Part locker-room confidential, inspiring manifesto, and personal memoir, the book shows us, through stories of nearly a hundred women, how the confidence women build by participating in sports—whether it’s running or rock climbing, swimming or yoga—can transform our lives in profound ways. Lively, funny, and sometimes heartbreaking, in the candid stories, which fill its pages, these women share how sports helped them overcome life’s obstacles and achieve the happiness and success they’d been running toward.
While reading this book I took the time to reflect upon the fact that I was fortunate to have parents who felt it was important for my sister and I to have an active childhood. From the time we were 3 years old, my sister and I were dancing…by the time we were in elementary school we were each taking more than 5 dance lessons weekly (the last dance studio we attended is still there and thriving!). Between school, dancing, and homework (which was often done at the studio between classes) there was no idle time and more importantly no time to get into any trouble.
We were also swimmers who spent every summer on the swim team at Forest Park Cabana Club. To this day I do NOT get into cold water without a fuss…there were too many COLD early morning workouts that resulted in blue lips and fingers, but my mom was always on the sidelines with a thermos full of hot cocoa.
I guess I had never really stopped to think about the fact that the sports I participated in as a child were as powerful as they were. I learned so much about life from dancing and swimming. I learned that life goes on even when you fall flat on your face during a dance recital and the whole audience gasps! The butterfly stroke was shockingly hard when I first tried it, but through perseverance and LOTS of practice I learned that it could become my best stroke. Because of sports I never developed the all to common fear of public speaking. Sure, I get butterflies when I speak publicly, but years of dance performances and swim meets made me comfortable “performing.”
Sports continue to help me as an adult. As you know, I competed in the Camp Pendleton Mud Run in June (click here to read my post about it). When I stated that the second third of the race Was difficult for me, what I should have said was, “The second third of the race was incredible difficult for me. I felt so ill that I thought I was going to vomit and REALLY wanted to quit.” What kept me from quitting was the fact that I didn’t want to let my team down and I most of all didn’t want to let myself down. I persesevered. In the last third of the race I found my stride again and had a blast At the end of the race I was so proud of myself for not quitting…my prior experiences with races let me know that I would somehow make it through. Sports has so many parallels to life. Sometimes life can throw you curve balls, and experiences like the Mud Run strengthen you and let you know that you WILL get through those curve balls and actually be better for them.
I really recommend Run Like a Girl. It is a quick read filled with inspiration as well as stories about the deep friendships that tend to form through athletics. There are so many activities I have wanted to try and haven’t and this book has motivated me to put myself out there. One of my fellow NEXT by Athena Ambassadors is a Stand-Up Paddle instructor and I now plan on contacting her for a few lessons since it looks like so much fun.
I am excited that I am going to be able to gift one of my readers a copy of Run Like a Girl. To be entered into the giveaway leave a comment below about what sports means to you…
I look forward to reading your comments and will announce the winner on August 3rd.
P.S. I am on day 10 of Tracy Anderson’s Metamorphosis today and doing great! The soreness in my calves went away by day 5 or 6 and I am really enjoying the dance cardio. It has been so long since I danced that I forgot how important it is to dance up on the balls of your feet in order to save your shins…my body now remembers!
For more information about Mina Samuels click here.
To purchase Run Like a Girl click here.