While I've been laid up recovering I've read a couple of books about other people's adventures, watched the Paralympics, volunteered at Parkrun and generally lived vicariously through everyone else's activity.
The books I've read are about challenges I'll never do but they've given me an insight into what it takes to complete some major feats of endurance. They have reinforced my belief that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and work hard, it's just that everyone's challenge is different. My current challenge is to get back to full health and fitness and I don't really know how long that will be. So if you fancy a bit of escapism in the meantime then I can recommend these:
A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington
Chrissie Wellingtons enthusiastic memoirs of an astonishing IronMan career was a great read. She is resoundingly positive even when faced with injuries and set backs. Kona seems such a mythical place to us mere mortals so this book gave me an insight into her world without leaving the sofa. I'd highly recommend it, you cannot help but feel inspired.
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
I've been midly obsessed with everything Everest since watching the film of the same name back in May. I love walking and hiking but let's be clear I could never climb an 8,000m peak, the fact there is a death zone is enough to put me off completely.
Into Thin Air was the second book I've read about Everest and it is really harrowing. Even though I knew the outcome I was still gripped throughout. It highlights how much your decision making is crucial when out on an adventure of any kind but the lack of oxygen at high altitude impairs this so significantly.
What I didn't realise is how disputed and controversial Jon Krakauer's account had been at the time and the fall out was huge. In my opinion it seemed like an insightful and sensitively handled account of a disasterous expedition.
Runner by Lizzie Hawker
Runner has cemented Nepal as one of my must visit places - yes, before we got married we made independent lists of places to ensure that the adventures happened someday.
Lizzie Hawkins writes about her incredible feats in such a down to earth way that is amazing. I loved that she would go to work and her colleagues wouldn't even know she'd won a national championship!
I haven't quite finished this yet, Into thin air was a tough act to follow but I'll definitely finish it. I can be guilty of just stopping a book half way through if I don't enjoy it. I think life is just too short and reading is meant to be for pleasure.
So what should my next read be? Who's adventures have inspired you recently? I've booked to go to A Night of Adventure Tales to hear first hand from Elise Downing and Marina Granger about their recent epic runs so maybe see some of you there.