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I’m coming to realize that if I ever want to develop and keep a reader base, I need to offer more than my random thoughts.  I need to engage the reader and leave an opening for discussion, and I need to do so on a regular basis.  Here goes:

Whenever I start a new venture, I study up on it.  This has led me to buying a lot of books.  I have books about everything from Photoshop and web design to fishing and appliance repair, among other, non-related topics.  Running is proving no different.

As I’ve stated previously, I’ve subscribed to a couple running magazines and have been pleasantly surprised that they offer advice and motivation to people like me; new, large and slow.  I have to admit, I still look at the people on the covers and sometimes think “man, that person could really use a cheeseburger,” but nonetheless, I’m enjoying reading the articles.

When looking for reading materials, I also looked for books.  I’ve found books that address proper technique, proper clothing and proper shoes, all of which is information that I need.  Something else that I’ve looked for is books on motivation for running.

Right now, I’m out there walking (and yesterday, GASP! running!) and I’m motivated to do it.  I also know that once the initial “something new to do” novelty wears off and things start getting hard, I’m going to either need to keep being motivated or I’m going to quit.  I don’t want to quit. Might as well start building the motivational arsenal up while I’m… well, motivated to.

While reading reviews on a few books, I noticed that a lot of people would compare the book in review to “Bingham’s book,” though they never mentioned the title.  This sparked my curiosity.  If “Bingham’s book” was the unit that all other books were measured by, I needed to read that first.

A little sleuthing on Amazon brought me to this gem; An Accidental Athlete: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Middle Age 

From the Amazon website:

Known by fans as “The Penguin” for his back-of-the-pack speed, John Bingham is the unlikely hero of the modern running boom. In his new book, the best-selling author and magazine columnist recalls his childhood dreams of athletic glory, sedentary years of unhealthy excess, and a life-changing transformation from couch potato to “adult-onset athlete.”

Overweight, uninspired, and saddled with a pack-and-a-half-a-day smoking habit, Bingham found himself firmly wedged into a middle-age slump. Then two frightening trips to the emergency room and a conversation with a happy piano tuner led him to discover running—and changed his life for the better.

Inspiring, poignant, hilarious, and heartbreaking, An Accidental Athlete is a warm and engaging book for the everyday athlete. Bingham tells stories of the joys of running—the pride of the finisher’s medal, a bureau-busting t-shirt collection, intense back-of-the-pack strategizing. An Accidental Athlete is about one man’s discovery that middle age was not the finish line after all, but only the beginning.

I highly suggest picking this book up and giving it a read.  If you’ve ever thought, “I can’t get into shape,” you, like me, can learn something from John’s wisdom.


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