Jog On Book Summary - Jog On Book explained in key points
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Jog On summary

Bella Mackie

How running saved my life

4.2 (144 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Jog On by Bella Mackie is a memoir about one woman's journey of using running as a means of dealing with anxiety and depression. It is an honest and uplifting account of how physical exercise and mental health are interlinked, promoting acceptance and self-care.

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    Jog On
    Summary of 6 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 6

    Bella Mackie struggled with mental health problems for most of her life. 

    Bella Mackie had only been married for eight months when her husband walked out on her. After he left, Bella lay on the floor, utterly heartbroken. She knew she would have to get up eventually and deal with this trauma – just like anyone after a failed relationship. But the problem was, Bella wasn’t like everyone else.

    Even as a young child, Bella was incredibly anxious. Everything frightened her – from surreal pieces of art to certain pieces of music to the noises that cars made. Her stomach and her chest often ached with worry. When she went to school parties, she would get a powerful sense of dread; something would just feel wrong.  

    When she went to high school, Bella developed strange behaviors. Whenever she had a scary thought, she would swallow, blink, or spit on the ground to try and get rid of it. She hurt herself, too. Not only did she pick at her skin until she drew blood, she also pulled her hair out – a condition known as trichotillomania. Even today as an adult, she has scars on her legs from pulling out her hair. 

    She did all of this to try and cope with her intense anxiety. But, unsurprisingly, these coping strategies didn’t work. Instead, things got worse. She started experiencing disassociation – a terrifying symptom of anxiety that makes sufferers feel detached from their surroundings. 

    When Bella experienced disassociation, the world around her looked horribly distorted. Colors seemed garish, and it felt like there was a layer of bubble wrap between her and reality. Sometimes, when the disassociation was really bad, she couldn’t recognize her own face in the mirror. The condition made everything seem staged and fake – as if her friends and family were actors in a play. 

    By the time Bella was a teenager, she was having panic attacks, too. 

    In an attempt to feel safe, she started avoiding places that made her panic. But as the years went by, this meant she couldn’t visit most of the city where she lived, or go to her local stores, or even visit her nearest park. By the time she got married, Bella was avoiding everything – from planes to freeways to elevators to the subway. 

    In the next blink, we’ll take a closer look at the illnesses that were driving Bella’s isolation. 

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    What is Jog On about?

    Jog on (2019) examines the devastating effects of anxiety disorders and reveals how exercise can help to treat them. These blinks also explore author Bella Mackie’s own mental health struggles and chart her journey to recovery. 

    Jog On Review

    Jog On: How Running Saved My Life (2018) is a compelling memoir about Bella Mackie's experience with running and the positive impact it had on her mental health. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Mackie's honest and vulnerable storytelling allows readers to connect with her on a deep level, making the book relatable and inspiring.
    • The book explores the therapeutic benefits of running, highlighting how it can be a powerful tool for managing anxiety and depression.
    • With humor and wit, Mackie takes readers on a journey as she navigates the ups and downs of becoming a runner, making the book an enjoyable and uplifting read.

    Best quote from Jog On

    My feet were in control and I was running purposefully, not running away. 

    —Bella Mackie
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    Who should read Jog On?

    • Anyone struggling with anxiety or depression
    • Psychology buffs looking for fresh insights
    • Fans of inspirational true stories

    About the Author

    Bella Mackie is an author and journalist. Before writing her debut book Jog On, she wrote for the Guardian newspaper, Vogue, and Vice magazine. 

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    Jog On FAQs 

    What is the main message of Jog On?

    Jog On is a powerful exploration of running's transformative effect on mental health and self-discovery.

    How long does it take to read Jog On?

    The reading time for Jog On varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Jog On a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Jog On is a compelling read that offers valuable insights into the intersection of running and mental health. Worth your time.

    Who is the author of Jog On?

    Bella Mackie is the author of Jog On.

    What to read after Jog On?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Jog On, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Joy of Movement by Kelly McGonigal
    • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
    • Spark by John J. Ratey & Eric Hagerman
    • In Praise of Walking by Shane O'Mara
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
    • Go Wild by John J. Ratey & Richard Manning
    • Good for a Girl by Lauren Fleshman
    • Endure by Alex Hutchinson
    • Master Your Core by Bohdanna Zazulak