Every now and again, I find a book that I just can’t put down. I am more of a murder mystery/thriller kind of person [think Lisa Gardner], and I very rarely read any kind of biography. I tend to think they’re pretty boring and chock full of information I can just find on Wikipedia anyway…
Running on Faith was completely different. Sure, I could have scoured his website and random other articles about him but it was really the way my brother in law spoke about him, that really convinced me to read this book.
I will admit I had no idea who Jason Lester even was. My brother in law works at Nike, and was able to attend a few events Jason was hosting while visiting Nike. He kept mentioning his races, talking about his perseverance in awe. Jason’s story is truly an amazing tale of hardship and overcoming your demons. As a child, he was taken from his mother after her substance abuse issues became out of hand, therefore placing him in the custody of his father. At the age of 12, he was hit by a car going approximately 40 miles per hour. He spent three months in the hospital, rehabilitating his 18 broken ribs, both of his broken legs, a broken left arm and a collapsed lung; also learning that his right arm was paralyzed. Seven months after leaving the hospital, his father – whom Jason had looked up to his entire life, spiritually, physically and emotionally – died suddenly at the age of 39.
Jason never once comes across as bitter and the question of “Why me?” never comes across the pages. Once dabbling in drugs and alcohol, he moves to Hawaii and revisits his athletic days of his teens. Long story short, Jason starts not only competing in Ironmans, but Ultramans. These consist of swimming 6.2 miles, 261.4 miles on the bike, and a run of 52.4 miles. Starting on November 1st, he’ll be running 306 miles across Death Valley in effort to raise money for an international clean water charity.
This book is an easy read, and if you’re not wanting to get up off your butt after reading it, then there’s something wrong with you. Jason is a very spiritual individual; motivating and incredibly resilient. This book exudes that, and I will recommend it to anyone I can.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book.
- “I was meant to be an Ironman, and Ultraman – and everyman doing things that showed others how awesome God is and how they can blow past their own limitations if they listen to and trust him”
- “… no matter how fit and well trained you are, there is always a point in every race where you begin to crash against your physical and mental limits. At that point, if you have any negative thoughts in your head, you’re going to find an excuse to give up.”
- “He who ignores disciplines despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding” :: Proverbs 15:32
- “As long as you pay attention to where God is leading you, you’ll always be where you’re meant to be”
- “Fear is the suspicion that you may not have what it takes to triumph… Nerves come when you’re chomping at the bit and you’re forced to wait”
- “God created us to be limitless, but we set limits on what we think we can do”
Here are some links for Jason
Webpage [also includes his art, links to his foundation,