Long Distance: Testing the Limits of Body and Spirit in a Year of Living Strenuously

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9781605291246: Long Distance: Testing the Limits of Body and Spirit in a Year of Living Strenuously

A new edition of a classic McKibben book about what it takes to be a world-class athlete and where the true meaning of endurance can be found.
At 37, the celebrated writer and environmentalist Bill McKibben took a break from the life of the mind to put himself to the ultimate test: devoting a year to train as a competitive cross-country skier. Consulting with personal trainers, coaches, and doctors at the US Olympic Center, he followed the rigorous training regimen of a world-class athlete.
Along the way, he learned to cope with his physical limitations and, when his father was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor, discovered something about the real meaning of endurance.

Told with his trademark intelligence, humor, and honesty, Long Distance is an insightful examination of
the culture and mind-set of endurance athletes, and a moving and inspiring meditation on finding balance in our often harried lives.

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Review:

At the age of 37, bestselling author and journalist Bill McKibben stepped out of the ordinary routine of his life to spend a year in "real training" as a cross-country skier. With the help of a trainer-slash-guru, McKibben took on a regimen equivalent to that of an Olympic endurance athlete's, running and skiing for hours every day in preparation for a series of grueling long-distance ski races. What prompted this successful writer with an admitted aversion to competitive sports to push himself so hard, for so long?

Partly it was pure selfishness; after a decade as an environmental writer and activist, I needed a break from failing to save the world. But mostly it was curiosity that drove me. By year's end I hoped I'd have more sense of what life lived through the body felt like.

If Long Distance begins as a story about the transformation of the body and what it means to challenge one's physical limits, it evolves into a thoughtful lesson about a wholly different kind of endurance. Halfway through McKibben's training, his father was diagnosed with the most virulent form of brain cancer. As McKibben was reaching peak condition, his father's life lurched toward an end, forcing McKibben to snap out of his self-inflicted self-absorption. He had tried to think of endurance as "the ability to fight through the drama of pain. But now I understood it, too, as a kind of elegance, a lightness that could only come from such deep comfort with yourself that you began to forget about yourself." And the elegance of Long Distance is in its ultimate lesson that each of us has a mind, a body, and a spirit, and we must find our strength in all three realms. --Svenja Soldovieri

About the Author:

Bil McKibben, author of the best-selling The End of Nature, has for decades been one of America's most-admired environmental writers. He lives in Ripton, VT.

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Book Description Rodale Books, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 208 x 137 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A new edition of a classic McKibben book about what it takes to be a world-class athlete and where the true meaning of endurance can be found. At 37, the celebrated writer and environmentalist Bill McKibben took a break from the life of the mind to put himself to the ultimate test: devoting a year to train as a competitive cross-country skier. Consulting with personal trainers, coaches, and doctors at the US Olympic Center, he followed the rigorous training regimen of a world-class athlete. Along the way, he learned to cope with his physical limitations and, when his father was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor, discovered something about the real meaning of endurance. Told with his trademark intelligence, humor, and honesty, Long Distance is an insightful examination of the culture and mind-set of endurance athletes, and a moving and inspiring meditation on finding balance in our often harried lives. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781605291246

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