The Runners Guide to the Meaning of Life. Amby Burfoot.

This book didn’t have a lot of meat, and I read it well over a month ago (meaning I have lost my 1st impressions, since it wasn’t that impressionable)  so I won’t write much now.  (I’m about 3 or 4 books behind in writing about the books I’ve read!)   So how about just some quotes?  I know that is boring and lazy, but there are some good quotes!  I’ll even highlight some of my favorite.

  • As runners, we all go through many transitions-transitions that closely mimic the larger changes we experience in a lifetime. First, we try to run faster. Then we try to run farther. Then we learn to accept ourselves and our limitations, and at last, we can appreciate the true joy and meaning of running.
  • Every workout reveals new truths and releases new dreams.
  • Running has long suffered, in my opinion, from an early attitude best described and captured by the classic novella and movie of the same name: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner.
  • I wasn’t yet wise enough to see how traditions make us stronger.
  • Now I began to see these transitions differently. In a world that perpetually moves faster, never slower, we need all the anchoring points we can find.
  • I have heard a million people say that running is the most boring activity that they can possibly imagine. Since I’m sure I’m not any smarter or wittier than these people, I can only guess that they never learned to listen as they run. If they did, they would surely he entertained and informed by their own thoughts.
  • I have learned that there’s no such thing as an easy decision. But I have also learned that it’s much better to make decisions and move on than to he trapped in the agony of the process.
  • Indeed, only about 5 to io percent of the overall marathoning population is fast enough to qualify for Boston. [ Hmm, I’m still pondering going for a 3:20 which is my BQ time! ]
  • The answers lie within, not outside. The best solutions are achieved from personal resolve, not from multiple credit cards.
  • “Bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible.” -WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
  • The simple approach is often the best. As we enter ever more technical times, with ever increasing levels of complexity and decision making, we need to remember that the simple path can harness great powers.
  • During his much-read and discussed life at Walden Pond, Henry David Thoreau preached simplicity above all else. He felt that the unencumbered life was paradoxically the fullest.
  • While running at first appears to depend on great physical strength and endurance, it is, in fact, based almost entirely on strength of mind. Those who have the will will succeed.
  • “It is distance, not speed, that holds the answers. The reward comes with crossing and confronting the boundaries of fatigue. For these runners, satisfaction is measured in miles, not minutes.”
  • many wise people have observed that you can’t accomplish something if you don’t believe you can. Or the converse: If you believe something is beyond you, it is.
  • While you always have to stay focused on your goal, you also need to stay flexible enough to adapt to different conditions. When in the mountains, enjoy the mountain scenery. Nobody achieves his goal without having some fun along the way. Without fun, we’d give up long before the finish
  • … parents can’t be cookie cutters. We can’t mold our children into ourselves or anyone else. We have to let them run free to discover themselves. It’s the greatest gift we can give them.
  • if I were handed a couple of decades, I would cherish them so. I would give every moment the honor and respect it deserves

p.s. I was quite surprised when Burfoot mentions the following book as one of his favorite all time books!   GODEL, ESCHER, BACH: AN ETERNAL GOLDEN BRAID, BY DOUGLAS R. HOFSTADTER

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