INSCRIBED BY ACCLAIMED JOURNALIST BILL MCKIBBEN
MCKIBBEN, Bill. Long Distance. A Year of Living Strenuously. New York: Simon & Schuster, (2000). Octavo, original blue and white paper boards, original dust jacket. $250.
First edition of this memoir of a non-athlete's attempt to spend a year training in cross-country skiing like an Olympian, boldly inscribed: "For Brennan, Who knows about endurance. Bill McKibben."
"An inspired and inspiring memoir of one man's conquest of wimpiness. For more than a decade, McKibben has been building a well-deserved reputation as a thoughtful, encyclopedic writer on the environment. His bookish life, he ruefully relates, may have won him fame, but it also left him soft and squishy; never much of an athlete… Having hit 37,'the age when age starts to seem like age,' McKibben resolved to take charge of his body, and here he provides a spirited account of his transformation from underachiever to, well, a slightly better class of underachiever. "Almost no one writes about sports from the point of view of the mediocre, offers insights from the middle of the pack," he cheerfully notes before launching into a fact- and anecdote-laced narrative on the salutary effects of constant striving, constant effort, and constant improvement in every aspect of life… But the best moments of this fine book are those in which he finds the obstacles within himself and overcomes them—a process that readers will want to try on themselves… This is a strong vademecum for weekend warriors seeking to change their lives" (Kirkus). Owner gift inscription on title page.
Dust jacket price-clipped. Fine condition.