The Gift – A Runner's Story by Paul Maurer, paperback, 256 pages, Lulu.com (2006), ISBN: 1411669258
"The Gift – A Runner's Story" is a novel that centers on runner Brett Rodgers and his quest for personal and athletic redemption. The storyline embraces the trials and tribulations of a world-class distance runner, while masterfully blending in the long and colorful history of competitive running. With a thoughtful and poignant conclusion, "The Gift" leads to the undeniable truth that regrets from an unfulfilled youth can shadow one's soul for a lifetime. As the character says in the book, "Running isn't a sport for pretty boys with visions of grandeur. It's about the sweat in your hair and the blisters on your feet. It's about frozen spit on your chin and the nausea in your gut. It's about throbbing calves and cramps at midnight that are strong enough to wake the dead. It's about getting out the door and running when the rest of the world is only dreaming about having the passion that you need to live each and every day with. It's about being on a lonely road and running like a champion even when there's not a single soul in sight to cheer you on. Running is all about having the desire to train and persevere until every fiber in your legs, mind, and heart is turned to steel. And when you're finally forged hard enough, you will have become the best runner you can be. And that's all that you can ask for". The author Paul Maurer lives in Wisconsin with his wife, three boys, and his running buddy, his dog Sam. This is Paul's first novel.