Monday, October 6, 2014
Book Review: Focused
Today's book review is Focused by Noelle Pikus Pace. I remember watching her at the Olympics and was so excited to hear she had a book coming out. She just seemed like such a great competitor and a nice person to boot.
This book is listed as inspirational, and it is that, but the thing that stood out to me was how down to earth Ms. Pace seems---like the girl next door. It's a quick read and full of Noelle's experiences as she trained for the Olympics which totally kept me turning pages. I knew there was a lot of hard work that went into it, but I hadn't realized how much time away from friends and family it requires. She's gotten to travel a lot and meet a lot of great people, but it sure wasn't easy all the time.
Noelle shares how she was asked to do a photo shoot with some other athletes and how she had to take a stand when they asked her to wear a dress that went against her modesty standards. She talks about how lonely she was one season and how badly she wanted to fit in and didn't, which led to her wanting to quit. She kept going and changed her thinking, which ended up making a huge difference in her personal and professional life. There were so many great stories, all the way from the bobsled accident that led to her not being able to compete when she was sure to win a medal, down to personal things like her miscarriage that made her reevaluate her goals.
I loved how easy this book was to read. It was like a little glimpse into Ms. Pace's life and how she handled things, both badly and well, and what lessons she learned from those experiences. There were awesome little quotes in each chapter that I wish I could have ripped out and put on my fridge (or at least pinned on Pinterest). I enjoyed getting to know more about Ms. Pace's history and backstory (although I really wanted to know how she met her husband. They sound like such a great couple.)
As women, I think we are particularly hard on ourselves in some areas, (like body image and social acceptance) and this book addresses those topics in real and motivational ways. (Not preachy, thank goodness!) So, if you're looking for a great afternoon read that will leave you with a smile on your face and maybe motivated to change a few things about yourself, this is the book for you. I highly recommend it! And if you're interested in downloading it you can click here
Here's the back copy:
In her first book, Olympic silver medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace shares ten vital lessons that have been instrumental to her success—in sports and in life. From overcoming devastating injuries to pursuing her dreams despite feelings of inadequacy and loneliness to maintaining her values in the face of extreme pressure, Noelle tells of heartbreak and triumph in a warm, conversational style as she shares insights to help others focus on the right priorities and find the faith to stay strong. With dozens of full-color photographs, motivating observations, and soul-searching reflections, chapters such as "You Always Have a Choice," "Dare to Stand Alone," and "The World Is Watching" offer a unique perspective for readers of all ages as they strive to stay on track the challenges and opportunities of everyday life.