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Out There: A Story of Ultra Recovery

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David Clark went from the rock bottom of bankruptcy, addiction and obesity to becoming an accomplished athlete. In this compelling story of his life, he not only shares his journey with complete honesty, but he also lays out a blueprint for change that anyone can use to to redefine what is possible.-Out There: A Story of Ultra Recovery is the story of a man who never had a David Clark went from the rock bottom of bankruptcy, addiction and obesity to becoming an accomplished athlete. In this compelling story of his life, he not only shares his journey with complete honesty, but he also lays out a blueprint for change that anyone can use to to redefine what is possible.-Out There: A Story of Ultra Recovery is the story of a man who never had a chance to find out who he was. Growing up in the hardest of circumstances, poor, homeless and traveling the country in his father's pickup truck, David Clark was no stranger to the hard knocks of life. Yet, without the benefit of any formal education in his early years, he lifted himself all the way up to owning a chain of 13 retail stores by the time he was 29 years old-only to lose it all to addiction, poor choices, and tough economic breaks.In the aftermath, David started spiraling toward death, spending years eating recklessly, drinking and drugging himself-and growing farther and farther away from everyone around him. One day the thought occurred to him, "If I don't change today, I will die."David went on to completely redefine himself, his values and his very way of looking at life. He lost over 150 pounds and kept it off-not only that, but he went on to compete in some of the toughest endurance events in the world. Today David is a loving father of three and a running coach, sponsored runner, speaker, and gym owner. He dedicates his time to sharing the story of how we can all change everything about ourselves if we want to badly enough. Out There: A Story of Ultra Recovery is the unwashed and unfiltered reality of David's journey. It is brutally and unflinchingly honest-and a testament to the power of redemption and the human spirit.


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David Clark went from the rock bottom of bankruptcy, addiction and obesity to becoming an accomplished athlete. In this compelling story of his life, he not only shares his journey with complete honesty, but he also lays out a blueprint for change that anyone can use to to redefine what is possible.-Out There: A Story of Ultra Recovery is the story of a man who never had a David Clark went from the rock bottom of bankruptcy, addiction and obesity to becoming an accomplished athlete. In this compelling story of his life, he not only shares his journey with complete honesty, but he also lays out a blueprint for change that anyone can use to to redefine what is possible.-Out There: A Story of Ultra Recovery is the story of a man who never had a chance to find out who he was. Growing up in the hardest of circumstances, poor, homeless and traveling the country in his father's pickup truck, David Clark was no stranger to the hard knocks of life. Yet, without the benefit of any formal education in his early years, he lifted himself all the way up to owning a chain of 13 retail stores by the time he was 29 years old-only to lose it all to addiction, poor choices, and tough economic breaks.In the aftermath, David started spiraling toward death, spending years eating recklessly, drinking and drugging himself-and growing farther and farther away from everyone around him. One day the thought occurred to him, "If I don't change today, I will die."David went on to completely redefine himself, his values and his very way of looking at life. He lost over 150 pounds and kept it off-not only that, but he went on to compete in some of the toughest endurance events in the world. Today David is a loving father of three and a running coach, sponsored runner, speaker, and gym owner. He dedicates his time to sharing the story of how we can all change everything about ourselves if we want to badly enough. Out There: A Story of Ultra Recovery is the unwashed and unfiltered reality of David's journey. It is brutally and unflinchingly honest-and a testament to the power of redemption and the human spirit.

30 review for Out There: A Story of Ultra Recovery

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    Unimpressed. I mean his running is great but him as a person. No thanks. His ego is huge and the way he views women seems...out of date.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael Burton

    I thought this book was more of the author's ultra-marathon experiences. Though it did have some of his running experiences, the first half of the book focused primarily on his addiction. David Clark's story is certainly an inspiration, and frankly, I am amazed he is still walking after everything he has been through. I read some of the reviews and some said the book needed an editor. Though I did see the occasional missing word, I found the book to be well written. The reason behind me giving th I thought this book was more of the author's ultra-marathon experiences. Though it did have some of his running experiences, the first half of the book focused primarily on his addiction. David Clark's story is certainly an inspiration, and frankly, I am amazed he is still walking after everything he has been through. I read some of the reviews and some said the book needed an editor. Though I did see the occasional missing word, I found the book to be well written. The reason behind me giving this only three stars is I found the first half of the book describing, in detail, the author's addiction to be verbose. I was struggling to get through this part of the book and feel he could have made it much shorter and still get his message across. ​

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jason B. Lassner

    David Clark's story is pretty incredible but I cannot recommend this memoir whole heartedly. The first half where he chronicles his downward spiral into alcoholism, obesity, and self-destruction is difficult to get through. Like many addicts he is fairly obsessed with the details of his bad behavior and while they are important to know about in order to appreciate his recovery I think it goes on way too long. The second half of the book describes his recovery including back surgery for herniated David Clark's story is pretty incredible but I cannot recommend this memoir whole heartedly. The first half where he chronicles his downward spiral into alcoholism, obesity, and self-destruction is difficult to get through. Like many addicts he is fairly obsessed with the details of his bad behavior and while they are important to know about in order to appreciate his recovery I think it goes on way too long. The second half of the book describes his recovery including back surgery for herniated discs and flirtation with addiction to pain medication. Mr. Clark finds solace and health through endurance running and has become an accomplished ultra-marathoner. While his recovery is obviously admirable and many of us can't ever be inspired too much or too often (since inspiration is hard to find sometimes), the story is compelling. On the other hand it is a tough read and his theorizing about obesity, weight loss, addiction recovery and behavior change is mostly unnecessary. In sum I think Mr. Clark's heart is in the right place and after finishing the book I do appreciate his success. But the book itself is not on my favorite list and I'll be recommending it with caveats attached.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Robbi Holman

    If I had known this book was self published I would not have wasted my Audible credit. However, I think I got a better deal than I would have had I read the print version; reviews of that say there are all kinds of grammatical errors and misspellings, which are easier to ignore during an oral read. The author has a huge ego, talks about being totally honest and open about the things he does, but skims over why his wife divorced him and makes it sound like he never had a back slide into addiction If I had known this book was self published I would not have wasted my Audible credit. However, I think I got a better deal than I would have had I read the print version; reviews of that say there are all kinds of grammatical errors and misspellings, which are easier to ignore during an oral read. The author has a huge ego, talks about being totally honest and open about the things he does, but skims over why his wife divorced him and makes it sound like he never had a back slide into addiction, which is statistically very rare. I give it a solid MEH.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ronald

    This is a story of a man who was addicted to alcohol and drugs. Had the capacity to drink copious amounts of alcohol and still function in the area of his work. This book is the story of this man becoming sober, which running was a big part of his recovery. He then became addicted to running and the pursuit of larger and larger running goals. It is really remarkable what he accomplished. The read really isn't all that good. He spends too many chapters on some of the segments of his life. The boo This is a story of a man who was addicted to alcohol and drugs. Had the capacity to drink copious amounts of alcohol and still function in the area of his work. This book is the story of this man becoming sober, which running was a big part of his recovery. He then became addicted to running and the pursuit of larger and larger running goals. It is really remarkable what he accomplished. The read really isn't all that good. He spends too many chapters on some of the segments of his life. The book probably would have been more enjoyable if it were 100 pages shorter. It would not hard to find which chapters to eliminate.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rich Szabo

    This book tells the life story of a man driven to extremes: his extreme drinking, his recovery and later his journey to extreme distance running. It is a moving and inspiring book in which the author bares all. If you are looking for inspiration, you should read this book. I can't imagine the energy needed to keep up with David Clark. He's a dynamo who wants very much to help others as I am certain he's done by sharing his story. This book tells the life story of a man driven to extremes: his extreme drinking, his recovery and later his journey to extreme distance running. It is a moving and inspiring book in which the author bares all. If you are looking for inspiration, you should read this book. I can't imagine the energy needed to keep up with David Clark. He's a dynamo who wants very much to help others as I am certain he's done by sharing his story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    while the story is incredible, I think it could have been better with some additional editing. Many grammatical and spelling errors were distracting. I found David to be very engaging in his interview on the Rich Roll podcast, but it didn't carry over to the book. I would still recommend it to anyone interested in running and especially recovery. Quick read. while the story is incredible, I think it could have been better with some additional editing. Many grammatical and spelling errors were distracting. I found David to be very engaging in his interview on the Rich Roll podcast, but it didn't carry over to the book. I would still recommend it to anyone interested in running and especially recovery. Quick read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey A. Castillo

    Great way to overcome an addiction sad way to lose a family Enjoyed his story on how he replaced his addiction to alcohol and drugs with running but was saddened in how he lost his wife who was all so patient during his darker years!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Trully a book of pure inspiration... I honestly don't know where to start. My headline is just a sum of the many aspects of what I think of this book and the journey David went through in his life. Of course while I started to begin reading, I told myself that I would probably not finish it. And like he mentioned in this book, we all struggle in life. Hell, my struggles can't even compare to what he has been through. Except the addiction to alcohol. Especially the part when the "real drinking" beg Trully a book of pure inspiration... I honestly don't know where to start. My headline is just a sum of the many aspects of what I think of this book and the journey David went through in his life. Of course while I started to begin reading, I told myself that I would probably not finish it. And like he mentioned in this book, we all struggle in life. Hell, my struggles can't even compare to what he has been through. Except the addiction to alcohol. Especially the part when the "real drinking" begins when he's alone. But what got me about actually finishing this book was how I kept reading on how "he" never quit and kept pushing. Not only to finish his races, but to find "him". His "ultra" motivation, faith, belief, determination and so much more, grabbed me by the hold and got me to finish this "trully inspirational" book. I loved your story and continue to do YOU David!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jerrod

    As an ultra running child of addicts, I found the struggles laid out in this book relatable and periodically entertaining. What I could not get over was the lack of reflection on the author’s part. I could get over the extreme hyperbole (as I understand the addict mentality), but I cannot get over the author’s failure to grasp that he’s never going to gain self fulfillment through external drivers. The ego is a more overwhelming climb than hope’s pass, and it’s obvious that David is far from rea As an ultra running child of addicts, I found the struggles laid out in this book relatable and periodically entertaining. What I could not get over was the lack of reflection on the author’s part. I could get over the extreme hyperbole (as I understand the addict mentality), but I cannot get over the author’s failure to grasp that he’s never going to gain self fulfillment through external drivers. The ego is a more overwhelming climb than hope’s pass, and it’s obvious that David is far from realizing that.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Pike

    Listened to this upon Dave's passing, and finished it today on my run in his memory. Such a tough and beautiful story. One that is raw and very inspiring. I look forward to reading Dave's other novels and am thinking of his family and friends during this time. What a Warrior and Hero. #WeAreDavidClark Listened to this upon Dave's passing, and finished it today on my run in his memory. Such a tough and beautiful story. One that is raw and very inspiring. I look forward to reading Dave's other novels and am thinking of his family and friends during this time. What a Warrior and Hero. #WeAreDavidClark

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tara Butson

    Wow this book is very inspirational. As a recovering alcoholic I found this book very inspiring. The way he went through his story and his struggles from his point of view and then recovery intertwined with his running really touched me as I am training for my fist ultra.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katie Sepulveda

    See inspiring As a runner on their own journey, there were so many things I could relate to in David's story. I recommend this to anyone as a read for inspiration runner or non-runner. See inspiring As a runner on their own journey, there were so many things I could relate to in David's story. I recommend this to anyone as a read for inspiration runner or non-runner.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Great story. Writing could be better & the editing could have been a lot better (misspellings, etc.). But the story was inspiring and one that needs to be told.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Walter

    Good story about addiction and ultramarathoning. The author shared quite a bit about his personal life and how it impacts his family also. Good book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Absolutely amazing book! So inspirational and motivating! I️ highly recommend this for anyone.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    5 stars for the story. This just popped up on my suggested list and I thought I’d give it a go. I could barely put it down. Extraordinary tale.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Kozior

    Rest in Peace David Clark

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cecil

    Overall I enjoyed the book. The only issue I have, as I have had with a couple of similar books, is how much the author goes into immense detail of his addiction. I do get that he had to set up the "where" from whence he came and the "how" he got there, but there is such thing as going to far for too long. I just felt this surpassed the limit. Once it got past this, I thought everything else was nice and free flowing. Not that the lead up wasn't that way; it just seemed to drag on. Don't shy way Overall I enjoyed the book. The only issue I have, as I have had with a couple of similar books, is how much the author goes into immense detail of his addiction. I do get that he had to set up the "where" from whence he came and the "how" he got there, but there is such thing as going to far for too long. I just felt this surpassed the limit. Once it got past this, I thought everything else was nice and free flowing. Not that the lead up wasn't that way; it just seemed to drag on. Don't shy way from reading because of my review, enjoy it for yourself in your own way.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jean-marc

    Highly inspiring story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cyanemi

    The first half of the book was very easy to read. This is when he recounted all of his alcoholism and great salesmanship. ******SPOILERS******* There is nothing more self-centered than an alcoholic and I find them extremely tiresome. In this case he replaced food and alcohol with running. He barely mentioned his wife and kids but when he did it was along the lines of "the most amazing kids on the planet." "the most beautiful capable magnificent mother ever on the planet etc. etc. His best friend The first half of the book was very easy to read. This is when he recounted all of his alcoholism and great salesmanship. ******SPOILERS******* There is nothing more self-centered than an alcoholic and I find them extremely tiresome. In this case he replaced food and alcohol with running. He barely mentioned his wife and kids but when he did it was along the lines of "the most amazing kids on the planet." "the most beautiful capable magnificent mother ever on the planet etc. etc. His best friend was much more than a friend, more than a brother, he was the bestest friend anybody has ever had ever anywhere. This was a continuing theme all through the book. He couldn't even hang at the hospital after his wife had their third baby. He had to keep on schedule with his 10 miler. Selfish. I am happy to report that his wife did leave him and I hope her next or current husband is not an addict. He also cheated on her. I read this book because I am intrigued by people who run ultras but this man is not intriguing. He doesn't know what a bad childhood is and if he thinks he had one he is delusional.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    Couldn't put this one down. I can certainly relate to overcoming addictions and strong-holds through running. Ultra-running is the greatest analogy to life on Earth. Our Creator gifts us with the: resolve, discernment, discipline, drive, perseverance, dedication, motivation, strength, and power to change the course of our life! Praise and glory to God for that! We don't have to stay "stuck". I especially appreciate Clark's dedication to being completely transparent about it all so that he can of Couldn't put this one down. I can certainly relate to overcoming addictions and strong-holds through running. Ultra-running is the greatest analogy to life on Earth. Our Creator gifts us with the: resolve, discernment, discipline, drive, perseverance, dedication, motivation, strength, and power to change the course of our life! Praise and glory to God for that! We don't have to stay "stuck". I especially appreciate Clark's dedication to being completely transparent about it all so that he can offer light, encouragement and hope to others! That's it...embrace the gifts and use our lives and our testimonies to help others. Loved this quote: "You see, I think many people are cynical-not because they don't believe in the good of people, but because it has become increasingly rare for people to share the true essence of themselves. When we catch a glimpse of genuine human struggle-the determination, fearlessness and honesty required to make even a small positive change in the world, we all want to touch it."

  23. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    "Need an inspirational story? Read on!" What made the experience of listening to Out There the most enjoyable? Out there is an autobiography of David who encounters all the bad things--job loss, addiction, and weight issues. He overcomes it all with tenacity and the support of his long-time wife. The best thing about this story is Mr. Clark's raw honesty. What was one of the most memorable moments of Out There? I was moved by the author's relationship with his father. My father recently died, and it "Need an inspirational story? Read on!" What made the experience of listening to Out There the most enjoyable? Out there is an autobiography of David who encounters all the bad things--job loss, addiction, and weight issues. He overcomes it all with tenacity and the support of his long-time wife. The best thing about this story is Mr. Clark's raw honesty. What was one of the most memorable moments of Out There? I was moved by the author's relationship with his father. My father recently died, and it was a little cathartic to hear the wise words taken to heart. I thought Al Kessel did a terrific job of bringing the right cadence to the story. I felt as if I was listening to the author and not someone just reading the story. Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you? The whole thing. I have had similar problems on a smaller level--it made me feel much better to know that there are many out there with challenges. Any additional comments? I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Neil Gaudet

    When I started the book I was almost immediately feeling disconnected from it as I've never dealt with addiction. It seems that a lot of running books (maybe a lot of runners?) orient themselves around people recovering from addiction, and while I empathized I was worried it would be a story of read before (as in the really good Rich Roll book). But as I kept reading I was pleasantly surprised by both the authors honesty and vulnerability. I also related to his business stories and felt in commo When I started the book I was almost immediately feeling disconnected from it as I've never dealt with addiction. It seems that a lot of running books (maybe a lot of runners?) orient themselves around people recovering from addiction, and while I empathized I was worried it would be a story of read before (as in the really good Rich Roll book). But as I kept reading I was pleasantly surprised by both the authors honesty and vulnerability. I also related to his business stories and felt in common some of the internal battles all runners have as we log miles. The book is in need of a good proof reader, as there are many duplicate words and other errors. By the end of it though I was craving for more. I felt like I knew him, was part of his crew.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Sasseman

    The general story-line is great- drug addict turned ultra runner. I just wish he'd spent time with an editor, as there are dozens and dozens of spelling and grammatical errors. A lot of sentences were very poorly-written and hard to get through. I ended up skimming instead of reading a lot of it because of that. It could also easily be shortened by about a hundred pages, likely making it easier to read and less all over the place. An amazing story, just not as amazing a read. The general story-line is great- drug addict turned ultra runner. I just wish he'd spent time with an editor, as there are dozens and dozens of spelling and grammatical errors. A lot of sentences were very poorly-written and hard to get through. I ended up skimming instead of reading a lot of it because of that. It could also easily be shortened by about a hundred pages, likely making it easier to read and less all over the place. An amazing story, just not as amazing a read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This book was a great motivational read, but the spelling and grammatical errors were a little ridiculous. His story of triumph and how he overcame the mental side of long distance running makes you feel like you can do anything!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mikey Sklar

    I loved this book. Me. Clark shares his darkest places in life so clearly and manages to overcome unbelievable challenges. Definitely a good book for ultra runners and people that suffer from addiction. PS I read it in under 24 hours and have my first 100k mountain ultra next month.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I think I expected this to be a different book, with much more about his athletic pursuits. it is much more about detailing his time as an alcoholic, with a much smaller portion of the book on the athletic side.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Awesomeness I have this book at a five star rating because of its excellent writing style and transparent honest in his struggles to achieve his goals. Need inspiration and motivation, then read this book. It helped me, it can do the same for you too.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dan Keyser

    Awesome Words cannot describe the feelings coursing through me as I read David's journey. Inspirational? Motivational? Unfathomable? Thanks for sharing your struggles and victories along your journey. Awesome Words cannot describe the feelings coursing through me as I read David's journey. Inspirational? Motivational? Unfathomable? Thanks for sharing your struggles and victories along your journey.

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