Just as it’s hard to live with a saint, Markey finds it impossible to live with a wife who is a “real” runner. The only choice left to him is to follow her example by setting himself a 30-day challenge to see if he can also become a runner, an activity he loved when a child but forsook upon his discovery of the easier and swifter bicycle, and finally the automobile, as modes of travel. Markey’s first book, Re-Run: My 30-Day Experiment to Fall Back in Love With Running is set up like a textbook with tables of content and photographs, but avoids the requisite dryness with self-deprecating one-liners, clever social commentary, and insightful philosophy on just about any topic a reader can imagine. This author has a non-stop brain in a body that is loathe to keep up.
While extolling the virtues of running: improved health, weight loss, increased self-esteem, he laments its hype with commentary such as: Runner's high? This is a cruel joke they tell newbies so they'll keep running. They fool us into thinking we must just not “get it". The runner's high seems like the emperor's new clothes to me, something only the smart can see…Second wind? To me, that's like one of those political terms cooked up to make something sound better than it is, like death tax, or job creators…Let’s note here that second wind sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, like “military intelligence.” The term implies you had a first wind. That there was wind at all. I guess I’m running to try to experience the second wind before I experience my “Last gasp.”
Markey gets through his 30-day experiment, huffing and puffing, but emerges a marathon runner. This is not a marathon read. It’s quick and easy, and along the way, the scenery is good, and the company is fun. In the long haul, he has created a 210-page metaphor for the attainment of any worthwhile goal, making Re-Run: My 30-Day Experiment to Fall Back in Love With Running a worthwhile read.
-Linda Lee Greene, author Guardians and Other Angels; co-author Jesus Gandhi Oma Mae Adams