PLYMOUTH — They couldn’t help but have a good laugh — these women who read and run — as they sat around a table at the Plymouth Public Library and discussed a character named Janey Sweet, protagonist of “The Fitness Junkie.”
Determined to lose 30 pounds because her BFF and business partner ordered her to, Sweet enters a world where women swallow clay to fill their stomachs, fork over mucho dinero to have personal trainers humiliate them, and believe coffee somehow becomes better if the coffee beans have passed through the intestines of a tropical bird.
Yup. Bird-poop coffee.
“This would be a really hysterical movie,” Stacy Mullen, of Jenkins Township, told the group. “It might be a better movie than a book.”
“They told us (the main character) had to lose 30 pounds, but they never said how much she weighed in the beginning,” Kelly Bullock, of Nanticoke, pointed out.
“I’m not a ‘revenge’ type of person,” said Jaime Capece, of Mocanaqua, “but I think Beau (the friend who told Sweet to lose weight) got off too easy at the end.”
Members of the newly formed book club, who held their first monthly meeting last week at the Plymouth Public Library, already knew each other as Lady Striders. That subsidiary of the Wyoming Valley Striders runners organization gets together for thrice-weekly morning or evening runs along the Wyoming Valley Levee System to prepare for 5K or 10K races.
What kind of fitness level do you need before you start?
“Zero!” Karen Moskel, of Kingston, said with a smile.
Fellow runner Suzanne Youngblood, who is the director of the Plymouth Public Library, noticed during the training runs that a lot of the women mentioned they enjoy reading. She suggested they form a book club that would meet at the library for discussions.
“I’m glad they bought into this,” Youngblood said. “It’s good to have face-to-face interaction. I think today we’re too much on our phones.”
“We’re runners who read; readers who run,” she added.
As a group, the club is interested in fitness, but not to the extremes described in “The Fitness Junkie,” which was written by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza.
“What we as a group agree with is here on page 240,” Youngblood said, turning to a passage in the book that addressed the value of accepting yourself. “Stop comparing,” she read aloud. “Acknowlege other people’s greatness and you will be more powerful and centered. Others will notice and embrace your confidence. There’s nothing sexier than someone who is content with herself and trying every single day to be better and improve on her own terms.”
The next book the club intends to read is “Keep Her Safe,” a psychological thriller by Sophie Hannah.
Anyone interested in running with the Lady Striders should call Moskel at 570-406-4029. Anyone interested in joining the book club should call Youngblood at 570-779-4775. The next meeting is planned for 6 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Plymouth Public Library.
If you’re pressed for time, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
“How many of us finished reading this today?” Anna Atcavage, of Gouldsboro, asked the group as she held up a copy of “The Fitness Junkie.”
At least half of the women raised their hands.
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT