Four Years Living and Running in the Wilderness
I went looking for this book after recently listening to an interview with the author on the Runner’s World podcast. I am so glad that I did. At only 180 pages, it is a short read well worth picking up.
At the age of 20, Markus leave his home to live in the remote wilderness of the Swedish forest. His plan is simple. All he will do is sleep, survive and run for the forseeable future. Seeing his chance to escape the modern world and all the stress that comes with it, he finds an easy existence in a harsh environment. However, his mother’s struggle with MS and his own loneliness and fears still haunt him.
An interesting focus of the story following Markus’ relationship with running. As a talented underage star, he fails to live up to expectations due to race day anxieties. What he loves the most becomes a chore. How many readers can relate to this as GPS watches and FitBits now track the time, speed and distance of every run. The Runner encourages the reader to reconsider the simple life.
Torgeby’s exile in the wilderness is broken only by a short time spent training with other runners in Tanzania. This adventure brings on further challenges in the form of heavy training, poor diet and brief brushes with death. These stories could have made another book!
In the end, the love of a good woman sets our runner straight and finally helps to set him down. There were times when I was reading this that I found what the author wasn’t saying spoke volumes so I did particularly enjoy a quiet chuckle to myself when his girlfriend and future wife visits his cold home in the wilderness for the first time!
With comparisons to Into The Wild and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden only with an athletic twist, this is an inspiring read that encourages you to lace up your shoes and reconnect with nature. And leave the SmartWatch and phone at home too to better enjoy the fresh air.