Original Title: The Long Run: One Man’s Attempt to
Regain his Athletic Career – And His
Life- By Running the New York City Marathon
By: Books on Tape
The Long Run is an emotional and incredibly honest story about Matt’s determination to fight through fear, despair, loneliness, and intense physical and psychological pain to regain the life he once had. The book chronicles Matt’s road to recovery as he teaches himself to walk again and, a mere three years later, to run in the 2008 New York City Marathon–a gimpy seven-and-a-half hour journey through the five boroughs. “Running saved my life,” Matt says, and his embrace of the running community and insistence on competing in the marathon has inspired many, turning him into a symbol of hope and recovery for untold numbers of others.
The Long Run is a very somber but inspiring recollection of Matthew Long’s journey from being overweight to an athletic runner to becoming disabled because of a life threatening collision between him on a bike and a bus to an Iron Man.
Although there’s a lot of flashbacks and story-telling which helps lengthen the book it definitely gives the reader a glimpse into who Matthew Long is. An extrovert. Thrill-seeking. Lover of life. An enthusiast, an opportunist, and “take-it-by-the-balls”, at least this is how I’ve interpreted him.
As a “social runner”, I found Matt’s story inspiring, as lately I’ve found myself struggling to keep up and remain dedicated to a sport that has helped through a lot of my own struggles of weight and life stresses. I also have a 5K today (Saturday, July 6th, 2013) which I’m super nervous for yet excited. I haven’t done much training which is completely my fault, but I believe even though I might be taking several breaks, I will still finish it.
This was something I took away from Mr. Long’s story. Regardless of how much you struggle, it’s as long as you finish. In his case the final recollection of him competing in the Iron Man it was all about the entitlement of being called an Iron Man again, in my case, I may never get the title Iron (Wo)man but just a runner; somebody who has accomplished something she set her heart to. that’s what matters.
My final thoughts on this book is: This book is not for everybody. Somebody who might share a similar trauma or life altering event seeking a little inspiration to get through a difficult plateau in recovery or a runner or athlete who has run out of steam might be able to relate to the dedication Matt repeats often about his commitment to the awkward and difficult moments in his life after the accident that left him permanently scarred. He is an motivational speaker, an athlete, and overall inspiring as he fought with Hell on a regular basis and then coming back from a near-death experience and lived to tell the tale.
Check it out. You won’t be sorry.