123 pages, 13 virtues, 1 book. Dave Griffin’s After the Last PR: The virtues of living a runner’s life outlines the qualities that keep him pounding pavement day after day, year after year.
Dave began running in high school and continues to embrace the sport today. He coaches a local running program, Flying Feet, which aims to help beginners to elite runners improve and achieve their racing goals. Additionally, he writes a column called “On Running” for the Carroll County Times.
His book, available on Amazon.com, “is a collection of essays, all of which were published as columns. The hardest part of creating the book was deciding how to format it. Finally, I decided that the most meaningful way to organize the book was using the virtues that running develops in a person,” Griffin explained.
In running terms, PR means personal record. Each of the virtues covered in the book apply to both running and his personal life, indicating how intertwined the two have become for Griffin. Though he can no longer achieve the times he once did, the characteristics he has gained through running will stay with him for life.
Griffin’s son, Paul, who began his first semester at McDaniel this fall, said, “I’ve always thought [my dad] was one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. Every time he tells a story, it’s relevant. I’m glad he chose to write.”
While reading, we learn not only of Griffin’s experiences, but those of other runners. The book goes by quickly and absorbs the reader with rich and detailed accounts of scenery and emotion. This is the sort of book that I will return to after a hard work out or disappointing race because it reminds me why I love to run.
Griffin’s goal audience, however, is not just the running community.
“I hope it is meaningful for most everyone,” he stated. “The truth is that the principles of success are consistent no matter what you are trying to accomplish, and I hope the book can help every reader identify some keys to success and happiness for themselves.” In a world of early morning classes and endless reading, the virtues that Griffin mentions in his book such as discipline, tranquility, and joyfulness may be the key to moving forward.