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This book is a collection of essays about the transformative and healing power of running. Phil Hewitt has been a runner for many years, but after being mugged and stabbed in South Africa it became a kind of therapy for him.

Here he publishes the stories of many other people around the world who have also gone through their own trauma or tragedy, and who found solace through running.

I dipped in and out of this book, reading it between other, longer books, and for me that was the best way to read it, as I think if I had simply set out to read it from beginning to end, it could have brought me down somewhat. All the people featured have gone through something terrible, and as much as they have found a way of dealing with it, it’s still not always easy to read about.

As a runner myself, I can certainly attest to the therapeutic powers of the sport – especially in 2020 during the first Covid-19 lockdown, when I was on furlough and running was the one chance I got in the day to not screw my mind up with fear and worry about what was to come. However, I would say that yes, running is great – for SOME people. For others, it might be swimming or walking, or something non-physical like knitting or doing a jigsaw. And whatever it is that helps, if you are going through a particularly hard time, it probably won’t be enough on it’s own. (This book does state that, but it does veer towards putting running on pedestal.)

Phil Hewitt does write well, and also comes across as a thoroughly lovely man; however for me, I far preferred his book Keep on Running, about his addiction to marathon running, as it was just much more light-hearted than this one.

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