Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Run to Overcome: A Review
In December, I first read Meb Keflezighi and Dick Patrick's Run to Overcome. What an amazing book. I started to write a review of it back then, but it was never finished. I initially wrote,
"I think part of the reason I loved the book so much is that I am in a bit of a running rut. My mileage is low, and things are just a bit tenuous now. So, knowing that Meb's story is one of triumph over adversity was a good incentive to read it." And now...
While this is a book about Meb's training and racing stories, it is not just a book about running or runners. It is the story of an immigrant family (Meb has 9 siblings) from Eteria. Meb took to learning English and his schoolwork with the same tenacity and dedication that he would eventually take to running. He then got a scholarship to UCLA, where he began his "internship" (what he refers to his runner-coach relationship as) with Bob Larsen, who still coaches him today. When he turned pro, he approached Nike with a letter that included the following prediction, "In the near future I am confident I will make a positive contribution to U.S. distance running in the 5,000m, 10,000m, road race and marathon." It reminded me of the
While I knew a lot of the major events that were included in the book (2004 Olympics, 10k American Record, 2007 Olympic Trials, and ultimately the NYC Marathon), it was still gripping to read.
And now to reread. I love a story of triumph. Meb never had anything handed to him; he worked to earn it. During major injuries, he endured hours of rehab, doing everything he could to rebuild his strength and ensure a strong comeback. The ending to the book is just beautiful,
"Winning in life doesn't happen when you overcome just one thing-do or die. It's persevering, knowing that difficulties are bumps in the road, not the end of the world. It's continuing to do the right things, knowing your time will come. After all, you have to conduct yourself like a champion before you can ever win a championship. Whatever you do, then, give it your best. Persevere in overcoming obstacles. When you do, you'll be running to win."
You can read it if you are a runner or if you are just looking for some inspiration and motivation. This is a story of hard work, of persistent dedication, of faith in God's will, and the importance of believing in yourself.
I root for the Americans because they represent my country, and I am proud to have the American runners stand in front of me at a major race like Boston. But reading of a story like this makes me so much more proud to run in the same country as those like Meb Keflezighi.