There are many reasons why we push ourselves in life, endure an element of suffering to achieve that ultimate conquest. Some do it to beat rivals, others to prove to themselves that they can.
Douglas Lawson certainly falls into the latter, and his story is brilliantly captured from cover to cover in ‘Finding the Limits: Tales of an average ultra runner.’ One reviewer sums it up succinctly: “It is a story of an average guy (like you and me) who proved that all of us are capable of much more than we realise if we put our minds to it.”
Finding The Limits
This is the ultimate page turner. ‘Finding the Limits: Tales of an average ultra runner’ is a story of courage and huge determination.
Author of the book is Douglas Lawson – but this is not his real name; it’s withheld as having a military back ground it protects the security of his family and those he has worked with(their names have also been changed in the book). The story related therein is about his journey of how running changed his life.
Doug grew up in a rough area of Coventry and was badly bullied in school. He recalls: “I was a meek child and very shy, I also struggled physically as I was quite a small lad, I was also very poor at sport, so much so that I couldn’t even run a single lap of my school running track.
“A few years after leaving school I joined the Army to escape the violence of the city, in doing so I had to get physically fit. I go on to describe my journey through Army basic training and how I found that I was not a fast runner, but I could go very long distances at a slow pace. After several years in the forces I returned to Coventry, however I found the city still too violent and spontaneously left one day to start a new life in Plymouth, Devon.”
He actually lived in his car when he first arrived there but endured this hardship until he got himself on his feet. Within a year of being in Plymouth, Doug joined a local Territorial Army unit, which was a Commando unit.
He explains: “In doing so I had to pass the All-Arms Commando Course, which I describe fully in the book. Getting through the course taught me that I could achieve any goal physically or mentally if I set my mind to it. So, I started competing in endurance events, at first it was half-marathons, then a marathon, then many ultra-marathons, ranging in distance from 32 to 71 miles. I then went on to compete in and complete a simulation of the Special Forces SAS selection tests in the Brecon Beacons, where I earned the coveted Loadstone Medal.
I also tell the story of how I met my wife Claire, and how she supported me on all of my adventures and endurance events. I also include our children and how our eldest son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and how I got him, and his younger brother, involved in pursuing his dream.
I end the book explaining how it is fear that stops people from achieving their goals in life, not the obstacles they encounter, because anything can be achieved if you put your mind to it.
Otherwise known as ‘Long Drag’ the Endurance, as its known, is a 64km UK Special Forces route march across the Brecon Beacons. It follows the very same route marched by all ranks attempting UKSF selection on the final stage of Test Week, the culminating phase of Aptitude.
The Endurance march is by far the toughest challenge faced by UKSF candidates on this phase of selection and each soldier carries in excess of 55lb – that’s not including food, water and a rifle – and have to navigate from checkpoint to checkpoint individually and against the clock. Qualities examined for include self-confidence, self-discipline, ability to work alone, physical and mental fitness, and the ability to assimilate information and learn new skills.
This is Douglas’ second book in a year, his first being ‘Type 1 Diabetes: The highs and lows of diagnosis’ – a personal account of how he and his wife came to terms with their son being diagnosed with the disease. He explains: “Diabetes can be a very frightening and worrying experience, not only for the person themselves, but also for their loved ones. Having your child diagnosed can feel truly devastating, the moment you find out that they will have to inject insulin for the rest of their lives, or they will die, is beyond heart-breaking. Type 1 diabetes doesn’t discriminate between race, religion, or how you were brought up, it can affect anyone from the superrich to the super-poor.
“I wrote this not as a means to help people medically deal with the disease, but to show those that are going through the same experience – you are not alone, and things do get better. This book is for all the type 1 diabetic warriors in this world, and those who care for them.”
Synopsis of ‘Finding the Limits – Tales of an average ultra runner’ by Douglas Lawson
This is a gripping and inspiring tale of one man’s pursuit to find his running and endurance boundaries.
Douglas Lawson tells of his journey from dodging gangs in the neighbourhood he grew up in, to pushing himself through Special Forces selection tests and ultra marathons. He shows that, with determination and tenacity, even an average person from humble beginnings can achieve great things.
This book proves that if you push yourself to your limits, nothing can stop you from fulfilling your dreams.
“I really enjoyed this book. It isn’t very often that I pick up a book and can’t put it down, but this was one of those books. If you have ever wondered what your personal limits are, or how far you can you push yourself, then this book is for you.
This is the story of a family man who wanted to find his own personal limits and push the boundaries of mental and physical endurance by means of distance running events and special forces challenges. It is a story of an average guy (like you and me) who proved that all of us are capable of much more than we realise if we put our minds to it.
“What I particularly liked about reading this book is that I felt that I was transported to every event. I felt the cold, the rain, and the pain! The detailed overview of each challenge brought the events to life, from the weather to the landscape, to the mental and physical stresses encountered on the way. The highs and the low’s made for a riveting read.” – SMC
“A really good page turner for those with any level of running experience. Even if you haven’t run before then it is still an entertaining read.” – Sheila Pillar
About Douglas Lawson
Douglas Lawson – Author, thriller writer, military correspondent, type 1 diabetes ambassador, and ultra-marathon runner. After spending his early years in the West Midlands, Douglas joined the British Army as a combat medic, he then went on to serve in a Territorial Commando unit in Devon.
His experiences in the military brought him into the world of ultra-marathon running and endurance events, including Special Forces selection tests. He is now a writer, diet and nutritional advisor, and a keen biochemist.
Find the book:
‘Finding the Limits – Tales of an average ultra runner’ by Douglas Lawson (ISBN: 9798489459976) is self-published and available at Amazon in paperback, RRP £6.50, and in Kindle Unlimited, free to subscribers. Details: www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Limits-Tales-average-runner/dp/B09HG18M2X/
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