This is a big week coming up. After a long journey, the release of my sixth book is April 12. “Book release” is a funny term. It sounds like a heavily-guarded secret that is finally being released to the world. It is just a book, after all. But this book is special to me, because unlike my other books, this one speaks to how and why running affects us on the inside, how it makes us more creative and more confident and more imaginative and more productive and more successful.
The concept of The Inner Runner began as a session I led at a fitness industry conference in 2011. I took conference attendees on a run through Torrey Pines State Reserve in La Jolla, California, talking about the emotional and philosophical aspects of running. Since that first conference, I have held the session a few more times in various locations in the U.S. and around the world, each time trying to get closer to the meaning that I want to convey. After a friend experienced the session at one of the conferences, she said, “You know, you should write a book about that.”
When I began the journey of writing this book, I wanted to capture the essence of those conference sessions, but I didn’t know much of what I was going to write. I wanted it to be an experience, not just for the reader, but also for myself. As social theorist and philosopher Michel Foucault wrote, “If I had to write a book to communicate what I have already thought, I’d never have the courage to begin it… When I write, I do it above all to change myself and not to think the same as before.”
As I reflect on what I have written on the pages that follow, and try to make sense of it all, I can honestly say that I do not think the same as before. I find myself humbled by what running really means and what it really does for us. For many, running is a pathway to experiences and emotions that cannot always be articulated. It is often hard to explain with words how I feel when I race or when I see one of the runners I coach have a breakthrough. It is a feeling deep inside of me. I have tried on these pages to articulate what it means to experience what running gives us, how it molds us into better, more deeply conscious people, just as the miles and interval workouts mold us into faster, more enduring runners. Sometimes, I believe I have succeeded in articulating these things; other times, I feel I am still far away. Runners share a secret that cannot easily be expressed: You don’t become a runner and then run. You run and run and run and then begin to understand what it means to be a runner. Sometimes, there just is no satisfying way to articulate that. It must be felt.
Here’s an excerpt:
I hope you are impacted and touched as much by reading the book as I was by writing it.
10% of the profit on every book sold will be donated to charity—the American Heart Association in my father’s memory and Susan G. Komen for the Cure in my mother’s memory.
Order the book, and please encourage everyone you know to order it as well.
Join me for The Inner Runner book release VIP party on April 12 in San Diego
…and two days later in New York!