I used to be a runner. This is true. Since I had my son almost four years ago my running has been sporadic and at times a bit disappointing. During this, my third, pregnancy I vowed to read at least one running book a month in order keep my excitement level up to fulfill my goal of eventually running a marathon. I’d had this book on my radar for quite some time, and was very happy with the book overall. Daniloff is brutally honest, uncomfortably so at times, about his life as an alcoholic and drug abuser. He does not try to make excuses for his behavior, but he does try to understand it, and make sense of it, as though solving a riddle. I am still unsure if this introspection came as a desire to understand his own behavior in order to not repeat it, or just to find a closure to a dark period of his life. For whatever the cause, running his first marathon was the catalyst to go on a journey of self discovery.
Daniloff was not always a runner, and I can relate. After putting on a few pounds when kicking a life long alcohol habit he decided to take up running. His first attempts are humorous and very familiar to someone who fell in love with running as an adult. Running becomes something more meaningful when he runs the Boston Marathon in 2009. He’d lived, and been a vicious drunk, in Boston. As he runs the marathon route Daniloff is reminded of that life he left behind. He is running from his demons. Upon finishing, he decides to run races in various locations where his drinking led to poor choices. Lets just say, he had a lot of those places, and therefor racked up quite a few miles in an effort to exorcise those demons.
Daniloff is a good writer. He knows how to combine the past with the present with hopes for the future. I was never bored. Though I have not personally struggled with addiction, Daniloff’s descriptions are close to what I have seen friends and relatives struggle through. Daniloff is also a runner, and puts enough running trivia and anecdote into the book to make it engaging even if the reader doesn’t engage with his addiction story. This was a great start to my one running book a month and was a joy to read.