Since we don’t have mail sent directly to us, the books and videos I got for Christmas and birthday were hand delivered on Monday. I have not gotten all of them yet, but I did get two items.
The first is the book Running Through the Wall (it is was a birthday gift). It is a collection of race reports from ultramarathons (any distance longer than 26.2 miles). I have made it about a quarter of the way through the book. I will be giving a full book review on it in a few days. The quick analysis is that it has some incredibly great stories that are worth the price of the book and some stories that seemed to be included just to make the book thicker. I guess the stories mean something to the individual author, but they are not too moving to me personally.
I had a fun experience related to the book on Monday (the day I got the book). The book was brought down by a mission team from Ohio. While they were helping to paint our church, we stopped to eat lunch. I was chatting with a couple of the team members asking where they went to school and what they studied (these are all college age young people). One of the girls attends Liberty University. I asked her if she had ever had a class with Dr. David Horton, who is responsible for influencing many of the stories in the book and is a professor at Liberty. She said she took a running class from him. I got all giddy to be in the presence of someone who has taken a class from him. I told her that I would bring my running shoes the next day so that she could sign them. She did not seem to have much of a sense of humor, so I took the shoes, but ended up not pressing the issue and making her sign.
The other item that arrived with the book was the video Running on the Sun about the 1999 Badwater 135 ultramarathon which is run from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney 135 miles away (a Christmas gift). I watched it last night. It was very good, though slow moving. I was pleased with how “clean” the film was. Though there were the shots of puking, draining blisters and conversations about bodily functions, it was basically PG content. Until…the last 30 minutes of the film went totally downhill. I kept thinking that my son might enjoy the film and that since there was no cursing, he would be able to watch it with me some time. But at the end of the show everyone was tired and irritable and they made up for the lack of cursing for the previous hour.
I am expecting a couple more running books with the next shipment. Stay tuned.