Tracy's Reviews > The Running Dream

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
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's review
Jul 10, 2012

really liked it
Read in July, 2012

A must read for any teenager! It is emotionally enlarging and would vastly broaden a young person's perspective.

As an adult, I was at first disappointed that it was fiction. Based on the topic, I was expecting non-fiction, or at least based on a true story. I read the book anyway and decided fiction is better. Wendelin Van Draanen is able to fit a wealth of philosophy, encouragement, and inspiration into her fictional tale. I wept all through the end of the book. Several passages were deeply philosophical. I enjoyed the thoughts those passages evoked, and the emotional experience I had while reading.

A few great passages to remember (might be a spoiler, but most are general thoughts)

That's the funny thing about running. The deceptive thing about it. It may seem mindless, but it's really largely mental. If the mind's not strong, the body acts weak, even if it's not. If the mind says it's too cold or too rainy or too windy to run, the body will be more than happy to agree. If the ind says it would be better to rest of recover or cut practice, the body will be glad to oblige. (pg. 157)

"That's all anybody with a disability wants. Don't sum up the person based on what you see, or what you don't understand; get to know them." (pg. 308, said by Jessica)

It's disturbing how fast weeds take root in my garden of worthiness.
They're so hard to pull.
And grow back so easily. (pg. 314)

One plus one plus one plus one.
And somewhere in my fuzzy mind I make a connection - that's how everything is done.
One by one by one by one.
That's how I got through losing a leg.
Minute by minute by minute by minute.
Hour by hour by hour by hour.
Day by day by day by day.
That's how anybody makes it through anything.
So I dig in and decide that's how I'll face the miles ahead - one by one by one by one. (pg. 328)

It's a place in the 400-meter race where every cell of your body locks up.
Your lungs ache for air.
Your quads turn to cement.
Your arms pump desperately, but they're stiff and feel like lead.
Rigor Mortis Bend is the last turn of any track, and at Liberty High you're greeted with a headwind.
The finish line comes into view and you will yourself toward it, but the wind pushes you back, your body begs you to give up, and the whole world seems to grind into slow motion.
Your determination is all that's left.
It forces your muscles to fire.
Forces you to stay in the race.
Forces you to survive the pain of this moment.
Your teammates scream for you to push.
Push! Push! Push!
You can do it!

But their voices are muffled by the gasping for air, the pounding of earth, the pumping of blood, the need to collapse.
Rigor Mortis Bend. (pg. 16-17)

One last thought, there's no passage of this book that fully encapsulates the idea, is the idea that your finish line is your starting line. On a track, where you finish is where you start. This idea is turned into a metaphor for living life. Your hardest goals, once accomplished, are where you begin to find your new dreams and start the path of accomplishing hard goals all over again.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Abbie (new)

Abbie I'm so glad you liked it! This is truly an inspirational book!

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