Author BJ Farish shatters his barriers one story at a time

BJ Farish, an endurance athlete who participates in marathons and other distance events, self-published his new book, “Shattering You Barriers.”  - Courtesy of BJ Farish
BJ Farish, an endurance athlete who participates in marathons and other distance events, self-published his new book, “Shattering You Barriers.”
— image credit: Courtesy of BJ Farish

Becoming a published author was a long, two-year journey for Maple Valley resident BJ Farish.

Farish worked on his new book, “Shattering Your Barriers” off and on since 2010, a little over eight months ago he decided to get serious about finishing it.

“I just decided that it was something I needed to get done for  me,” Farish said. “I had a collection of ideas I needed to get down on paper somehow.”

In his book, Farish uses personal anecdotes and his experiences as an endurance athlete to encourage readers to challenge themselves and overcome obstacles in their lives. Farish offers insights and tips regarding the importance of having a support system, taking control of one’s circumstances and relationships, changing one’s mindset, the value in differing perspectives, and knowing when and how to ask for help, to name a few.

Two themes that run throughout the stories Farish recounts are the importance of never giving up and continually challenging oneself. For Farish, these were lessons he learned from his parents. His father worked in all kinds of conditions, installing and maintaining fire protection systems and Farish can’t remember his father ever missing a day of work.

As for Farish’s mother, she left college after a year and a half to get married and raise a family,

but never gave up her dream of becoming a nurse. Thirty-three years later she was able to return to school and achieve her dream.

“That’s a rule we have in our house — you can’t quit,” Farish said.

Farish believes that a key part to achieving success is surrounding yourself with a good support system.

Farish recalled preparing for an Iron Man competition and how much the support of his family meant to him while he was training and on the day of the race.

“It was a long day for them as well,” Farish said. “We got to experience it together.”

Another favorite memory for Farish was when he competed in a 50-mile race and his friends supported him through the race, making sure he had food, water, and a new pair of shoes.

The first part of the course was wet and muddy and Farish’s friend offered to meet him on the course with clean shoes and socks after the muddy portion of the course was completed.

“I could have done it with muddy shoes,” Farish said. “But it was a whole lot better with new shoes.”

Farish said the hardest part about writing was, “Realizing at some point I had to declare it done. I had to decide that these words, in this fashion, were good enough.”

Farish hopes his book encourages people to examine what barriers they’ve created for themselves.

“People have self-imposed barriers,” Farish said. “People are a whole lot more capable than they recognize.”

Farish believes that if people can recognize the barriers they allow to hold themselves back, then they can challenge and overcome them.

When Farish started running marathons, his goal was to finish the 26 miles in under four hours. It took 10 tries.

“Now that’s not a barrier,” Farish said. “Last year I ran five and every one was under four hours.”

For more information about Farish’s book visit



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