It’s not always easy to just pack up your bags and head for the door, we read about inspiring adventures all the time and it’s easy to think that those adventures are beyond us. But what if we can push our horizons a little further afield? Set our sights a little further? The world is our glittering ball and with enough passion and planning we can achieve whatever we set our sights on.
We’ve put together a collection of books that have inspired us, not to emulate the author but to look a little further than our normal circuits and stomping grounds to find new goals and push ourselves. Our goals don’t need to be in the stars, they might just be around a more distant corner.
A WALK IN THE WOODS – BILL BRYSON
Published in 1998 this is book that a lot of us will have heard of but maybe less of us have read. It’s a tale of semi-epic proportions that goes to show that you don’t have to be young and honed in order to attempt something incredible. This book is also a reminder that it’s about the journey and having a good time, not just about the bragging rights of being the fastest and the strongest and walking the furthest. If you don’t have time to read the book, you can always watch the film version which is a bit of a bonus.
BORN TO RUN: A HIDDEN TRIBE, SUPERATHLETES AND THE GREATEST RACE THE WORLD HAS NEVER SEEN- CHRISTOPHER MCDOUGALL
If you’re a runner, or even if you’re not, this book will get you thinking. Christopher McDougall explored different cultural relationships with running and how we have evolved as runners. We meet tribes that have been running long distances for all of their considerable histories, we meet ultramarathon runners that don’t think anything of running mind-blowing distances as well as regular people who just have a sore foot. Be reminded that we’re creatures of nature, designed to run, not sit behind desks and that it’s never too late to get your running shoes on.
“You don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.”
WOMEN IN SPORT: 50 FEARLESS ATHLETES WHO PLAYED TO WIN – RACHEL IGNOTOFSKY
One to inspire and motivate you and your kids, this book tells of 50 athletes, many of which we haven’t heard, who broke with conventions to change the world in their own way. Each athlete is accompanied with an illustration and her story, often about how she was told her dream was impossible and set out to achieve it anyway – now if that doesn’t inspire and motivate you, we don’t know what will.
MIND OF A SURVIVOR – MEGAN HINE
Megan leads a quite extraordinary life, moving around the world to some of the most remote, dangerous and beautiful locations imaginable. She deals with dangerous situations on a daily basis and needs to keep a cool head come what may. She’s keen to point out that everything she’s learned can be applied to everyday life, even if you aren’t being chased by lions the strength that we all have inside helps us deal with daily stressful situations. We are all experiencing little adventures every day whether that is pulling out on to the busy bypass on your way to work or dealing with the pushy person who thinks they deserve to be in front of you in the lunch queue. Megan reminds us that we’re all stronger than we think and gets us thinking about where that strength can take us.
RUN, RIDE, SINK OR SWIM – A ROOKIES YEAR IN WOMEN’S TRIATHLON – LUCY FRY
A tale of the successes and disasters of training for a triathlon with very little previous training or exercise under her belt. A reminder that none of us are too unfit or too busy to fit in something if it’s what we really want. This book is really human and written by a ‘normal’ person (who is ‘normal’ anyway?) not a superhero athlete, struggling with fitting in training for 3 sports into a busy and emotional life. Lucy experiences ups and downs along the way but reminds us all that all the best things are worth putting a little effort in to.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog, check out our winter running blog – Swap Winter Blues for Winter Muse