The Courage to Start by John ” The Penguin” Bingham

A Guide To Running for Your Life

Cover design by Francine Kass

To get mentally prepared for the half marathon in San Diego I am reading this motivational book, The Courage to Start by John Bingham. My principal has kindly loaned it to me to inspire, push, and remind me to give myself the benefit of the doubt when it comes to running.  I totally forgot about finishing the book or the excitement I felt when I register to participate in the half marathon.  I am glad that Amphone and Lucky reminded me of the reason why I had signed up in the first place which is: living life to the fullest by challenging myself to step out of my own comfort zone once in a while. I have let my self-doubt and fear of failure dominate my fighting spirit.  I have never back down from a challenge before so why start now?! It didn’t even dawn on me until I reread Amphone’s and Lucky’s comments over again that I was basically setting myself up for failure by whining before the race even start! By saying I hated running, I was in a sense giving myself permission to fail, using that as a safety net. Upon further contemplation, I know that my real hatred is not the act of running, it’s the fear of pushing myself physically to the limit.  Am I in a weird way afraid of my own potential because it might change who I am as a person?  Maybe I am frighten that once I  realize my full physical and mental ability, I would be forced to do more and be more? Wow! What a tantalizing thought! 

This self musing has reminded me of a very important lesson John Bingham teaches in the book. I love what he says about running ” Running can teach us to accept who we are and to challenge who we are at the same time.  Running can teach you how to be all of who you are.  In time, with care and patience, you will get closer and closer to the essential you.  Each step will take you further from the expectations of everyone else and closer to yourself.” 

He is so  right!  He just reminded me that I need to take a break from meeting the expectations of others and to love the journey I am on which is:  self discovery!:)

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6 thoughts on “The Courage to Start by John ” The Penguin” Bingham

  1. Laotian Teacher

    Lonerunner, the book is really good because it does actually have training tips from picking the right pair of shoes to how to train. The author is amazing because he was forty three and overweight when he started his running career. In the book he dispels the myth that a good runner is someone who is skinny. I really like how he emphasize that runners come in all shapes and size!:)

  2. pinkcowgirl

    OHHH His books are so great. I highly recommend Marathoning For Mortals. It really gets specific with fears and questions you have about the half and full distances.

    Also, just a side note, but I got to meet him last year. 🙂 My copy of Marathoning for Mortals is signed…and I’m still excited by this. 🙂

    He’s just a wonderful guy.

  3. Laotian Teacher

    Wow! PinkCowgirl, that is so awesome you got to meet him! I am really enjoy his sense of humor and quips!:)

  4. lonerunner

    me too! As u can see i end my post by saying Run on, friends… I copied that from Waddle on, friends. shhhhh….. hehehehhehe

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