Suggested Reading- Inspiration

These are books I’ve recently read and enjoyed about staying active despite aging and injuries, illnesses, or other setbacks. Watch this space! There’ll be more suggested reading to come on this and other topics.

The Anna Meares Story -When Courage Triumphs Over Disaster, Anna Meares. Inspiring description of Anna’s comeback after she broke her neck in a track cycling crash. After a tough rehab she courageously “got back on the horse” and started racing again, going on to win gold in London, 2012.

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Iron Heart: The True Story of How I Came Back from the Dead, Brian Boyle. Brian was so badly injured when hit by a car on his bike that during emergency surgery some major organs, including his heart, had to be put back in the right position. He lost 100 pounds during his recovery. After an amazing rehab he went on to complete an ironman triathlon.

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Old Lady on the Trail: Triple Crown at 76, Mary Davison. Mary is the oldest woman, and as far as I know the oldest person, to have completed hiking all 3 of the US’s premier trails- Appalachian, Continental Divide, and Pacific Crest. This is despite overcoming some age- related issues.

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Running The Red Line, Julie Carter. Julie is a medical doctor who is also a passionate fell runner. I find fell running fascinating. In my running days I used to love going fast down trails, but fell runners go fast in places where there are no trails. Julie overcame a major congenital back problem to become age-group British fell running champion in her 50s, and also completed major ultraendurance challenges like the 24 hour Bob Graham round.

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Operation Ironman: One Man’s Four Month Journey from Hospital Bed to Ironman Triathlon, George Mahood. George was recovering from major surgery on his back to fix a condition that could have left him with severe nerve damage. In his hospital bed he motivated himself to do rehab by setting his sights on completing an ironman, and this inspiring and entertaining book chronicles the journey.

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Just a Girl and a Bike: An Unexpected Adventure in Finding Myself, Julie Hiner.  Julie falls in love with cycling and pursues it a lot further than most of us- She and her husband climb many iconic routes in Europe made famous by the Tour De France and Giro d’Italia. What may have been most inspiring was their grinding away on bike trainers indoors to stay in shape during Calgary’s winters.

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World Class: The Making of the U.S. Women’s Cross-Country Ski Team, Peggy Shinn. The amazing story of the US team’s rise from obscurity to winning gold  at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

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The Mountains are Calling: Running in the High Places of Scotland, Jonny Muir. A fun chronicle of loving the outdoors and especially fell running, with beautiful descriptions of challenging locations in Scotland.

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Shut Up, Legs!: My Wild Ride On and Off the Bike, Jens Voigt, James D. Startt. “Jensy” (pronounced Yensy) is one of my favorite professional cyclists, with a great sense of humor. I and his many fans loved watching his awesome displays of stamina, winning race stages often with long solo breakaways. His autobiography starts with his youth in East Germany behind the iron curtain and continues through his illustrious career, culminating in him breaking one of cycling’s greatest challenges, the hour record.

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Standing Cyclist: Flirting with Wisdom, One Breath, One Mile at a Time, Frank Angelo Cavaluzzi. Frank is a fellow amateur athlete who thinks outside the box. He describes some of his unusual feats like completing a long distance off-road cycle tour on a long wheelbase recumbent, and creating custom bikes on which he does long distance adventures, standing up to pedal. One of these was a fixed gear bike he took on a long challenge in the mountains (without sitting or being able to coast downhill).

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Dividing the Great, John Metcalfe. There are multiple good and inspiring chronicles about cycling the Continental Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico.  I found John’s to be the most entertaining.

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Old Man on a Bicycle: A Ride Across America and How to Realize a More Enjoyable Old Age, Don Petterson. Don rides his bike across the US after retiring, and this is an enjoyable account of his journey. This sets the bar pretty high for staying active as we age.

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Keep on Moving!: An Old Fellow’s Journey into the World of Rollators, Mobile Scooters, Recumbent Trikes, Adult Trikes and Electric Bikes, Allen Ballard. Allen had to give up driving in his 80s due to physical infirmities. This is his search for a way to keep moving. First he describes walking with a rollator (an improved walker design that my Mom used). He does not do the shuffle you’re used to seeing people using walkers, but real power walking. Then he describes his odyssey that ends up leading to an electric-assist trike with a very low step-over height, which he now uses to travel all around his neighborhood. If Allen can do this in his late 80s, what excuse do the rest of us have for not moving?

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Old But Still Moving, Richard King

Sorry, couldn’t resist putting in a plug for my own book. If you like the content on my blog you’ll probably like the book.

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