Santa Fe author Katie Arnold and visiting author Nita Sweeney talk about their book and running for good physical and mental health.
About Running Home:
I'm running to forget, and to remember.
For more than a decade, Katie Arnold chased adventure around the world, reporting on extreme athletes who performed outlandish feats--walking high lines a thousand feet off the ground without a harness, or running one hundred miles through the night. She wrote her stories by living them, until eventually life on the thin edge of risk began to seem normal. After she married, Katie and her husband vowed to raise their daughters to be adventurous, too, in the mountains and canyons of New Mexico. But when her father died of cancer, she was forced to confront her own mortality.
His death was cataclysmic, unleashing a perfect storm of grief and anxiety. She and her father, an enigmatic photographer for National Geographic, had always been kindred spirits. He introduced her to the outdoors and took her camping and on bicycle trips and down rivers, and taught her to find solace and courage in the natural world. And it was he who encouraged her to run her first race when she was seven years old.
Now nearly paralyzed by fear and terrified she was dying, too, she turned to the thing that had always made her feel most alive: running. Over the course of three tumultuous years, she ran alone through the wilderness, logging longer and longer distances, first a 50-kilometer ultramarathon, then 50 miles, then 100 kilometers. She ran to heal her grief, to outpace her worry that she wouldn't live to raise her own daughters. She ran to find strength in her weakness. She ran to remember and to forget. She ran to live.
Ultrarunning tests the limits of human endurance over seemingly inhuman distances, and as she clocked miles across mesas and mountains, Katie learned to tolerate pain and discomfort, and face her fears of uncertainty, vulnerability, and even death itself. As she ran, she found herself peeling back the layers of her relationship with her father, discovering that much of what she thought she knew about him, and her own past, was wrong.
Running Home is a memoir about the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of our world--the stories that hold us back, and the ones that set us free. Mesmerizing, transcendent, and deeply exhilarating, it is a book for anyone who has been knocked over by life, or feels the pull of something bigger and wilder within themselves.
"A beautiful work of searching remembrance and searing honesty . . . Katie Arnold is as gifted on the page as she is on the trail. Running Home will soon join such classics as Born to Run and Ultramarathon Man as quintessential reading of the genre."--Hampton Sides, author of On Desperate Ground and Ghost Soldiers
Katie Arnold is a contributing editor at Outside Magazine, where she worked on staff for twelve years. Her "Raising Rippers" column about bringing up adventurous, outdoor children appears monthly on Outside Online. She has written for The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Sunset, Runner's World, ESPN: The Magazine, Elle, and many others, and her narrative nonfiction has been recognized by Best American Sportswriting. Arnold is the Leadville Trail 100 Run women's champion. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband and two daughters.
About Depression Hates a Moving Target:
Run your way to better mental health
It's never too late to chase your dreams: Before she discovered running, Nita Sweeney was 49-years-old, chronically depressed, occasionally manic, and unable to jog for more than 60 seconds at a time. Using exercise, Nita discovered an inner strength she didn't know she possessed, and with the help of her canine companion, she found herself on the way to completing her first marathon. In her memoir, Sweeney shares how she overcame emotional and physical challenges to finish the race and come back from the brink.
There's hope and help on the track: Anyone who has struggled with depression knows the ways the mind can defeat you. However, it is possible to transform yourself with the power of running. You may learn that you can endure more than you think, and that there's no other therapy quite like pavement beneath your feet.
Depression Hates a Moving Target is a witty and poignant story of rediscovery. Whether you're born to run or just looking for rebirth, you will:
- Be inspired by the powerful story of one woman--and her dog
- Cheer on Nita as she endures the challenges of a marathon and a mind in turmoil
- And discover the power of running to overcome obstacles
If you loved Let Your Mind Run, you'll love Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running With My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink.
Nita Sweeney's articles, essays, and poems have appeared in Buddhist America, Dog World, Dog Fancy, Writer's Journal, Country Living, Pitkin Review, Spring Street, WNBA-SF blog, and in several newspapers and newsletters. She writes the blog, BumGlue and publishes the monthly email, Write Now Newsletter. Her memoir, Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink, was short-listed for the 2018 William Faulkner - William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Award. Nita earned a journalism degree from The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, a law degree from The Ohio State University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College. For ten years, she studied with and assisted best-selling author Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones) at weeklong writing workshops teaching the "rules of writing practice" and leading participants in sitting and walking meditation. Goldberg authorized Nita to teach "writing practice" and Nita has taught for nearly twenty years. When she's not writing and teaching, Nita runs. She has completed three full marathons, twenty-six half marathons (in eighteen states), and more than sixty shorter races. Nita lives in central Ohio with her husband and biggest fan, Ed, and her yellow Labrador running partner, Scarlet (aka #ninetyninepercentgooddog).