Meditations from the Breakdown Lane


Meditations from the Breakdown Lane

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Running Across America

By James E. Shapiro

In the summer of 1980, 34-year-old Jim Shapiro laced his shoes, checked the weather, and started off on a 3,000-mile run across America.  It was a minimalist adventure: from Dillon Beach, California to Central Park in New York, he carried what he needed, ate when possible, and slept where he could. Save for a stretch in the desert where a car accompanied him for safety, Shapiro ran the route entirely alone as a self-supported “journeyman.” His incredible 3,026-mile solo trek took 80 days. 

Meditations from the Breakdown Lane is the captivating chronicle of the physical and mental fortitude required to complete such an arduous journey, as much an exploration of Shapiro’s own evolving mental state as of the ever-changing American landscape. With an astute eye and the prose of a poet, Shapiro chronicles the vivid details of his epic endeavor, balanced with his analysis of the challenge. Stripping away the most superficial elements, he captures an honest, unvarnished account of his enjoyment, suffering, boredom, pain, loneliness, frustration, elation, and fatigue and ultimate triumph. With candid sincerity, Shapiro offers portraits of the America he encountered along the way.

For runners, travelers, or anyone who enjoys the challenge ‘because it is there,’ this insightful and inspirational book is an essential American travelogue. 

Page Count: 256

ISBN: 9781635618099 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 9781635618525 (Paperback)

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