The Holidays are heading our way FAST and bringing everything that comes along with them: food...family time....(more food)...and plenty of relaxation.
Whether you're looking for a little alone time away from the fam, or trying to keep your "beast mode" mindset in between second helpings of turkey and answering all your Nana's questions, we've got a reading list of great books ready for you. There are some highlighting badass women who inspire us, a few biographies/autobiographies with lessons passed on from killer endurance athletes, and some focused specifically on helping you develop the mindset/grit that'll get your athleticism to the next level.
Read them all yourself, or gift them to a Secret Santa! And if you're looking for more awesome inspiration for holiday gifting, Download the OCR Holiday Gift Guide 2019 Here to check out all our recos (and special deals!)
(And, if you get to the end and want even more suggestions for OCR athletes, the Summer Reading List we published is here!)
(PS: Wanna download a super easy, clickable version of this Reading List...with additional pages including the book descriptions? Click here or on image above!)
1. Reborn On The Run: Catra CorbettPublished 2018
Description: Aside from her rock star looks, Catra Corbett is a standout in the running world on her accomplishments alone. Catra is the first American woman to run over one hundred miles or more on more than one hundred occasions and the first to run one hundred and two hundred miles in the Ohlone Wilderness, and she holds the fastest known double time for the 425-miles long John Muir Trail, completing it in twelve days, four hours, and fifty-seven minutes.And, unbelievably, she's also a former meth addict.After two years of addiction, Catra is busted while selling, and a night in jail is enough to set her straight. She gives up drugs and moves back home with her mother, abandoning her friends, her boyfriend, and the lifestyle that she came to depend on. Her only clean friend pushes her to train for a 10K with him, and surprisingly, she likes it—and decides to run her first marathon after that.In Reborn on the Run, the reader keeps pace with Catra as she runs through difficult terrain and extreme weather, is stalked by animals in the wilderness, and nearly dies on a training run but continues on, smashing running records and becoming one of the world's best ultrarunners. Along the way she attempts suicide, loses loved ones, falls in love, has her heartbroken, meets lifelong friends including her running partner and dachshund TruMan, and finally faces the past that led to her addiction.
2. The Pursuit of Endurance: Jennifer Pharr DavisPublished 2019
National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Jennifer Pharr Davis unlocks the secret to maximizing perseverance--on and off the trailJennifer Pharr Davis, a record holder of the FKT (fastest known time) on the Appalachian Trail, reveals the secrets and habits behind endurance as she chronicles her incredible accomplishments in the world of endurance hiking, backpacking, and trail running. With a storyteller's ear for fascinating detail and description, Davis takes readers along as she trains and sets her record, analyzing and trail-testing the theories and methodologies espoused by her star-studded roster of mentors. She distills complex rituals and histories into easy-to-understand tips and action items that will help you take perseverance to the next level. The Pursuit of Endurance empowers readers to unlock phenomenal endurance and leverage newfound grit to achieve personal bests in everything from sports and family to the boardroom.
3. Wolfpack: Abby WambachPublished 2019
Based on her inspiring, viral 2018 commencement speech to Barnard College’s graduates in New York City, New York Times bestselling author, two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA World Cup champion Abby Wambach delivers her empowering rally cry for women to unleash their individual power, unite with their pack, and emerge victorious together.
Abby Wambach became a champion because of her incredible talent as a soccer player. She became an icon because of her remarkable wisdom as a leader. As the co-captain of the 2015 Women’s World Cup Champion Team, she created a culture not just of excellence, but of honor, commitment, resilience, and sisterhood. She helped transform a group of individual women into one of the most successful, powerful and united Wolfpacks of all time.
In her retirement, Abby’s ready to do the same for her new team: All Women Everywhere.
In Wolfpack, Abby’s message to women is:
We have never been Little Red Riding Hood. We Are the Wolves.We must wander off the path and blaze a new one: together.
She insists that women must let go of old rules of leadership that neither include or serve them. She’s created a new set of Wolfpack rules to help women unleash their individual power, unite with their Wolfpack, and change the landscape of their lives and world: from the family room to the board room to the White House.
· Make failure your fuel: Transform failure to wisdom and power. · Lead from the bench: Lead from wherever you are. · Champion each other: Claim each woman’s victory as your own. · Demand the effing ball: Don’t ask permission: take what you’ve earned.
In Abby’s vision, we are not Little Red Riding Hoods, staying on the path because we’re told to. We are the wolves, fighting for a better tomorrow for ourselves, our pack, and all the future wolves who will come after us.
4. Marathon Woman: Kathrine SwitzerPublished 2017
A new edition of a sports icon's memoir, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Kathrine Switzer's historic running of the Boston Marathon as the first woman to run.In 1967, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to officially run what was then the all-male Boston Marathon, infuriating one of the event's directors who attempted to violently eject her. In one of the most iconic sports moments, Switzer escaped and finished the race. She made history-and is poised to do it again on the fiftieth anniversary of that initial race, when she will run the 2017 Boston Marathon at age 70. Now a spokesperson for Reebok, Switzer is also the founder of 261 Fearless, a foundation dedicated to creating opportunities for women on all fronts, as this groundbreaking sports hero has done throughout her life."Kathrine Switzer is the Susan B. Anthony of women's marathoning."-Joan Benoit Samuelson, first Olympic gold medalist in the women's marathon
5. 26 Marathons: Meb Keflezighi & Scott DouglasPublished 2019
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A world-class runner and four-time Olympian shares the life lessons he’s learned from each of the twenty-six marathons he’s run in his storied career. “An athlete whose wisdom and lessons aren’t just for runners.”—The Washington PostWhen Meb Keflezighi—the first person in history to win both the Boston and New York City marathons as well as an Olympic marathon medal—ran his final marathon in New York City on November 5, 2017, it marked the end of an extraordinary distance-running career. Meb's last marathon was also his twenty-sixth, and each of those marathons has come with its own unique challenges, rewards, and outcomes. In 26 Marathons, Meb takes readers on those legendary races, along every hill, bend, and unexpected turn of events that made each marathon an exceptional learning experience, and a fascinating story.26 Marathons offers the wisdom Meb has gleaned about life, family, identity, and faith in addition to tips about running, training, and nutrition. He shows runners of all levels how to apply the lessons he's learned to their own running and lives. Equal parts inspiration and practical advice, 26 Marathons provides an inside look at the life and success of one of the greatest runners living today.
6. Finding Ultra: Rich RollPublished 2013
Finding Ultra is an incredible but true account of achieving one of the most awe-inspiring midlife physical transformations everOn the night before he was to turn forty, Rich Roll experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly fifty pounds overweight and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he could see where his current sedentary life was taking him—and he woke up. Plunging into a new routine that prioritized a plant-based lifestyle and daily training, Rich morphed—in a matter of mere months—from out of shape, mid-life couch potato to endurance machine. Finding Ultra recounts Rich’s remarkable journey to the starting line of the elite Ultraman competition, which pits the world’s fittest humans in a 320-mile ordeal of swimming, biking, and running. And following that test, Rich conquered an even greater one: the EPIC5—five Ironman-distance triathlons, each on a different Hawaiian island, all completed in less than a week. In the years since Finding Ultra was published, Rich has become one of the world’s most recognized advocates of plant-based living. In this newly revised and updated edition, he shares the practices, tools, and techniques he uses for optimal performance, longevity, and wellness, including diet and nutrition protocols. Rich reflects on the steps he took to shift his mindset and leverage deep reservoirs of untapped potential to achieve success beyond his wildest imagination, urging each of us to embark on our own journey of self-discovery.
7. The Boys In The Boat: Daniel James BrownPublished 2014
The #1 New York Times–bestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany and now the inspiration for the PBS documentary “The Boys of ‘36'.”For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant. It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.
8. The Impossible Climb: Mark SynnottPublished 2019
NEW YORK TIMES MONTHLY BESTSELLERA deeply reported insider perspective of Alex Honnold’s historic achievement and the culture and history of climbing.In Mark Synnott’s unique window on the ethos of climbing, his friend Alex Honnold’s astonishing free solo ascent of El Capitan’s 3,000 feet of sheer granite is the central act. When Honnold topped out at 9:28 A.M. on June 3, 2017, having spent fewer than four hours on his historic ascent, the world gave a collective gasp. The New York Times described it as “one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever.” Synnott’s personal history of his own obsession with climbing since he was a teenager—through professional climbing triumphs and defeats, and the dilemmas they render—makes this a deeply reported, enchanting revelation about living life to the fullest. What are we doing if not an impossible climb?Synnott delves into a raggedy culture that emerged decades earlier during Yosemite’s Golden Age, when pioneering climbers like Royal Robbins and Warren Harding invented the sport that Honnold would turn on its ear. Painting an authentic, wry portrait of climbing history and profiling Yosemite heroes and the harlequin tribes of climbers known as the Stonemasters and the Stone Monkeys, Synnott weaves in his own experiences with poignant insight and wit: tensions burst on the mile-high northwest face of Pakistan’s Great Trango Tower; fellow climber Jimmy Chin miraculously persuades an official in the Borneo jungle to allow Honnold’s first foreign expedition, led by Synnott, to continue; armed bandits accost the same trio at the foot of a tower in the Chad desert . . . The Impossible Climb is an emotional drama driven by people exploring the limits of human potential and seeking a perfect, choreographed dance with nature. Honnold dared far beyond the ordinary, beyond any climber in history. But this story of sublime heights is really about all of us. Who doesn’t need to face down fear and make the most of the time we have?
9. Atomic Habits: James ClearPublished 2018
The instant New York Times bestsellerTiny Changes, Remarkable ResultsNo matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving--every day. James Clear, one of the world's leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.If you're having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn't you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don't want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you'll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.Clear is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. Here, he draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. Along the way, readers will be inspired and entertained with true stories from Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and star comedians who have used the science of small habits to master their craft and vault to the top of their field.Learn how to: • make time for new habits (even when life gets crazy); • overcome a lack of motivation and willpower; • design your environment to make success easier; • get back on track when you fall off course;...and much more.Atomic Habits will reshape the way you think about progress and success, and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your habits--whether you are a team looking to win a championship, an organization hoping to redefine an industry, or simply an individual who wishes to quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, or achieve any other goal.
10. Living With A SEAL: Jesse ItzlerPublished 2015
Entrepreneur Jesse Itzler will try almost anything. He brazenly pretended to be an established hip-hop artist to secure a meeting with a studio head - and it led to a record deal. He convinced a bunch successful business executives to invest in an unprecedented business plan - and it turned into Marquis Jet. He sincerely offered to run a 100-mile race in Spanx to get the attention of the beautiful founder of the company - and ended up marrying her.
His life is about being bold and risky. And it's brought him plenty of rewards.
So when Jesse felt himself drifting on autopilot, he hired a rather unconventional trainer to live with him for a month - an accomplished Navy SEAL widely considered to be "the toughest man on the planet"!
Living with a SEAL is like a buddy movie if it starred the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air...and Rambo. Jesse is about as easy-oing as you can get. SEAL is...not. He even shows up at Jesse's apartment with an inflatable raft just in case the Itzler family ever has to escape Manhattan by crossing the Hudson River.
Jesse and SEAL's escapades soon produce a great friendship, and by the time SEAL leaves, Jesse is in the best shape of his life, but he gains much more than muscle. At turns hilarious and inspiring, Living with a SEAL ultimately shows you the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone.
11. Un#@%! Yourself: Gary John BishopPublished 2017
New York Times Bestseller
Joining the ranks of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, You Are a Badas*, and F*ck Feelings comes this refreshing, BS-free, self-empowerment guide that offers an honest, no-nonsense, tough-love approach to help you move past self-imposed limitations.Are you tired of feeling fu*ked up? If you are, Gary John Bishop has the answer. In this straightforward handbook, he gives you the tools and advice you need to demolish the slag weighing you down and become the truly unfu*ked version of yourself. ''Wake up to the miracle you are,'' he directs. ''Here's what you've forgotten: You're a fu*king miracle of being.'' It isn't other people that are standing in your way, it isn't even your circumstances that are blocking your ability to thrive, it's yourself and the negative self-talk you keep telling yourself.In Unfu*k Yourself, Bishop leads you through a series of seven assertions:I am willing.I am wired to win.I got this.I embrace the uncertainty.I am not my thoughts; I am what I do.I am relentless.I expect nothing and accept everything.Lead the life you were meant to have—Unfu*k Yourself.
12. Spartan Up!: Joe De SenaPublished 2014
Twenty-six point two miles isn’t enough anymore. Obstacle course racing, which combines the endurance challenges of a marathon with the mind-bending rigors of overcoming obstacles along the way, is taking the world by storm. At the center of this phenomenon is Joe De Sena, the driving force behind the enormously popular Spartan Race. De Sena offers a simple philosophy: commit to a goal, put in the work, and get it done. From that philosophy, as played out first in his own life and now for millions across trails, through mud, and up mountainsides, Spartan Race was born.
Now in Spartan Up! De Sena gives you a life strategy guide that takes you out of your comfort zone and into a combat zone. As he breaks down obstacles from his many races, detailing how each parallels real life experiences, you will learn how to:
• conquer your greatest obstacle—your will • embrace your greatest friend—discipline • make limitations vanish and establish a new normal • achieve the ultimate: obstacle immunity
Other events breed sheep; Spartan Race breeds wolves. Filled with unforgettable stories of Spartan racers as well as hard-won truths learned along the course, Spartan Up! will help anyone reach their full potential—in life, business, relationships, indeed anything one sets out to do. It is the blueprint that takes you right past Go to your finish line.
...The weather outside may be frightful, but we're pretty sure you'll find these books delightful. Let us know what you think...and what your favorite/most inspiring OCR reads have been!