About This Book

When runners aren't running, they are talking about running, planning their next run, shopping for running. This book contains 101 stories from runners, telling their stories to other runners about. running — how it has changed their lives, their bodies, and their spirits. Runners will love these inspirational stories of fellow runners challenging themselves, recovering from injuries, and staying motivated. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners also includes amazing stories of marathons, camaraderie, and the natural high that comes from this popular sport. It holds plenty of stories for triathletes too, covering swimming and cycling.

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"A Passion for Running Fuels a Passion for Life" — Five Lessons We Can Learn From Running.

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners

By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Amy Newmark, and Ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes.

Inspired by contributors to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners, here are five lessons running teaches us.

1. Think the Unthinkable: At the age of 18, Scott Rigsby had been riding in the back of a buddy’s pickup truck when it was struck by an 18-wheeler. Scott was badly injured and doctors had to remove his right leg. He endured numerous surgeries, depression and trauma for twelve years to follow until he resolved to get his life back on track. Scott decided to have his other leg amputated as it never healed correctly — this decision allowed him to balance on new prosthetics and do so much more. Scott prayed, "Open a door for me and I will run through it!" Weeks later, Scott felt his prayer answered as he read a magazine article about a single-amputee who’d completed an Ironman triathlon race and another of a soldier returned from Iraq missing one of his legs. Scott was inspired and decided he too would compete. It gave him purpose and drive, although he thought it was crazy and unthinkable. Scott had tremendous support and trained hard despite the pain — his sense of hope kept him going. And go he did! Scott was announced the first double-amputee in the world to finish the Hawaiian Ironman. He thought it was unthinkable but through his will and determination, he proved anything was possible. When was the last time you did something you thought was impossible?

2. Be Stout of Heart: Bob Dickson is a cross-country athlete who one day found himself and other Division I runners waiting at the starting line of a race for the announcer to signal them to take their marks. Instead, the announcer explained their race was delayed by a single, final runner from another division was still on the course, 8 minutes behind his nearest competitor. The Division I runners, including Bob, cheered the "poor kid" on. Bob thought it was an act of good sportsmanship but then realized the ovation for the young man was a show of respect for their fellow athlete, as they understood the demanding training cross country required. Cramps, nausea, vomiting, burning lungs and burning legs. It takes guts to complete cross country, at any level, regardless of how fast one runs. Cross country has a unique camaraderie bound by courage and the will to discover the limits of endurance and push beyond it. Has courage fueled you to endure tough challenges?

3. Share the Road and Share Your Time: Erin Liddell’s relationship with her father growing up was tumultuous. He was a life-long runner but also a long-time, binge alcoholic who brought drama and fear into her family’s life. He eventually disappeared until visitation started during Erin’s elementary school years. Erin’s father visited from another town and she was unsure what to think of him. Erin had run periodically and inconsistently but recently started up again. One morning during a visit, her father invited Erin to run with him. She was terrified of disappointing him although he hadn’t been the "Father of the Year" merit winner. She still wanted him to be proud of his little girl. The next morning, they set out on their run together and her father commented on how Erin’s pace was faster than he expected. It gave Erin the boost she needed. They talked as they ran and he gave her tips without being intimidating. Erin was thankful for the gift they both received that day, sharing a jog and tender moments together. Has running allowed you to share time with someone you care about?

4. Fall into Fitness: Fallon Kane never thought of herself as the type of person to wake up at 5 a.m. to run, but now she does. She happily races to the treadmill to run and run and be totally relaxed. Fallon was an overweight thirteen-year-old girl when she got on a dormant treadmill in her home after becoming angry with her brother. She briskly walked and felt her anger boiling over. Then she ran. And did it again, the next day and the next. She felt empowered like nothing could hold her back. She spent hours on that treadmill and shed pounds as a pleasant side effect. Fallon’s enjoyment of fitness and running grew and she joined a gym. She continued to push herself and run daily before school. She never joined a track team or entered a race. Her competition was with herself and the journey wasn’t about losing weight. It was about the empowered feeling she got from running and it all began on a dusty treadmill with a first step. Have you thought about your first step toward a new challenge?

5. Believe in Your Own Strength: A fifty-year-old grandmother, Ginger Herring, stood at the start of a marathon amongst young, sleek "gazelles" with taut muscles, ready to go. Ginger felt like a "hippo" among the gazelles and questioned herself at the start. However, once she started running, she steadied her pace, started to relax and enjoy the journey. She came into a comfortable stride, cheered by onlookers, until she reached the last stretch of pavement towards the finish when her legs gave in, as if weighted down by lead. Her brain said, "Go!" but her legs said, "No!" She kept pushing forward, encouraged by the crowd and a coach. As she sailed around the final curve to the finish line her doubts and fears were released and she felt exalted! This grandmother wasn’t too old to compete. She did it and out-ran her doubts. Her heart and spirit took over when her body wanted to give in. Have you pushed yourself beyond your own limits to achieve something?

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