The Runner's High by Garth Battista, paperback, 256 pages, Breakaway Books (2004), ISBN: 1891369490
The runner's high is a marvelous side-effect of running, though mysterious and elusive. Sometimes you get it, usually you don't. These 47 personal stories explore it in depth and detail, from euphoria to religious visions and mindblowing out-of-body experiences. One constant through these stories is an overwhelming sense of joy and awe at the infinite possibilities of the human body and soul. A man experiences a joyfull downhill run as pure flight, unhindered freefall. One woman finds that breathing during running is an act of prayer. A runner on a tropical beach finds her surroundings metamorphosing surreally before her eyes. One man out on his daily run experiences a flash of utter peace and universal clarity – a moment that he later realizes occurred at precisely the time his father passed away. The runner's high leads one man onward to find an even higher power: true, honest love. And the ultimate story is from a man in a maximum-security prison, who, during his runs in his tiny concrete cell, finds himself beyond all walls and iron bars. This dazzling celebration of running as a spiritual experience will inspire people of all abilities to explore the metaphysical side of running. Author Garth Battista is the editor of "The Runner's Literary Companion" and "How Running Changed My Life".