How Running Changed My Life: True Stories of the Power of Running by Garth Battista, paperback, 272 pages, Breakaway Books (2002), ISBN: 189136930X
Every runner knows this, and marvels at it, and finds it hard to wholly describe: Running will change your life. In big ways and small, for a moment, for the rest of your days. These 43 true electrifying stories capture the power of running to change and shape our existence, to elevate us, to inspire and strengthen us in all our pursuits. They are stories to ignite the runner's soul. They are motivational, inspirational, and instructive – making a fascinating book for dewy beginners and grizzled veterans alike. In this book Garth Battista – the editor of "The Runner's Literary Companion" – collected and edited personal tales of running to quit drinking or drugs, to escape a bad marriage, to lose weight, running out grief, developing self-esteem, and running for the sheer joy of it. A daughter finally bonds with her distant father when she wins a local race. A man diagnosed with a tumor in his lung runs his way back to health. A teenager living in a crack-infested neighborhood of the Bronx takes up running and finds her strength, and a good side of life. One man, viciously attacked on a remote beach in Africa, bleeding profusely, runs miles to safety, saving his own life. A Pakistani man, as an orphaned child, was introduced to running by a kind teacher, and went on to become a national caliber marathoner. One woman leaves her miserable marriage by training for and running a marathon, proving to herself her worth and strength, and finding happiness on the running trail. Every story tells of a remarkable human transformation – a permanent change for the better – created by simply running. It is all here – every type of runner, and running in all its physical and spiritual glory. This is a book to inspire anyone to go run, and love every challenging, painful, wonderful second of it. Your life will never be the same.