On the morning of December 22, 2005, New York City firefighter Matt Long was cycling to work when he was struck by and sucked under a 20-ton bus making an illegal turn. The injuries he sustained pushed him within inches of death. Miraculously, after five months in the hospital and more than 40 operations, Matt was able to start his recovery.
In addition to his physical injuries, Matt found the psychological consequences of the accident nearly as hard to process. In the 18 months before the accident, he had competed in more than 20 premier athletic events and had qualified for running's most prestigious race, the Boston Marathon. After the accident, one doctor told him he'd be lucky if he could even walk without a cane.
The Long Run is the emotional and incredibly honest story of Matt's determination to fight through fear, despair, loneliness, and intense physical and psychological pain to regain the life he once had. It chronicles Matt's road to recovery as he teaches himself to walk again and, a mere three years later, to run in the 2008 New York City Marathon.
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Only 1/2 way through and loving it
Less than meets the eye
I recently read Born to Run (which I loved) and was looking for another inspirational running book. I tried this one mainly because it got a lot of stars. I'm not sure why so many people liked this book, but I did not. I agree with some other reviewers that the political rants are off-putting. I don't find the author's politics objectionable; I just don't think an extended rant against public-transport unions adds much to a story about injury and recovery. I also agree with some reviewers that the author is REALLY impressed with himself--this shines through on almost every page. I think it's awful what he went through, and I admire his determination to bounce back, but a little humility (even feigned) wouldn't hurt. Finally, I just don't think the author has anything really interesting to say. He's been through an extraordinary experience, but his lack of reflectiveness makes this just a story about him rather than something larger.