Long Distance: A Year of Living Strenuously

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Simon & Schuster, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 199 pages
The bestselling author of The End of Nature and Hundred-Dollar Holiday presents a provocative, unconventional book: approaching middle age and never much of an athlete, he trains to be a world-class skier and learns some unexpected lessons about his body -- and life. A celebrated essayist, journalist, and author, Bill McKibben is renowned as an original thinker. Here, writing with his trademark honesty and insight, he documents his year as an impostor of sorts in the demanding world of competitive skiing. The result is a fascinating portrait of a man in mid-life pushing his body and soul to the breaking point. McKibben decided, in his late thirties, that the time had come to really test his body. Cross-country skiing his challenge of choice, he lived the fantasy of many amateur athletes and trained -- with the help of a coach/guru -- nearly full time, putting in hours and miles typical of an Olympic athlete. McKibben's year would culminate in a series of long-distance, grueling cross-country races as he experienced his body's rhythms and possibilities like never before. But the year also brought tragedy to McKibben and his family as h

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User Review  - seanpmurray - LibraryThing

When you earn your living writing about climate change, overpopulation, and the imminent demise of humanity, what do you do for fun? Take up the most grueling endurance sport ever devised, of course ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Bill McKibben grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts. He was president of the Harvard Crimson newspaper in college. Immediately after college he joined the New Yorker magazine as a staff writer, and wrote much of the "Talk of the Town" column from 1982 to early 1987. After quitting this job, he soon moved to the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. His first book, The End of Nature, was published in 1989 by Random House after being serialized in the New Yorker. It is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has been printed in more than 20 languages. Several editions have come out in the United States, including an updated version published in 2006. His next book, The Age of Missing Information, was published in 1992. It is an account of an experiment: McKibben collected everything that came across the 100 channels of cable tv on the Fairfax, Virginia system (at the time among the nation's largest) for a single day. He spent a year watching the 2,400 hours of videotape, and then compared it to a day spent on the mountaintop near his home. This book has been widely used in colleges and high schools, and was reissued in 2006. McKibben's latest book is entitled, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. Bill currently resides with his wife, writer Sue Halpern, and his daughter, Sophie in Ripton, Vermont. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College. 030

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