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Posts Tagged ‘The Runner And The Path’

Life seldom unfolds in conveniently sequential fashion.
 

—  Dean Ottati
from his book: “The Runner And The Path
 

 

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Discipline teaches faith.  In the midst of bad times, there’s the knowledge, born of experience, that the good times return — and that knowledge helps.   And when they do, we know, too, not to take them for granted.  The cycles turn, and we can never really know where we are within them.  But the piece of us that runs in the hills each day knows on a deep, cellular level that events play out precisely as they should.  The inner runner accepts this.  At a given moment, despite the tumult swirling all around, a small part of us remains at peace.
 

—  Dean Ottati
from his book: “The Runner And The Path
 

 

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I learned that the accomplishments I treasured most were the ones I had to work hard for, not those that came easily or naturally. 
 

… Discipline can be both a means and an end.
 

—  Dean Ottati
from his book: “The Runner And The Path
 

 

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But this book isn’t a how-to for losing weight, running a marathon, or getting faster.  There are plenty of books to help with those endeavors.  This book is about what’s left when weight loss and competition cease to matter, and only the running remains.
 

—  Dean Ottati
from his book: “The Runner And The Path
 

[Some books help you by getting you to think, not by telling “how-to”.  Some activities are worth continuing, even when you’ve accomplished your immediate goal.  —  KMAB]
 

 

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It’s really about a search for meaning in our lives.  I don’t want a new car, a bigger house, or a more prestigious job.  You can have those.  I want more meaning in my life.  It’s not a search for truth, because there’s a connotation in the word that implies correctness.  I don’t even expect to be right.  What I really want is more meaning.
 

—  Dean Ottati
from his book: “The Runner And The Path
 

 

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Today I finished reading “The Runner And The Path“, by Dean Ottati (2002).  This is another of the $2 books I’ve picked up at Half-Price Books on the outside rack.  I bought it on the strength of 1) it’s about running; 2) the author/runner lives locally (in Walnut Creek); and, 3) from the inside the cover notes the book came across as quasi-philosophical.  The book is all three and more. 
 

The author is an account manager (an “executive”) in a technology company.  Feeling a bit out of shape, he takes up running as a hobby and discovers that over time, it shows him an entirely new side of himself which he never made time to observe before.  The author learns (between running and talking with his running friends) to listen to his own heart.  Not the the physical heart beating away in his chest, but the heart beating away in his soul.
 

The book is a mild indictment of corporate America, because the author ultimately decides (after his review,) that he doesn’t always want to be fighting on the corporate ladder and that there is more to life than “just” more – more money, more authority, more stuff.  The author does admit he has been lucky and he’s fortunate enough to be in a position to back off of the rat race so his conclusions “ring” true, however, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hope for the non-executives (regular workers) or those who can’t step off the ladder.
 

Other than those minor comments, I found the book to be very enjoyable – like talking with a new acquaintance whom you discover you have a lot in common with.  The authors writing style, even when he lapses into philosophy, is conversational and therefore a quick read.  And he does have a way with words, which means you’ll be seeing quotes from this book from time to time.
 

All in all, I recommend the book for those who have never really looked up from their “path” to see where it is actually taking them.
 

Finally, I must admit I kept waiting for a reference to Frost’s “The Road Not Taken“, but it never came.  An opportunity missed by the author…
 

 

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