Thursday, July 28, 2011
Run Like A Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives
By Mina Samuels
Berkeley, Seal Press, 2011
277 pages Non-fiction
Mina Samuels is a triathlete and a practitioner of many other sports, including mountain climbing and cross-country skiing. Her book, Run Like A Girl is an affirmation of the value of sports in the lives of women—in all the aspects of their lives but particularly in their empowerment. She says that in order to run like a girl, we also need to “run like a stereotypical boy—to seize opportunity, to challenge ourselves, to test ourselves, to jump in with both feet, to believe in our ability—all the things that boys have taken for granted for so long, but that have traditionally come harder in our fairer sex.”
Samuels has consulted women athletes about all the aspects of the athletic woman’s life, including endurance, stamina, body image, motherhood, relationships, etc. She quotes their responses and intersperses those interviews with examples from her own life and experience. One attractive feature are short highlighted quotes and statements that focus the reader’s attention on the topic at hand.
An important topic she discusses is body image and she says, “Our sports should be our friends, and like our friends, they are a form of spiritual and physical nourishment, one that empowers us to see our beauty, inside and out, no matter whether we fit some made-up ideal.” The most appropriate chapter for me was the final chapter about being athletic in later life.
This is a timely, well-written book, and I can recommend it to athletes as well as women who are more casual about their activities. I received this book from the publicist.
Mina Samuel’s website: http://www.minasamuels.com