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April 23, 2013 Comments (1) inspiration, Musings, Training

Book Review: The Summit Seeker: Memoirs of a Trail Running Nomad


With a refreshing and honest voice Vanessa Runs (Vanessa Rodriguez) takes us on a real-life journey in “The Summit Seeker: Memoirs of a Trail Running Nomad.” In this book Vanessa sits us down for a heartfelt conversation on running and life. I say conversation because every time I picked up this book I felt as if I was having a cup of coffee with a good friend.

The real talent in her writing is the tempo in sentence structure that keeps the reader moving while enjoying the ride. This is the challenge for all writers. Take something as simple and pure as running and have people want to read your book. I constantly found myself reading passages out loud to my wife because the words in this book are so applicable to so many lives.

In a world where people will line up and flock to a book written by the stars of our sport it takes courage and talent to attract readers to a story about one of us; a pack runner, a dreamer and explorer.

I immediately knew I liked Vanessa when I read the passage about body shape.

“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.”

She goes on with “Maybe I don’t take the best race photos. But every angle and curve and dimension serves a purpose. I am an ultrarunner. All the moving parts work together . And I feel beautiful.”

Who hasn’t taken an ugly race photo? Yet, you won’t hear the superstars of the sport talk about those times. In most cases you will get insight on their unarguable talents and feats with a little product endorsement slipped in for good measure.

Vanessa’s journey is fascinating because it’s mirrors so much of our lives. We’ve all felt doubt in ourselves, we’ve had to make tough decisions and then still find the strength to run.  Of course most of us haven’t had to jump a fence in a bad neighborhood to run while would-be attackers watched on from the outside. Most people turn away from running when life gets tough. Vanessa makes the best argument to keep running. This is where you find the true mettle of your character.

In describing ultrarunning…

“Running an ultra is like living an entire lifetime in the span of one day. You go through good times, bad times, happy times, sad times. It’s truly a journey and every race changes you. It’s an accomplishment that nobody can take away”

Do yourself a favor and take the ride. You will come away from the book with a better appreciation for life and yourself. Sound like a big promise? When you write from the heart and bare your soul you teach, learn and love and everyone profits.

I advise you to take this journey. This book will be one you return to as you would to see a friend or family member. It’s a warm place where you can share your personal doubts and triumphs.

The Summit Seeker: Memoirs of a Trail Running Nomad” is available in paperback and digital download.


One Response to Book Review: The Summit Seeker: Memoirs of a Trail Running Nomad

  1. MattWilliams says:

    This book was a quick, easy read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Her thoughts on life and running will have your nodding your head in agreement throughout, saying “yeah, that’s what I’ve been trying to tell people!”

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