ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



October 2023



Solo by Jenny Tough

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Three Stars

Best for:
Runners; those looking for some inspiration and motivation.

In a nutshell:
Author Tough runs, solo, across mountain ranges on five continents.

Worth quoting:
“The thing that I know for sure is that you are tougher than you think you are.”

Why I chose it:
I run.

What it left me feeling:

I started listening to this book as I waited to start my fifteenth half marathon race. I though I would find it motivating, but really I was just overwhelmed by everything she was doing, so I switched to a podcast.

But on my longer runs I’ve been listening to the book, read by the author, and I found it fascinating. The idea of traveling alone as a woman, in secluded mountains, is also vaguely terrifying. I’ve traveled on my own before, but in Ireland, in big cities. I never really was far from someone who could help me if I needed it.

But author Tough? She just does it. She’s not flippant about security concerns; she’s just focused on her goal of traversing a mountain range on six continents. She runs carrying everything she needs on her back, resupplying in towns or from packages she’s sent to herself. Sometimes she makes errors – like not watching the path and running Wile E Coyote style off a small cliff, landing something like 8 feet below on the ground. And sometimes she faces situations the rest of us would find more than a little scary – like being confronted and repeated followed in the mountains in Morocco by members of the military.

The book didn’t inspire me to take up self-supported long-distance running or anything like that, but it did remind me of what I felt in that last half marathon I ran. I was likely sick when I ran it, and it was my slowest time ever. In the last six miles I walked more than I ran. But I did run some. And I finished it. I wasn’t dying, I was just uncomfortable. And I knew I could push through it. Tough’s message throughout is that we can do more than we think we can, and I appreciate that.

Recommend to a Friend / Keep / Donate it / Toss it:
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