In ten words or less? Daughters of Distance by Vanessa Runs is worth every penny.
The dirtbag (can that really be a compliment?) ultra runner celebrates women’s running achievements and encourages us to recruit our female friends and hit the trails with her.
After spending two years discussing running with friends and experts, Runs has woven together anecdotes and advice for female runners, runner-wanna-be’s, and their friends and supporters (male and female). She began writing hoping to answer the questions, “…what, if anything, is different about women in endurance? What unique challenges do women face? Have we achieved equality in endurance sports?”
The discussions range from a consideration of femininity and sports through issues specific to women (breastfeeding on the trail, menopause, etc.) and safety on the trails. When considering competition, Runs speaks to all of us.
“I feel a competitive drive, but something is holding me back and I realize that it’s fear. What if I try and fail? What if I don’t measure up? What if I’ve lost too much fitness? Still, the desire speaks to me. I see a version of myself that is not yet, but could be. I see myself strong and fierce. Dirty and dusty. Pushing and powerful, caked and crusty with sweat, salt and trail guts.”
This is the call I hear. I think we all hear it in different arenas, but for me it’s the call of the trails. It’s time to let go of the fear and celebrate my own dirtbagness.