Shut up and run; How to get up, lace up, and sweat with swagger.
There are clearly some significant differences between myself and Robin Arzon. She oozes swagger (I wasn’t even sure what swagger was until I read her book, so clearly I have none) and she seems to have an effortless ability to fuse fashion and function. She’s not willing to sacrifice her style to get sweaty, and thank god she doesn’t, because it gives us mere mortals the hope that one day, we can look that good too.
Aesthetics aside, she is an incredible woman. A NYC litigator who gave up her career to pursue her real passion; running. She’s since made a path for herself as a professional running & cycling coach, ultra marathoner and journalist. Running has been a constant through the struggles life has thrown at her; being held hostage at gun point (a harrowing story she describes in her book), learning to live with the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes made in her early thirties, and supporting her mum who’s living with multiple sclerosis. Whatever life throws at her, she runs.
With the obvious differences aside, our running stories are remarkably similar. We both started running in our early twenties after distinctly un- sporty childhoods and gradually ran longer distances until reaching ultra. It’s hard to find a role model who comes from such a similar background, so when you do, they resonate even deeper. Robin is a massive inspiration to me, but what makes her even better, is that that I can legitimately work towards being just as awesome.
Since discovering running almost a decade ago, I’ve read pretty much every running book going. In my opinion, this is the most accessible book out there. It’s essentially a guide to running from Robin’s personal experience. She addresses her own challenges and insecurities which make her so much more personable as an author. This honesty allows you as the reader to let your guard down and take a hard look at the limitations you’ve been putting on yourself.
Robin has masterfully written a book that’s relevant for both newbie runners and seasoned marathoners. If you’re new to running, it’ll soon become your running bible, providing a reference point for which kit to wear, what to eat before a run and providing training schedules to get you race day ready. As someone who’s been reading and writing about running for years, I’d say what I took from this book is harder to quantify. It left me inspired, it gave me confidence and it made me want to be a better runner. It’s reminded me what an amazing thing the running community is, and encouraged me to get back to the running club in SF.
Not only does it have great content, but it’s beautiful to look at. It’s colourful and engaging and wants to be picked up and read. I’ll leave my copy on the coffee table, ready to be read whenever I need that extra motivation. And if a day comes when I can’t explain why I run, I’ll handover a copy of this book and let Robin do the talking.