Things she has never understood about who she is, or could be, slowly but surely become verifiable and indisputable facts as she runs. By better understanding herself, she connects to the universe and mankind, and the eternal question: Why are we here?
A brief and mysterious phone call by her maternal grandmother, Oma, gives the 40-year-old plenty of food for thought as she embarks on her biggest challenge yet, a 62-mile ultramarathon on Canada's West Coast.
Oma, now 94, reveals clues to a secret from the time she fled with her only child, a baby daughter, into the forest to seek shelter from the brutalities in the Second World War in Sudetenland, the part of Czechoslovakia annexed in 1938 by Germany.
Her grandmother immigrated to the Netherlands in the early 1950s as a young widow, escaping Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of a Communist coup d'etat.
Though close to Oma while growing up in the Netherlands before moving overseas as an adult, Nadia reflects during the race on the hardships her grandmother endured and the impact it made on the way she lived.
Realizing she knows far less about her roots than she always thought as the miles—and unexpected challenges that put her at odds with longtime boyfriend Tony—pass under her feet, Nadia also sees that the freedom she feels as she runs parallels the one her grandmother struggled so hard to find.
Thinking about Oma's life helps Nadia gain perspective and courage as she recalls stories and clues of family lore to join them together in a full picture while the race unfolds.
Paperback 204 pages.
Also available for the Kindle and on Apple's iBooks.