Book Review: Long May You Run, Chris Cooper
My first reaction to seeing the book was, "I like it!" I liked the color of the cover and the titles of the pages. I even liked the unusual shape of the pages (square instead of the traditional "portrait"). As I browsed the pages, I quickly realized I liked Chris' approach to a running book. As I read the Forward by Brian Sell (U.S. Olympic marathoner), I enjoyed his reminiscences about his running, and I found myself running with him in my mind. I especially liked Brian's concluding statement: To make a long story short, running is so much more than a great way to feel good and get in shape. It an be a source of many pleasant lifelong memories as well. That's the way I feel about running! Then, when I read the list of 19 world-class runners who contributed to the book, I realized the book isn't just Chris Cooper's experiences as an active runner. The book is a compendium of wisdom from people who know what they are talking about!
The book is divided into five parts, and those parts give a good overview of running.
Part 1: Off The Starting Line
Part 2: On the Road
Part 3: Get the Gear
Part 4: Go the Distance
Part 5: Run for Your Life
The book is easy to read, because each Part covers a number of topics, and most topics are covered in, you guessed it, one page! I like that. Want to run across the United States without ever leaving home? Read page 12, and you'll know how to do it. Want to know why some runners run backwards? Page 64 will tell you. Want to read about running behind a baby stroller? Page 110 is for you. After reading page 159, I was ready to head to New Zealand. I'm not much of a risk taker, but I did enjoy page 165, and in my imagination, I was taking those risks. Page 188 talked about making "snow angels" and I thought of my childhood playing in the Utah snow. But, an old man making "snow angels"? After reading that page, I thought, "Why not?"
This book is not a book of how to run. The book does teach a lot of running techniques, but, more importantly to me at least, the book is a book of imagination, of running because you want to, of being young in your mind even though you may be old in your body. The spirit of this book has been with me for all of my 38 years of running. Thanks, Chris, for getting that spirit in print!
A Touchstone Book
Published by Simon & Schuster
Copyright 2010 by Chris Cooper