Every person certainly has a story behind them which can often be crafted into a book or a movie. It especially turns into an enthralling one when the protagonist has battled several odds and resurfaced with a new identity altogether. It’s a sort of metamorphosis on a physical, emotional and psychological level which makes it seem like a reincarnation during the same lifetime.  It thereby results in a journey by itself, enough to intrigue and inspire other fellow humans to take up challenges and go beyond their comfort zones.

Such is often the story of sportspersons especially those of runners who have an intriguing story behind those confident and majestic strides. ‘#They INSpire’ authored by Lt Cdr Bijay Nair (Retd), also one of the admin of the largest running community called Mumbai Road Runners, takes the readers through an incredible marathon journey of 42 runners who share their stories from being ordinary to extraordinary individuals while displaying their humbling and stirring feats.

The book starts off as a tribute to runners which explains the several sacrifices that they have to make while pursuing their passion while juggling between their professional and family commitments. A special mention is dedicated to women runners who have pursued running seriously amidst those flurry of several roles that is required of them.

The following chapters takes one through a Q and A format with these incredible beings who describe on how they embarked the journey with running, their goals, favourite quotes and enriching tips for upcoming runners. It is fascinating to note the sheer joy that each of these runners exhibit while narrating their experiences and making their transformational experience quite apparent. Spread over diverse backgrounds and age groups from corporate professionals, army, sports backgrounds to gold jewellery polishers, it was absorbing to read about their setbacks ranging from loss of a loved one, financial constraints, loss of vision and a leg. Yet their spirits remain undeterred as they have defied age and conceptualized the saying ‘It’s never too late to start anything’ nor have they mulled over regrets of not having started earlier. Some have even turned into full time coaches and motivational speakers, as a means to create a difference to others’ lives.

Written in a simplistic yet impactful style, Nair weaves his stories like a continuous thread that takes you through the marathon journey encountering several individuals which makes it a riveting learning experience. The book is bound to appeal to the running community largely. However its element of the inspirational dose of defying odds will find its way through the hearts of non-runners as well who will be compelled enough to take to fitness in a large manner if they haven’t laced up  already to hit the roads with a vengeance.

‘#They INSpire’ is not a book. It’s a journey interspersed with the philosophy of being a good runner and most importantly a good human being. The sensibilities shared by these experienced individuals will force every runner to reflect on their respective journeys and retrace their thought processes as to why they decided to venture into one of oldest sports that required bare minimum essentials in the first place.  In this fast paced world which is gripped by the phenomena of ‘too fast too soon’ at an alarming rate, the happiness and contentment exhibited by these individuals come across as a breath of fresh air.

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Publisher: The Write Place

Price: Rs 250