Running has long been a refuge for sociologist, professor and former NCAA Division I track athlete Lindsey A. Freeman (Longing for the Bomb), who explores her love for the sport in the insightful Running, an entry in the Practices series. She celebrates the physical joy of running, the way it allows her to be "in a body feeling my way through a landscape and my own thoughts." She recalls her experiences as a high school and college athlete; charts her training for various races, including the Boston and Paris marathons; explores the connections between running and writing; and recounts from a queer perspective her experiences with the sport and its imagery. "Running is always about more than running," she writes, bringing her whole self--feminist, queer, academic, white, American--to this exploration. More poetic than practical, but intensely vivid and personal, Running bounces from pop-culture analysis to academic inquiry, from a catalogue of injuries (including those from a devastating incident in which a vehicle hit her) to an exploration of the elusive "runner's high."
Freeman's reflections--in the form of brief essays with illustrations by Hazel Meyer--always come back to practice: the ways running, writing and other habits can shape a person. She offers practical advice for building endurance, acknowledges the inevitable pain and discomfort of running and explores the possibilities that can open up through repetition: "I keep practicing because I want to remain a writer and a runner." Running is a worthwhile companion for people who want to be either--or both. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams