So, my wonderful boyfriend bought me the book, Tackling Life, which has been on my wishlist for quite some time for my big birthday. He's so sweet. And this book came at the right time, because it wasn't a full on biography of his life. It was a book about how he overcame the mental torture of being injured, getting to the big win in Australia, and not doing what you are set out to do in life after everything is done.
This year has been a rough year for me. I have had some personal struggles and loss, including two deaths by March. I have had some serious sickness, but with my Doctor's help, we have figured out the cause of one of them and I may not have to endure that anymore. And last, but certainly not least, my back went out...twice. I've officially canceled my marathon in October and plan to either do one some time between April and June of next year. Oh, I also forgot that I'm having foot surgery in October.
By the time I hit June, I was like a tsnunami of negative drowning me at every turn. And I had "be more positive" as a goal for this year.
I was looking for Wayne from Wayne's World saying, "Yeah Right", but I couldn't find just a clip of that and found this instead. This was just too freaking awesome not to include and besides, it does say it in there.
In Tackling Life, Jonny just doesn't suffer one injury, he actually suffers an injury every time he comes back from rehabbing the last injury. Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so, too. Throughout the book, he basically grows up to realize that sometimes, it's him causing the injury by pushing himself too quickly. Athletes are trained to keep going no matter what. I have weak ankles, because I played basketball through the pain for seven years. This book shows that insight in to an career athlete's mind, why he keeps going, how he learns to stop, and then learns to accept that he can't change his circumstances. My favorite part was reading about how he gets injured during the first or second match of the World Cup in Australia only to come back and win it. I guess it struck me as my favorite part, because he just accepted that he was injured. He didn't whine about it or cry about it or get angry...he just was. I loved it, because I needed the swift kick in the butt to get to that point. I needed to just be. This is what it is and I can't really do anything about the circumstances surrounding me like a dumptruck to a landfill. I just have to roll with it, I guess. Like I said, this book came at the right time.
I loved the insight from Blackie who is his mentor and I guess he's there to put things in to perspective for Jonny. Blackie always sends a fax to him right at that moment when Jonny begins to doubt himself. It was a nice touch. However, sometimes, the insights within the book did not match the category of the chapter. I mean if we have a chapter about injury, I want the insights to be all about injuries. The next chapter was about overcoming them and that's where I want stories and insights that cover that particular journey. In fact, many of the chapters would have half of the information that didn't really align with what was written.
The other thing that I didn't like about the book is that they would jump back and forth through differnt years and games and teams. I do not get all of the games in America. I pretty much get only the World Cup and a few National team qualifying games or tournaments leading up to the World Cup. Sometimes, I was lost as they casually jumped to this game when Jonny was on a team and then to a World Cup qualifying game and then back to another game for another team in a different year and then right on in to 1999 World Cup. They didn't give warning, because they expected that I as a reader would know every single game. Hell, I watch a lot of football and I don't always remember every game. It would have been nice if they stated this game in this year or just kept a flow timeline of the years leading up to the World Cup in Australia. Also, it was confusing how they would start talking about a soccer game (okay, football) interchangeably with the rugby games without somewhat of a warning. For me, again as an American, I don't get all of those games either. I don't know all of the teams. So, it was hard to follow.
Overall, I liked the book a great deal. Even though I knew the outcome of the big tug at your heart/against the odds game moment, I still was on my seat impatiently waiting to see how it turned out. I loved hearing about what he went through to get over his injuries and there were alot of them. I loved to read about his journey on achieving happiness, true happiness and content within himself. And I loved his stories about his brother and him practicing. There were quotes that would start a chapter (and throughout) that really summarized the chapter. It made me realize that I'm not alone in this world in how I feel.
I would definitely recommend this book if you are heading down the toilet bowl of negativity regarding your sports injuries. Just read up on your sports history before you jump in to this book.
Have you read any inspiring books lately?