By Mark Matthews
Mark Matthews says, “To feel higher experiences is why we live. Running, I have found, is the most effective, natural way to find spiritual, emotional, and mental bliss.”
Mr. Matthews has plenty experience in seeking “higher experiences.” He writes honestly and humbly about his past alcohol and drug addictions, and how running helped him recover and stay clean for the last 20 years.
The author is a successful runner. His times, from a 4:26 mile to a 3:17 marathon, are impressive. But he humbly gives any advice in this book, usually saying something like, “this is what worked for me, but it may not for you.”
While there is a lot of practical (and helpful) advice here, the tone is mostly philosophical. Distance running seems to produce philosopher-athletes like Matthews (George Sheehan, for instance, whom Matthews quotes.)
Matthews deals with many serious topics, but his style is usually light and funny:
“I am a salty sweater, and there are dried white streaks down my cheeks after a long summer run. It’s bizarre to see. At times, deer come out of the woods to lick my face.”
I enjoyed reading this book. And, like other good books on running, it made me want to lace up and hit the trail.