: to not run from the things that haunt you, but instead to run through your life’s haunts and take ownership back. I, too, now draw lessons from the road no matter what distance I am running that day and could not be more grateful to Daniloff for baring his soul so that I may open up mine a little more.
Within the pages of the book, he provides the reader with the gift of his life story, and some of the harsh lessons ensued from it–it’s the kind of gift that you will want to continue to pass along to the important people in your life..the runners and non-runners alike and that’s why I felt the need to share it with you today.
Full disclosure: I actually know Caleb through working at BU and running with November Project, but I wouldn’t recommend a book to you unless I really, truly loved it and felt like it would benefit your life in an instrumental way. I got it as a Christmas present from one of my sisters (thanks, Kathleen!) and finished it within 2 days because I could not put it down. If you do decide to pick it up, shoot me a message and let me know your thoughts!
Now, let’s see–what else is going on? This weekend will actually be quite an active one for me, starting bright and early tomorrow morning for the Fitbit Local Boston kickoff at 8:30am in the South End. During the 2.5 hour event, I’ll get to experience my first bootcamp class (more on that experience afterwards) and top it off with a yoga flow with my favorite local instructor, Cara Gilman. One of the best parts about this event? It’s FREE (#freefitness)! Definitely be on the lookout for upcoming events by Fitbit Local–this is only the beginning of their new monthly free fitness series in Boston and beyond.
Then on Sunday morning, I’m stoked (and so proud!) to attend my friend and fellow-November Project-er’s free run clinic in Medford, MA at 9am: “Learn the 3 E’s To Run Training: Easy, Efficient, Effective.” Dani Adler, aka RunFitDoc, is a DPT at Boston Physical Therapy & Wellness and is also a 3x marathoner (including two Boston Marathons). She is someone who I trust completely when it comes to running advice and injury prevention, so I’m looking forward to walking away with some helpful tips as I begin to gear up into training for the B.A.A. 10K. This free clinic will start with some information about proper warm ups and information how to incorporate strength training into your workout regimes and will end with a 3 or 5 mile run along the scenic Mystic River. I’ve never run in that area before so I’m excited try to something new, while enjoying the beautiful spring weather.
In the meantime, I’ve told you my active plans for the weekend-what are yours? I feel so grateful to live in a city where free fitness is a growing phenomenon to create access and opportunities for everyone to live a healthier lifestyle, but I realize free fitness does not always have to be something as formally organized as Fitbit Local, a run clinic, or November Project. I’d love to hear from you about some of your favorite healthy and free activities: hiking, evening strolls around the neighborhood, walking a local track to catch up with friends, biking into work, etc. Leave a comment below, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give me a shout out on Twitter @meggielukes (don’t forget to include #MegInTheMeantime, for good measure!).
Enjoy your weekend-it’s much deserved!