I don’t usually read personal memoirs for two reasons:
1. No one’s life fascinates me THAT much.
2. One who has a fascinating life does not mean one possesses the skills to write a book.
My friend Brianne picked up a copy for me when she met the author and running maverick Bart Yasso at a Mizuno event in NYC. She proceeded to tell me how inspiring he was and how he encouraged her to run, even though her doctors advise against it. little did I know that my friend Had just met a road race celebrity. The book’s been sitting on my shelf for almost a year until this past week when Sandy kept me indoors. I figured it would also help me calm nerves for the marathon.
“My Life On The Run” chronicles the challenges and triumphs of Yasso, Chief Running Officer at Runner’s World magazine, and that’s and understatement. Yasso’s stories are sometimes unbelievable because one thing that is apparent is the man is crazy: 1000+ races (marathons, ultra marathons, relays…) including a cross country bike ride in three weeks on seven different continents. Imagine the amount of travel, the extreme weather conditions, the lack of hospitality, and the different kinds of food (he’s a vegetarian). Those don’t make for a comfortable or easy journey. On top of it all, he was diagnosed with Lyme disease early in his career.
I’m not touting Yasso to be a superman or someone to be adored. Instead, I thank him for reminding me of all the reasons I fell in love with running: the people, the sites, the travel, and most importantly the human spirit.
Yasso’s greatest accomplishment with his book is that he reminds people, runner or not, that we are capable of far more than we think. Most of the time, the thing that separates us from greatness is ourselves and our fear. Running redirects our energy and gives us an opportunity to clear fear out of our heads and replace it with dreams. Once those dreams are acknowledged they have a chance at becoming reality.
Thanks Bart Yasso, for your humor, insight, and honesty. This is the kind of book I hope to write one day, one that inspires those around me to live a life worth living.