*Available at Exclusive Books from December 2020 (in-store or place an order using ISBN)
“If at first you don’t succeed, you can always become an ultramarathoner.”
– Bruce Fordyce
Happily married and with a burgeoning career as a CFO, Zoë Scholtz was living her dream.
She was also unfit and somewhat overweight, and the exercise she engaged in was by no means a priority. Never brilliant at athletics as a child, she hated running in particular, associating it with humiliations endured at school.
In 2015, after returning from holiday with flu-like symptoms, Zoë experienced the complete dissolution of life as she knew it. Rushed to ICU with a mysterious illness, she ended up in a coma. Her doctors warned her husband that in the unlikely event that she lived, she could be left with brain trauma and incapacitated.
Waking up from her coma 10 days later, Zoë rallied and fought back, believing that she had it in her to reclaim her life. However, her recovery was to be a long one, requiring intensive rehabilitation.
Refusing to give up on her ultimate goal of complete recovery, Zoë eventually embraced walking for its psychological and physical benefits. Before too long a walk became a run, and a short run a longer run. Eventually, Zoë found an unexpected sanctuary in endurance running.
As the accomplishment of one goal led to the pursuit of another, she signed up for a half marathon, then a marathon, and allowed herself to dream of participating in an ultramarathon. However, as she began preparing for the Two Oceans Ultra, Zoë discovered that endurance running carries its own deadly risks. This left her floundering, forcing her to face her fear of death and to reassess her dream.
This memoir is about Zoë's eventual triumph, but it is about a great deal more than that. It reveals that winning is not about finishing first – it is about having the courage to start. And that success is defined not by a podium finish but through the slow, incremental improvements people achieve in pursuit of their goals.
Told with poignancy but also with great humour and passion, this tale of bravery is a must-read for anyone seeking motivation on their life journey. Its determined author does not shy away from describing her frequently faltering steps, and the book's moments of achievement belong to everyday life as much as they do to a heroic vision of growing up – and up.
"Compelling, interesting, easy to read, and intensely instructive I would recommend this book to anyone submerged in the gravitas of modern life looking out for motivation. Zoë delivers it in bucket loads..."
Former International Airline Captain - Director, LeadXcellence
"What a wonderful story of courage and fighting back.
From desperately ill to #parkruntotwooceans.
It was a great read."
South African Athlete, Ultramarathon Champion
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© 2020 Zoë Scholtz
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