Empty Shelf Challenge Book #19: “Run to Overcome” by Meb Keflezghi

I finished my 19th book for the #EmptyShelf challenge.

Run to Overcome: The Inspiring Story of an American Champion’s Long-Distance Quest to Achieve a Big Dream

Everyone reading this knows I’m a runner. I talk about it quite often.

But what you might not know is I’m a running fan girl 🙂

I’m one of those people who thinks the Boston Marathon is the biggest sports event of the year. I had to work in the afternoon of Marathon Monday in 2013, but I was home long enough to see the elite athletes come in. Once at work, I was receiving text messages and Tweets from my friends as they crossed the finish line. My friends Robin & Colleen had already finished when my friend Dani started tweeting about a possible explosion shortly after crossing the finish line.

You likely know the rest of the story.

Thankfully, Dani and her family, as well as all my other friends, were safe. Many others were wounded and killed on that day. So on Marathon Monday in 2014, I knew where I would be: parked in front of my computer, watching the Boston Marathon.

As the elite men neared the finish line, my 6 year-old and I were jumping up and down, yelling, “Go Meb! Go Meb!!! Ggooooooo MMMMEEEEBBBB!!!!!”

Meb Keflezghi, a man who would turn 39 in just a few days (that’s “old” in the running world), became the first American man to win the Boston Marathon in over 30 years.

That was one of many reasons I was excited to get this book from the library.* I knew Meb was a man with a strong Christian faith. I also knew he overcame much hardship in his life (from Amazon.com):

Meb is the living embodiment of the American dream. His family came to the U.S. to escape poverty and a violent war; 12-year-old Meb spoke no English at the time and had never raced a mile.

This book takes the reader through Meb’s life with its victories and defeats. While the book does not have the captivating writing style of Unbroken, the simple way Meb describes the ups and downs of his life draws the reader in. His gratitude at the sacrifices of his parents challenged me. And the perseverance that brought him back from major injuries to win the Boston Marathon the year after such tragedy inspires me.

This book is definitely worth reading.

My books so far on the #EmptyShelf challenge:

           

*I read the original edition of this book because that’s what the library had. It was updated this year to include his Boston win.

Empty Shelf Challenge Book #18: “The Red Sea Rules” by Robert J Morgan

I finished my 18th book for the #EmptyShelf challenge.


The Red Sea Rules: 10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times by Robert J Morgan

I actually finished this just before my daughter was born. Trying to finish up these reviews before the New Year 🙂 It was recommended by my mentor Mike Olejarz in one of his newsletters.

From the book’s description: “Using the Israelites’ story in Exodus 14 as an example, Robert Morgan offers ten sound strategies for moving from fear to faith. Life is hard, especially for Christians.”

I can’t say that from the beginning I was super enthusiastic to receive the wisdom that this book has to offer. Red Sea Rule #1 is “Realize that God means for you to be where you are.” When I’m going through a trial, I’d rather blame Satan, the world, or even myself before I point the finger at God. But I appreciated the author’s perspective that God is sovereign over all things, and if we are in the palm of His hand, then we can trust He has a plan in the messiness.

As I read more and more of this book, I saw the story of the Israelites’ struggle and victory with fresh eyes. Morgan lays out 10 principles of how we can make sense of Exodus 14 and apply those principles to our lives.

I loved this book, and it’s difficult to put into words why. But it’s one I will be lending out a lot and revisiting myself.

My books so far on the #EmptyShelf challenge: