Vertebrate Publishing sent me a copy of the book to review for this website. My review is my own words and haven’t been “approved” by anyone else prior to publishing.
It’s safe to say that every runner has a very different story. And this is borne out whenever one reads a runner’s “biography”. I’m struggling for the right word here because some of the books focus on a specific event / period whereas others, such as Allie Bailey’s book, follows a much more autobiographical approach.
It is for a good reason too, as Bailey’s story is very different to many of the other books out there. The other books often come in from a point of running “strength”; where running is the star of the show, the shining beacon in the narrative.
Bailey has, to coin a phrase, been through a lot. Hell and back and then some. For those wanting an easy, fluffy ride then this probably isn’t the book for you. Her running has taken her to some extreme places and she has achieved some amazing feats, yet she was doing this whilst living as a functional alcoholic and with chronic depression.
The prefix “functional” definitely changing throughout her life as she tried to find what she was perceived as “the dream life”.
The first section of the book chronicles her life before things spiralled completely off the page as the side of her life which she had, to that point, done her level best to conceal from the world became too much. The second really focuses on how she clawed herself back from this point.
The book itself is an interesting read about an athlete with a life that is anything but what would be expected. It also challenges the oft-quoted narrative that “running will solve all of your problems”. It’s, at times, a difficult read due to the nature of the content, but it’s equally a very important message that Bailey is wishing to convey and I’m glad that she has been able to document things in this way (she has her own blog too which she refers to in the book).
You can pick up a copy of “There is no wall” by Allie Bailey from Vertebrate Publishing by following this link.