What readers are saying about it

The Courage to Start: A Guide to Running for Your Life

by John "the Penguin" Bingham

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"A friend of mine gave this book to me as a gift. I couldn't put it down until I finished it. What an awesome book. It is a prescription for life. I loved it. It spoke to me. It told my story. It gave me inspiration to do more. I learned from it. What a gift."

"The Courage to Start is THE book on running! I laughed, I cried, and now I'm reading it a second time. This book is for any runner, newbie or veteran, who loves to run. Thanks John for writing a book about Penguins."

"Like no other, this book will motivate you to get off your duff and run, waddle or just plain walk out the door...to the rest of your life.  Inspirational, it's value is in highlighting the spiritual benefits of the sport. Frank, honest, and joyful. Takes you inside the mind of the new runner: the agony, the doubt, the competition, the pride, the stumbles, the joy, and ultimately, the freedom that running can bring. Not heavy on technical training, not meant to be. For all the folks who don't wear singlets and running shoes with no socks. You will thank the Penguin for the rest of your life...he just might have saved it."

"I read your book yesterday and felt compelled to write.  Thank you for a wonderful and beautiful book.  I didn't know I was a penguin.  I just thought of myself as a pretender, but now I understand where I fit into the world of running and that I am indeed a runner."

"If you have not read Bingham's book The Courage to Start, eat beans and buy it today. You will laugh your way out the front door.  It is informative as well as humorous!!!"

"I had just finished Oprah's exercise book and started jogging. But felt stupid, when lo and behold, came upon this book at Borders (sorry amazon). If you're fat or slow or afraid to run in public or look foolish, but still desire to get out there and try it, this is the book for you. See also WaddleOn.com where you can join a whole group of folks who have read John's book and Get Motivated. Good Luck."

"John's book is funny, touching, inspiring and addictive.  I liked it so much I bought it, and now I read parts of it before races.  Buy it.  It is as important as good shoes and drinking enough water on a hot day."

"I bought The Penguin's book and I agree it's wonderful.  Just reading it makes me want to jump up and run.  It expresses beautifully why I run and how such a demanding, boring, activity can be so uplifting."

"As a neophyte to the sport of running, I found this book incredibly inspiring. The author came from where a lot of new runners come from: years of inactivity and poor shape. The Penguin's transformation can motivate anyone with desire into a life of good physical health. Do not expect a lot of techniques from this book. There are some, but the focus is on getting and staying motivated for a lifetime of excellent fitness and health through the sport of running."

"The Courage to Start is a "must" read for all who are thinking about running or who have recently started, or who have been running for a long time! It gives both inspirational and practical information to motivate one to run. The book at times made me laugh, cry, and think. But most of all it made me run. To read this book is the first step to a life of running."

"Wonderful insights, encouraging words and very humorous! An excellent book for someone wanting to get into the running world.  I’m a seasoned runner and have read it for enjoyment. I've given it as a gift to threee family members who want to start a running program but don't know how."

"This book is a must for any runner. Best ten bucks I've spent towards any running equipment. You won't be sorry you bought this book."

"I just finished the book, "The Courage to Start", and I laughed  and I cried.  And tho' I have a horrible head cold, I could not resist the temptation to go out and run anyway."

"I got a copy last week from Amazon.com and I'm going to buy lots of copies to give to all those people in my life that need a little nudge to get off the couch and out on the road (or the court or the rink or somewhere other than in front of the tube!). Great book. If you haven't read it go get it now!!! "

"I've only gotten through the first chapter so far - It's kind of spooky - like looking at a mirror of my life and my thoughts."

"I just finished "The Courage to Start" this morning.  It's worth every penny I paid for it.  It has really hit home with me and I think I read the entire book in 2 exercise bike workouts.  It's really  great."

"I ordered your book Courage to Start from Amazon.com and received it in yesterday's mail.  I started reading and couldn't put it down.  I was reading until 3 am!  It seems like every sentence was "quotable." I read many passages several times, hoping to have them etched in my memory, so I can recite them on long runs.  You have been touched by Elmer, the Greek God of glue, because your messages continue to stick with me.  I read Penguin Chronicles FIRST when I get each issue of Runner's World!"

"I am really enjoying The Courage to Start.  It has been very inspirational so far.  I'm having to fight my husband for it, and he usually makes fun of the books I bring home.  This book (and hubby's running advice) made me figure out why all my previous attempts to become "a runner" have failed.  Now I'm pushing myself less and enjoying it more.  This book seems to have something to say to both the beginner and the seasoned veteran."

"I started running nearly 30 years ago and used to be quite strong. The responsibities of keeping a marriage healthy, raising two children and working full time in a demanding profession have taken their toll on my running life. I haven't stopped for any appreciable length of time in 30 years but, darn!, I have slowed down. I thoroughly enjoyed "The Penquin's " comments on running -- he helped me get a new grip on

 something that has always been important to me but, like so many other things these days, is not what it used to be. I appreciate his attitude, his perspective. I feel okay about running again and I plan to re-read this book occasionally just as a reminder of what running is really about."

"John's book is amazing. I have read it many times. Always good to remind me of the joy that running can bring. Sometimes we get so caught up in mileage and getting runs in because we are training, that we forget to laugh and smile WHILE we run. I still laugh myself silly at the story of Velcro Lady!!!!!"

"I just finished John's book.  Half the time I was laughing hysterically thinking he was writing about me, while the other half I was in tears "knowing" he was writing about me. Initially, I was looking for a book with "the plan" to run in it.  I am so glad I didn't get it here.  What I read in this book made so much more sense to me." 

"Someone said it earlier today; now I want to SCREAM it. I am on page 23 and my heart has been leaping for all of us. I received my copy of John Bingham's book The Courage to Start, and it....is....so....many....of....us! Please....go without laundry detergent or food, but treat your soul, and your dreams to this book. IT'S US!" [written by a Connector]

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Penguin Wisdom
Every successful mile releases me from the demons of failure. Every starting line is another chance to prove that my past will not determine my future.


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Last Updated: October 25, 2001 10:05