Jason Lester – Running on Faith

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By Sandy Adams

Running on Faith: The Principles Passion and Pursuit of a Winning Life, Jason Lester

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My best friend found this book one night and said, “Here. Have you read this one yet? I think it’s about marathons or something.”

It was $1. It was a book about running. I love running. I love reading books. I love reading books about running. I bought it.

I didn’t expect to get too much out of it for $1, to be honest. I opened it late that night to read the first paragraph and didn’t stop for almost 40 pages.

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Jason Lester, it turns out, has no use of his right arm. It also turns out, the book isn’t just about a marathoner, per se. He’s an ultra endurance athlete, an Ironman, and his perseverance is something from which we all could learn.

There are religious nuances throughout the book. Lester believes he is doing God’s work. He listens for God’s calling and then answers. A series of events set the life he has today into motion, and he recognized this all later on.

The absence of his mother, early death of his father, loss of the mobility in his right arm, marriage, move to Hawaii and subsequent divorce led Lester to be exactly what he is, and that was exactly what he was meant to be.

Lester has remarkable faith, without question, regardless of whether it’s the same faith any other one of us trusts or not. Any flavor of that kind of faith, faith strong enough to carry someone through those varieties of setbacks and land them on the other side, the side where there isn’t merely surviving and thriving, but competing in the world’s most brutal competition against the world’s finest, able-bodied athletes, is a faith I wish I had.

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The stories about the competitions themselves are colorful and interesting. I felt like I was a spectator along the way, watching Lester do his thing in the Hawaiian heat.

I learned a thing or two about ultra endurance reading this. Lester wrote with enough detail and explanation to engage newbies to the sport without boring the veterans.

There are several lines and paragraphs I found to be highlighter-worthy. Lester shares wisdom, advice and an inside look at his whole world. I learned how he fuels to train, about his “laboratory”, how he maintains his mindset and why he made the choices he did.

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He recognizes his sport is demand more and from him than others. He understands that what he sets forth worked for him and probably wouldn’t for others and does well with presenting his advice so that it applies to any reader, from the entrepreneur to stay-at-home-moms, who are looking for motivation.

This $1 book changed my perspective about endurance running. I used to think I hurt after a five-miler in the rain. Then I read about Jason Lester who swam the Pacific for six miles with one arm while he got stung by a massive school of jellyfish. Jason Lester who went on, immediately after that to bike more than 200 miles before running a double, yes double, marathon. In one day. With one arm. My five-mile problems got nothing on that.

This book shed light on how ultra endurance competitors physically and mentally do what they do.

I didn’t buy this book because of its affiliation with faith from a religious standpoint, although if you’re interested, that’s there. The faith of Lester is a universal one. It can certainly be interpreted in any way you prefer to use it, and Lester, I think, knows that.

In a way, the $1 book by Jason Lester was my own sort of faith calling. He would’ve called it the voice of God. Call it whatever you like. His story made me think. It made me grateful and it proves that with work and faith, if you want something bad enough no matter the cost, it’s already yours. You just have to go get it.

Thank you for not quitting, Jason Lester. Thanks for keeping your faith.

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