January 16, 2013

Book Review: "Triathlon for the Every Woman"

One of my favorite bloggers, Meredith Atwood (otherwise known as Swim Bike Mom) recently published her first book. It's called "Triathlon for the Every Woman.  You Can Be A Triathlete. Yes. You". I was excited to read it, but even more thrilled to be offered the opportunity to read AND review it. 

I've been following Meredith's blog for almost a year now. I think I found her by chance when I was trying to find other bloggers writing about their first half-Ironman experiences. I had just signed up for my first half-Ironman, Super Frog, and was very anxious. Reading about others' experiences helped to ease my fears.  I came across the Swim Bike Mom blog and have been a loyal reader ever since.  Meredith writes frankly about her own struggles, including her weight issues, fears about triathlon, and family conflicts.  I always appreciate her style of writing, which combines humor with her candor.

The book is part instructional, part auto-biographical.  After reading it, I now understand why Meredith often writes that triathlon saved her life. I always thought that was a bit dramatic, but after reading I can see that, indeed, triathlon DID save her life.  She got into triathlon in 2010, after looking into the mirror and seeing a Fat Stranger.  She made the decision (or as she writes, The Decision) in August 2010 to become a triathlete, despite the fact that she was overweight, had two babies, was working full time, and hadn't done anything athletic in years.  The Decision literally changed her life---helped her lose weight, become healthier, and created a new identity that she was passionate about.  To date, she has completed several triathlons including two half-Ironman and is currently training for her first full-Ironman this year.

I related to much of this. Meredith and I got into triathlon at the exact same time. I made my decision in July 2010, although I had been running for quite a while before.  I didn't look in the mirror and see a Fat Stranger...but I saw a Stranger nonetheless. I wasn't working outside the home, and my whole life was revolving around my two kids, including one with special medical needs. I needed my own niche. I needed something for me, and triathlon filled that need.  I totally get where Meredith is coming from.

I wish I had had this book when I was first starting out. She covers everything a triathlete needs to know, and has experts weighing in to talk about each subject.  She explains how to make triathlon affordable, how to fit training into an already busy schedule, and what to look for in a gym. She reviews what  gear is necessary, how to set up the transition area, and how to get mentally strong.  Although this books is geared toward beginner triathletes, I learned a lot from it. One of my biggest take-aways were tips on riding the bike, especially hills, which have always been my nemesis.  After reading the book, I have been tackling hills in a different way, which has made them more bearable.

I loved this book so much that I ordered it on Amazon to be sent to a friend who is training for her first sprint triathlon this year.  I know it will instruct and inspire her---just as it instructed and inspired me. I highly recommend this book to any triathlete, beginner or expert, as there is truly something for everyone within its pages. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you my dear friend!! I hope to accomplish something great this Spring/Summer!! Thank you for your support and love!!


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