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Anatomy Riot is a book I wrote and published in 2013. Check out the back cover and sample pages to see what it's about!

Back Cover

What happens when your reality comes to an abrupt edge?  What if you determine that your best option is to jump?  What do you focus on when in the middle of the free-fall? 


Twelve years into her career as a professional dancer, aerialist, and yoga teacher, a critical diagnosis forces Emily to make a life-altering decision: should she go through with a surgery that could end her struggle with chronic pain, but could also destroy her life as she knows it?  With her career, her health, and her identity at risk, her future seems precarious at best.  Journal entries, emails, text conversations, and notes from doctors appointments guide the reader through her story.  Captured with unique insight, Emily reveals the powerful connection of our minds and our bodies, the tangle of mental and emotional turmoil associated with giving up that which defines us, and the vital influence of the people that surround us.  Anatomy Riot is a bravely honest and strikingly vulnerable depiction of withstanding adversity with commitment and grace.

A must read for any artist 

"I couldn't put down Anatomy Riot the second I started to read the first page. Maybe it is because Emily's story will resonate with any individual who has pursued a passion that involves giving everything in your body and soul to reach an end that isn't even defined. You almost go through the experience with her as if it were your own pain and triumphs, inserting much of your own life fears and vulnerabilities into what you are reading. I'll come back to this book when I need a reminder to preservere through difficult and uncertain times because this story, though filled with of a year of intense physical and emotional struggle, shows how you can find the light at the end of any narrow seeming tunnel. The book is relatable, genuine, and full of hope for any creative artist." - Rory

Universally relatable

“An engaging story of confrontation with self and identity, vulnerability and strength.  A must-read for anyone who has ever experienced chronic pain or injury – Emily reminds you that you’re not alone and what you feel is real and that the struggle can open up new perspectives. Emily is a dear friend of mine and I have watched her throughout this experience only to be consistently amazed at the heights to which she has spectacularly recovered and grown.  She is truly an inspiration, and it has been an absolute honor to take but a small part in this journey with her as her acupuncturist (read about some of her experience with me in the book!). I am struck by how Emily has been able to translate her personal circumstances in a way that speaks to the broader struggles that so many of my patients face when confronted with pain, injury, surgery and/or recovery: the exasperation of not being able to do what you could before, the depression, the patience required (and frustration experienced) to recover (possibly incompletely) and the sense of identity loss and subsequent reflection and re-finding of self".  - Alexis Goldstein - Acupuncturist

A great read for anyone struggling

“Emily Running is young and tough. Her youth will diminish over time, of course. But in this book she proves she can stay strong and then some, even as she faces down surgery and recovery, and lives to dance again.” Lisa

Beautifully written and inspiring

“After receiving the digital sample edition of this book on FB through a past roommate; I let it sit on my "shelf" for a few months while finishing up the other books I was reading. I finally picked it up this last Sunday and zoomed through the sample and next thing I know- I hit "buy" and bought the full edition. I LOVED it! I couldn't put it down and read it within 5 days, why did I wait so long?! I should also say that I love memoirs and biographies and didn't know that this was sort of a mix of that genre. Ms. Running takes us intimately into her life and mind during this very difficult time of her life. I found myself on the edge of my seat, feeling her pain as she explained the procedures she went through or the months of therapy and recovering. Even more lovely was the raw honesty that she let us see- that couldn't have been easy! I felt myself so connected to her by the ease of how one chapter flowed to the next and through her personal journal entries. At the end, I felt happy for her and hope her all the best which is such a good way to feel at the end of a book. I couldn't imagine going through something this life-changing without experience the roller-coaster of emotions that Ms. Running had to deal with. I will definitely be sharing this with family and friends.” -Sabrina B.

All embodied movers should read this

“I am a dancer recovering from a hip replacement. Although our experiences were not identical the words from her journal were relatable 100%. Dancers/movers read this journey!” -KM

Amazing story! Delightful read

“Anatomy Riot is a quick and easy read that relays both personal adversity and triumph. I loved reading this book because it was very real, down-to-earth, and human. Often times I've read memoirs and autobiographies but their stories are so horrific and full of tragedy that I cannot even begin to empathize with the author. In this book, the author presents a different kind of story, her story, that is incredible in itself. However, there were also many moments of relatable, everyday life truths and growing pains that we can all understand and attest. I would recommend this book to anyone!” -Ray Barbour


Most amazing book for the emotional side of PAO's

“Emily could not have told the emotional side of having been told you have Hip Dysplasia and need to have major/life changing surgery, any better than she did. As someone who has had this surgery on one hip and has the other surgery scheduled, she hit the nail on the head. As she did in her life and I did also, I researched the Hip Dysplasia to the 9th degree when I was diagnosed. Not very many people or the few books that were out there talk about the emotional toll this has on your life. This is a must read for anyone who is dealing with Dysplasia and anyone that is an emotional support for them around them. Thank you Emily for writing your story. It really is amazing.” -Andrea Brawley


An inspirational memoir written by a dancer

“In this indie book, Emily Running shares her personal experience as a dancer and aerialist who discovers that she has hip dysplasia and needs major hip surgery (PAO). She takes the reader through the devastating diagnosis and the aftermath, which was compounded by the fact that all of her income depended on her ability to dance, teach yoga, teach Pilates, and so on. This memoir goes beyond the physical aspects and shares the emotional and social impact of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Anatomy Riot is easy to read and not at all depressing. Emily Running's resilient personality and interesting occupation make this an engaging read.” -Betsy Miller


Very encouraging

“I will have the same surgery Emily did next month. I definitely could relate to her feelings about having such a huge procedure, and found it very comforting that I was not alone. I enjoyed reading about her journey and learned some great tips that I can apply to my own surgery and recovery. I think it is wonderful that she is spreading hip dysplasia awareness and giving hope to those who will have to face this surgery. The fact that she has bounced back and is still performing, without limitations, after surgery is amazing and so inspirational to me! I found the book very encouraging, informative, and helpful. I greatly enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down. It's a great read. Well done! -Laura R.


Awesome book

“Anatomy Riot was an intriguing and inspiring read. An engaging book which illustrates the struggle of healing from struggles in life. I would suggest this book to any person at any point of their life. Very inspirational!” -Amanda Smith


Exaclty how it is!

"Having been through the same operation as Emily, but on both hips, I could completely relate to the feelings that she went through, pre and post-op. This surgery is HUGE and is commonly known in the orthopaedic world as "The mother of all hip surgeries". It is not to be sniffed at. Emily's account of discovering that she had Hip Dysplasia strikes a cord - there are a lot of adults out there who have not been diagnosed, and are told that they need a hip replacement but that they are too young, and that they should wait until they can stand the pain no longer. Hip Dysplasia is very hard to diagnose and most go undiagnosed for months and even years, and when they are finally diagnosed they are faced with the worlds being turned upside down. I thoroughly enjoyed Emily's account of her hip journey - my husband said he had not seen me read a book so avidly for years! A great read and well written." Wibbly Wobbly


Interesting viewpoint

Interesting viewpoint! I enjoyed reading this memoir because Running is a fitness instructor, yogi, and aerial dance artist.. Running realizes at some point that the daily pain she is experiencing is due to hip dysplasia and not the regular wear-and-tear of being a dancer, and decides to get surgery to repair the congenital deformity in her pelvis.

Going from super-fit and able, at the top of her performance, to barely-able-to-walk at all completely resets Running's worldview and starts to depress her. Moving with Running as she experiences rehab and eventual performing again was, well, moving (pardon the pun). I caught myself near tears at some of the parts of her book where she clearly had an epiphany, or was being challenged beyond what you would normally experience as a part of daily life. -Celeste Thayer

Awesome read for PAO warriors!

I read this book while recovering from my first PAO, and it was a treat to read. Emily Running is an inspiration, and I really hope to get back to even half (or hell, a quarter) of what she has been able to do since her PAO. I highly recommend this book!


PAO preparation MUST

If you are about to undergo a PAO, read this book. Emily writes in such a raw, authentic way... In a way that made me (as a former dancer as well) feel so vindicated in my experience and LESS ALONE! Thank you Emily for being so courageous and vulnerable in your sharing. I felt like I was right there with you, and I feel much more prepared now for my sugery in a couple months! Read this book guys. - Susie

I recommend this book

I just finished your book and LOVED it. I am facing PAO surgery (I think I'll be scheduling surgery at my next appt in two weeks). You clearly and eloquently described symptoms and feelings I have been struggling to put into words. I have to admit, the section where you discuss the surgery is a bit scary. I have asked my mother and mother in law to read the book to have a better understanding of the challenges I am facing. Thank you! -Stephanie Nadeau



My daughter read your book and it was really great! She had so many questions and feelings that no one understood. Your book helped! -Sarah Barbarth


I read your book and found it to be very inspiring! - Danielle Lieberum Conley

So Touching, Thank you!

I just want to thank Emily Running for writing Anatomy Riot. It was such a touching book and so well written! Thanks for being inspirational and not fearful of sharing the emotional aspect of major surgery! -Andrea Weinreb Wood

Highly Recommend

I read this in bed right after my RPAO. Can't recommend it enough! - Kelliann Gomez

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