I’d like to think of myself as a runner. Cropped leggings, pony tail swinging behind me; a quick run around the block would clear my head and keep me in incredible shape. I’ve tried many times to make that dream a reality but with my poor health and general lack of fitness have made starting difficult and painful. A book that shall remain title-less told me to accept I was fat and imperfect, which upset me more than it motivated me.
Alexandra Heminsley is not like those other books. She encourages the reader to run for their own reasons rather than social pressures to be slim and to find Prince Charming. She states clearly how she runs for her mind, for herself and for charity. Her first steps into running were in memory of a friend, and they weren’t little steps either, she would run the London Marathon. Heminsley, or Hemmo, doesn’t hold back. She is brutal and honest. Beginning to run is painful, embarrassing and hard. Get over it. Get on with it.
I’m not ashamed to say I cried twice while reading this book, Hemmo takes us on those marathon runs with her (she has run five on two continents), needless to say, they are emotional. Running something like The Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco is not something you do alone, you are surrounded by people on the verge of giving up but they pull you forward with them. If Hemmo’s uplifting stories don’t get you running, she also talks about the women who were told they couldn’t run, that it wasn’t lady like, that it was dangerous for their health. Don’t run in the hope of attracting Mr Right, run because you can.
I read this book back in September, and I haven’t run a single step….