Books Read in 2012: No. 10 – Can't Swim, Can't Ride, Can't Run: From Common Man to Ironman

Title: Can’t Swim, Can’t Ride, Can’t Run: From Common Man to Ironman
Author: Andy Holgate
Completed on February 25, 2012

A few months ago I began a diet program. I’ve had mixed success in my endeavors having lost 30 or so pounds and then hitting a wall. My wall is more a failure of will rather than ability. I’ve grown tired of the effort it takes me to lose weight. In my twenties and thirties it seemed I could lose weight at will. In my forties it seems every pound lost requires excruciating effort. One of my favorite activities however is cycling and I have long harbored a desire to train for and complete a mini-triathlon, so I picked up Andy Holgate’s book looking for inspiration.

The title of his book is encouraging as the subtitle reads – From Common Man to Ironman. Certainly, the book would be filled to the brim with tips for my lazy butt to get into gear, right? Wrong. The book wasn’t exactly what I had in mind and Andy Holgate didn’t exactly go from “common man” to ironman. Rather, he went from being a fairly talented recreational runner to being an ironman. Holgate began his journey to ironman from a point much closer to the destination than I am currently located. However, I still found the book to be quite enjoyable.

Holgate has an engaging sense of humor. His book reads like a journal of his ironman accomplishments over the last few years and I couldn’t help but root for him as he attempted to challenge himself to new heights. When following his journey the reader can’t help but develop an affinity for Holgate and his assorted cast of friends. In the end, his journey does offer inspiration for the aspiring athlete … just not the type I had in mind.

I’m not sure if I will be able to get back on the fitness horse and ride to a mini-triathlon, but I did enjoy reading Holgate’s book. I recommend it for anyone interesting in learning more about the world of triathlon.


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