Disclaimer: I was approached by Stephen Balsamo, the author of Marathon Journey, An Achilles Story, to read and consider his book for our book club. This one sounded inspiring, and I agreed to add it to the club. I was given a copy of the book to read and review. All the opinions and thoughts expressed below are mine.
Adamu adopts this saying as his mantra for the marathon."The Achilles team reminds me of an ancient Chinese saying I learned a long time ago, Perseverance in weakness will lead to strength."
He also adopts a mantra from the Frank Sinatra song, New York, New York, saying "if I can make it here, I can make it anywhere."
I won't spoil the rest of the book for you except to say that for me, the ending was somewhat improbable. With the mix of real life events in the story, I actually thought it was a true story, and was somewhat disappointed to discover at the end that it was a work of fiction. What a great story this would have been if it were true! Regardless, it is a good story full of inspiration and really helped me learn more about this wonderful organization.
The book is organized into 26 chapters (get it? mile markers!), which was clever on the author's part, but I wonder if that limited how he was able to organize the story. The book really doesn't gain momentum until the main characters head to New York City, and then it's hard to put down. Still, it was a quick, fun, and inspiring read.
I was glad to learn about Achilles International. Before I read this book, I never had heard of this organization. Last year when I ran Chicago, I ran alongside a visually impaired runner and his guide. I never really thought about disabled runners until then, except for the wheelchair athletes at the start of the race. I wonder now if that runner was a part of Achilles International. The author did a nice job incorporating the organization into the book, even having the character Adamu join the group as an ambassador and helping his brothers who were left behind in Sudan.
|An Achilles athlete crossing the finish line of NYCM with the help of volunteers.|
Photo courtesy of achillesinternational.org
If you want to learn more about Achilles International and/or Dick Traum, here's some links to chase:
Have you ever heard of Achilles International? Would you consider leading a disabled runner through a marathon? What's your mantra?
Be sure to link up your review below! And if you don't have a blog, feel free to post your review in the comments. If you do link up, you know the rules: link back to this post and be sure to read everyone else's posts! Sharing is caring. Thanks so much for participating!You might not be an ultra runner, but there's plenty of inspiration in this one! The author has agreed to participating too, so please let me know if you have anything you want to ask her! Thanks again for playing along!
And join us for next month's book: