“OUT THERE: A STORY OF ULTRA RECOVERY”
BY AUTHOR DAVID CLARK • REVIEW BY MARLA SANTOS
I might die today,” he thought.
“I could smell the alcohol, fast food, and drugs escaping my 320 pounds of bloated body; it was escaping through my pores. From my stomach came a horrible stream of bile and blood mixed into a bright yellow and red ray of death that burned my throat on its way up and out.”
He relied on Vicodin, Percocet, or codeine—chased with Johnny Walker, just to get through the day. The weekends of doing cocaine, drinking, smoking, and a friend’s bag of crank had caught up with him. One long weekend, after taking LSD and thinking he was like Jim Morrison wandering in the desert and writing music in his altered state of mind, he started hearing voices and seeing creatures, then spent days trying to get off the crazy train and let his body recuperate to some degree. He describes driving home drunk one night. He drove over a couple of speed bumps too fast and threw-up all over his dashboard and the inside of his car. The next morning, he drove to work with a head-pounding hangover and all the puke still covering everything. Just how far down to the bottom can a human being go before destroying their life and dying?
Author David Clark explains it best in his best-selling book, “OUT THERE: A Story of Ultra Recovery”:
“My name is David Clark and I was at death’s door myself not too long ago. I was 320 pounds, addicted to fast food, narcotics and alcohol. I had a heart condition, high cholesterol, two herniated discs in my back, and I was a hair away from full-on diabetes and high blood pressure so dangerously high that my doctor said: “You may have a stroke within an hour,” at 33 years of age. Every single morning I’d say, ‘I quit,’—only one day, I meant it. I drew a line in the sand. I decided I was no longer going to accept death. I changed my life entirely by surrendering and committing to learning a whole new way to live.”
Today Clark is an accomplished endurance athlete, sponsored runner and running coach, an inspirational speaker, gym owner and best-selling author. He decided to address his addictions straight on, and used running to change his life for the better. “I just had this real firm picture of my kids, basically at my funeral, and trying to figure out how and why their father died,” said Clark.
“OUT THERE: A Story of Ultra Recovery” is the unfiltered reality of David’s journey. It is not only raw and brutally honest about his days of addiction; it is an inspiring and powerful testimony to the courage and possibilities when someone decides to take charge of their destiny. His story tells of his choices, his willpower, and the strength of his human spirit to change his life. When Clark finally hit rock bottom, he decided to get on a treadmill and ran for 15 seconds. That’s all he could accomplish! Little by little, the running time increased, his diet changed, 150 pounds of weight came off, and he became an “Ultra Runner!”
The foreword to Clark’s book was written by well-known ultra-marathon runner, Marshall Ulrich, who I had interviewed in 2012, discovering about the incredible depths that Ulrich had undergone in my STRIPLV Feature/Interview: “Surviving Death Valley—The Hottest Place On Earth”, after Ulrich had navigated Death Valley. Ulrich set a record for his more than 3,000-mile run from San Francisco to New York City, and is the author of “Running on Empty”, a memoir of his run. After meeting David Clark and reading his story, Ulrich starts off the first paragraph of the foreword:
“Speeding towards death, red-lining the engine at full throttle, few people look in the rear view mirror, see the path of destruction they’ve left behind, slam on the brakes, come to an abrupt stop, and have the strength to head in a new direction. Or do we all have that strength, somewhere deep, down inside?”
The Boston Marathon is 26.2 miles. It’s a challenge to qualify and very difficult to run. David Clark not only ran the marathon, he ran it 4 times in 24 hours. After running the 104.8 miles in 24 hours and 17 minutes, Clark explained: “I decided to run one marathon for those who are still struggling with addiction; one for those like myself (who have made it out); one for the families affected by addiction; and the final one was run in honor and in memory of a local Boston girl who passed away of a drug overdose, Sophie Kelly. I ran the last few miles of the last marathon with Kelly’s mom.”
Clark explains that he also ran the Quad Marathon to raise awareness for The Superman Project that he launched in 2011 to inspire people who suffer from addictions, whether it’s obesity, drugs, alcohol, or any trauma—to reinvent themselves as athletes. “I want to help people do something they think is impossible—to break out and capture a new life,” says Clark.
The Superman Project supports anyone who is trying to make a positive change in his or her life. We offer support, coaching, counseling and inspiration for those looking to break out and capture a new life through endurance sports. We want you to do something you think is impossible, like running a 5k race, climbing a mountain, or do a marathon.
The Superman Project asks those who need help:
“Are you ready to walk away from your old life? Is the pain of staying where you are now more powerful than the perceived pain of moving forward? If so, you are ready. It doesn’t matter if you can’t see the way out yet. It doesn’t matter if you have a thousand questions and fears. If you are truly ready to walk away from all your preconceived notions of how life is to be lived, then you are ready to begin your journey out of insanity and into a peaceful life that you can design on your own terms.”
“Be aware—we are going to tell you the truth—whether you want to hear it or not. We are going to suggest you do some crazy things. And we are not going to let you be a victim anymore. But we will never judge you. We will never minimize or marginalize anything that you have been through. And we will show you how we found a magical and powerful life without the weight and fear of the past.”
“Recovery does not exist for those who need it—it is there for those willing to go get it. We go take from life what we want. We do so with compassion, gratitude and love, but we take action today.”
“OUT THERE: A Story of Ultra Recovery” by David Clark
Available at Amazon.com • TheSupermanProject.org