Book Review: The Summit Seeker
When I read books, I often have a highlighter in my hand and I underline my favourite passages in a book.
The Summit Seeker by Vanessa Runs is covered in neon.
I “met” Vanessa online a number of years ago and I was absolutely blown away by her fearless free spirt. She and her partner gave up office jobs to travel the country racing and exploring.
She is an exceptional runner and an even better writer, so when she asked me to review her book, I jumped at the chance.
This book is a quick but deep read. 163 pages and it is broken up into bite sized chapters that share Vanessa’s views on running. The way she presents each topic in relation to running, whether it is religion, love, fear, food, freedom or otherwise leaves you feeling like it is what you had been thinking all along, but you just didn’t have the words to describe it.
Vanessa explores running at a deeper level that you don’t often see in a book for runners. She looks at the emotional, psychological and spiritual sides of running and folds it into a beautiful and eloquent package. I related deeply to her writing because the physical aspects of running are very secondary to the reasons why I run. She beautifully explained the reason why I have positive body image always, despite how I feel by explaining this of ultra and marathon running women:
To turn around and criticize your body for every dimple or pocket of fat is almost like being saved from a burning plane by a superhero only to tell him his cape doesn’t match his socks. Nobody cares about that.
I laugh when I see articles stating that distance running may not be ideal for weight loss. Who is doing this to lose weight? I do it because trails feed my spirit and enhance my quality of life.
And then there is that strange dichotomy of runners and pain. Vanessa speaks a lot of pain and it resonated with me.
That’s why I started to run. And why I never liked answering the question, “Why do you run?” I ran because running hurt.
I like to run until I feel good. Then I like to keep running until I feel terrible.
She had a beautiful discussion on elite runners and why they are elite, saying that they simply are willing to accept pain more than anyone else.
She also discusses the idea of running ultras in depth and what that means on many levels.
After an ultra, you are beyond beautiful. You are unbreakable.
If it’s a nod from society you’re looking for, run a marathon. But if it’s a life changing experience of personal strength and perseverance that you want, finish an ultra.
Vanessa takes you through a deep and personal look into her past and why it lead her to running. In many ways, it can relate to everyone because it is is filled with struggle, hurt, adventure and the fight to survive.
This was a beautiful book and one that every runner should own. If you are interested in getting a copy, you can purchase it on Amazon here.
Vanessa has also offered to give a free copy of her book out to a reader. Want to read it?
1. Leave a comment telling me why you run.
FOR ADDITIONAL ENTRIES (Additional entry for each action)
2. Follow lacesandlattes on twitter.
3. Follow vanessaruns on twitter.
3. Like lacesandlattes on facebook.
Winner will be announced next Friday morning. Good luck!