Everything will work out in the long run – Dave Urwin.
I was offered this book to review a while back but with being so busy working I often have to wait for holiday time to have time to sit and read books. I have recently returned from three weeks cycling/camping in France where I used my evenings on the camp site to read this book, written by Dave Urwin, a guy who has battled addictions to drugs and alcohol, alongside depression, anxiety and lack of self worth and turn his life around through running.
As someone who constantly advises clients about the benefits of running, mentally as much as physically, I was interested to read about the experiences Dave had and how running helped him turn his life around. I could identify with many issues in the book, including anxiety and having an addictive personality, although mine has fortunately been generally exercise related rather than anything harmful. I could also identify with one of the races Dave writes about, the Sea View 17 (which is a very tough, off road, 21 miler in Devon). I did this race a few years ago as part of my marathon training whilst on holiday in Devon. It was a very hot day and it almost killed me!! Also I am nosy and love reading about peoples lives and their stories!
The book was very easy to read and a very personal, honest, account of his life experiences, both good and bad, with a mixture of sadness and humour. I really got drawn in to his accounts of different parts of his life, from his childhood bird watching days with his Dad, to travelling in Cuba, to starting ultra running. Books like this help to take the stigma out of psychological issues, after all, many people struggle with different problems at different times in their lives. Talking and writing about these issues help people to see that they are nothing to be ashamed about and things can turn around and improve massively.
I was slightly jealous at how Dave could run so far and seemingly easily from quite early on! I have run 10 marathons but I can’t imagine running the 50/100 mile ultras that Dave did but I suppose the whole purpose of the book and Dave telling his story is to prove that you can change your life and accomplish things you thought you never would. In the same way that when I started running, I signed up for the Race for Life and wondered how on earth I would manage to run 3 miles! Now that seems ridiculous, but at the time it was a huge challenge. What I love about this book is that constantly throughout, Dave acknowledges this and realises that to run one mile for someone who doesn’t run is as much as a challenge as running 50 miles to a marathon runner.
I love inspiring books, books that prove to people that it can be done and most things are mind over matter. As I say to my running group who are upping their distances for their first marathon etc, You can train your body but the main thing is training your mind. During a run (however long or short), your mind will often tell you to quit, stop running, sit at the side of the road, phone for a taxi etc! You have to be ready for that little voice and be ready to tell it to do one! Nobody told me this for my first marathon. I sat in Blackfriers tunnel in the London marathon and didn’t want to come out!
Whether you are a runner or not, this book will inspire you. It has made me start to consider running an ultra. But even if it doesn’t make you get your trainers on and go for a run, it may at least encourage you to take a look at your life and how you can change things for the better. Bad patches don’t last. They pass. You can do much more than you think you are capable of. Life is so short we really need to take care of ourselves, and each other.
For Dave – I am so pleased things have worked out in the long run for you. All the very best for the future!
You can buy this book from many book shops or online including on the link below (for a signed copy), for just £8.99