July 2019: Born To Run by Christopher McDougall
This book changed my life and I absolutely recommend it to anyone, whether you are a runner or not. However, I DO NOT advocate barefoot running - but this book is also not about barefoot running, which is a common misconception about it.
Some personal background: I have been a runner for as long as I can remember. One of my happiest memories from childhood recess was when the gym teachers had left the 60 meter dash tape out in the field. A group of us started running that tape - over and over - racing each other - hair flying, arms flailing. I had work sandals that day, so pretty quickly I chucked them and ran barefoot the whole time. The strange thing was that I was the fastest by far (which has never been true - before or since). I was always on the track team. In middle school and high school I ran cross-country and was even captain of the girl's cross-country team.
However, by the time I was finishing high school I was Burned. Out. I had shin splints. I was bored. I stopped running. After moving to the Pacific Northwest we lived near an epic trail system and I tried to start running again - immediately my shin splints had me hobbling around - just like every other time I had taken a stab at getting back to running.
A friend recommended this book and I was hooked right from the start. I made changes not only to the mechanics of my running but also to the psychology of my running. Running felt like a physical manifestation of freedom and a direct connection to my humanity.
This stripping down and change that awakened me to the power of critical thinking paired with observation inspired so many other areas of my life. As a result I was given a feeling of rawness, an awakening that I have tried to match in other areas of my life.
This is a must-read for runners, artists, and humans.
Hope you enjoy it!