Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Second Wind Book Review

Second Wind (2010, Berkeley, CA: Seal Press) is Cami Ostman’s story of an unlikely marathoner. A middle-aged woman who frees herself from a marriage that wasn’t making her happy, she works on discovering herself. A friend suggests she go for a run to give herself time to think. Eventually that friend becomes a boyfriend, and their running together leads to a decision to run a marathon. In Prague. How's that for jumping in feet-first? This first marathon leads to another, then another, and along the way, becomes a quest to run seven marathons on seven continents.

For the most part, the book traces pretty neatly her inner and outer voyages to become a marathoner and an individual. She overcomes typical problems we’ve all faced as runners, and travels around the world chasing her dream. Where things became the most interesting to me is when she couldn’t get included in any Antarctica marathon, so she started planning one herself. That’s impressive and more along the lines of what I like to do (not that I’ve organized any marathons in Antarctica).

Much of this book's inner angst is directed to women and, to that extent, I couldn't really relate. But anyone who is a runner or who has set an audacious goal can empathize with the travails she faces during her quest.

Cami Ostman grew up in a depressed Seattle suburban area and attended school with other blue-collar kids. She graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in education, and from Seattle Pacific University with an MA in marriage and family therapy. She took up running to catch her breath during her divorce. In the process, she discovered the marathon and, ultimately, a new perspective on life that she now shares with others, in therapy and in lectures. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a private practice, and has a special interest in supporting women going through transitional periods as they create experiences that will help them live more authentically and freely. For more info, head over to her blog, 7 Marathons on 7 Continents.

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of Seal Press. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give the item a positive review, and all opinions are my own. Some information in this review was taken from the company website.

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  1. Semi jaded/critical comment #345A - Well I supposed if there has to be another wave of self help/discover thyself books, doing it in the context of endurance sports is more palatable, at least for me.

    I read 7 Summits years ago, on a climb of Rainier actually. It was pretty good - but I remember thinking when you are a Texas Oil Baron or the president of Disney (helicopter crash aside) funding such an adventure was pretty easy. This woman probably did make some real sacrifices to pull this off.

  2. I think this one would be good for me...not the getting a divorce part..but the running adventure...never seen that book before!
    thanks for the review!

  3. I've never hard of this one before, but it sounds like something I could relate to (in that I am an old middle-aged running woman!)

  4. Thanks for the review! I like your blog. You've got lots of good stuff here. And it looks like we share a passion for wine-tasting in addition to running. All the best.


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