Book Review: Running with Angels

Running with Angels
By Pamela Hansen
210 Pages
Finished 9/4/08


On a beautiful April morning in 2001, Pamela Hansen decided to do something she hadn’t done for a very long time. She decided to take a walk. Though fearful that she would not be able to take more than a few steps with her morbidly obsese body, she was desperate to focus her attention on something other than the tragedies of her life–the death of an infant daughter, the cruel and debilitating autoimmune diseases that had attacked two other children, and finally the stillbrith of a son just a few weeks earlier.

That first walk, which lasted just ten minutes, was the beginning of an amazing year-long journey that ultimately led to a 100-lb. weight loss (without surgery or pills) and the fulfillment of Pamela’s dream to run a marathon.

In Running with Angels, Pam shares her struggles and successes, using the marathon race as a metaphor for facing life’s challenges. She candidly describes the pain of living life as an obese person and the hopelessness that accompanies it. More importantly, she offers practical suggestions for anyone trying to reach a goal, particularly a weight-loss goal, and show how small steps over time make it possible to achieve even a seemingly impossible dream.

I picked this book up after reading Beth’s review a few days ago. I had been curious about this book after seeing it advertised when it was intially released, but never thought to pick it up at the library. The main aspect of the journey that the author, Pamela Hansen, takes the reader through is her triumph over obesity. But, what intially drew me to this book was the title, Running with Angels. I can’t relate personally to being obese (or to anything to do with running, for that matter šŸ˜† ), but I can relate to being a mother to an angel. The author’s remarkable journey stemmed greatly from her grief at losing not one, but two precious babies, and for me, sharing in someone else’s grief seems to be a way for me to work through my own.

Interestingly enough, the paragraph that I loved most from this book was actually written in the afterword, by the author’s husband, Mark Hansen. He writes:

The motivating message of Pam’s story is that ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things in life by maintaing a consistent focus on the small root causes of success. Pam went from not being able to run more than a few steps to being able to complete a marathon because she did the little things. She learned to have faith that achieving little successes would lead to the accomplishment of her major goals. She also learned to take great satisfaction in those little successes. I think that’s a big part of what kept her going. She was able to savor the satisfaction of success along the journey, not just at the finish line.

Whether you have 100 lbs. to lose or you want to stop habitually biting your nails, you can learn from Hansen’s story and the pattern she employed to reach her goal of losing weight and running a marathon. And I love the reminder to take satisfaction in accomplishing each step along the way.

2008 Page Count: 7445


3 Responses to “Book Review: Running with Angels”

  1. kala tolman Says:

    I am amazed how much reading you get done! This book looks great, thanks for the summary and referral!

  2. Beth Says:

    Glad you liked this one — and good review, too! Thanks for sharing that paragraph again; it’s a great message.

  3. Natalie Says:

    I read this a couple years ago and LOVED it!

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