5 out of 5 stars
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Ride On! Dame Sarah Storey’s Extraordinary Journey of Triumph: How to Unleash the Power Within, Push Boundaries, and Champion Excellence is a biography celebrating the exceptional achievements of Dame Sarah Storey in the fields of swimming and cycling and her contributions to society and community welfare. The account captures Sarah's experiences growing up in a supportive, lovely family and the impacts these had on shaping her career and breakthroughs; her experiences battling bullying, sickness, and injuries; and her relationship and subsequent marriage to her husband, Barnaby Storey.
I was highly impressed by the amount of effort S.A. Sterling, the author of this biography, has put into researching and writing this inspirational account. The book covers almost every aspect of Sarah's life and, by so doing, does not only tell about Sarah's journey into becoming an exceptional, and indeed, Britain's most decorated Paralympian, but also brings us closer to her family upbringing, humane aspects (concerns for the less privileged), the amazing jobs she did in community service, especially in her capacity as Greater Manchester’s Active Travel Commissioner, and her motivational speeches.
Sarah's life is a practical example of the unlimited possibilities that come from resilience and a positive mindset. She had a "generous" share of life's troubles growing up, and even a "default" one: a deformity in her left arm. So she had every reason to give up or settle for less, but she refused to do so and instead went for the best versions of her dreams and aspirations. In this setting, the impact of upbringing and support systems is paramount. Sarah is undoubtedly a strong, focused woman, but this biography clearly shows how the way she was raised and the support she received from her immediate family, husband, children, friends, fans, teammates, coaches, and sponsors made things a whole lot easier for her.
I appreciated the care put into ensuring that the biography was detailed enough without sounding boring. Every phase of Sarah's journey through the Paralympic Games was adequately covered, beginning from the television show that sparked her interest in Paralympics to her swimming and cycling lessons, the various world tournaments she participated in, and the numerous gold, bronze, and silver medals and honors (including Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire) she received. The book also highlighted the challenges of Paralympic games, especially media coverage and gender inclusiveness.
It's my pleasure to recommend this book to lovers of sports accounts and inspirational stories. Sarah has surely distinguished herself as a swimmer, cyclist, tennis ball player, netball player, racketball player, mother, wife, activist, and community leader (Greater Manchester’s Active Travel Commissioner), and so there are a lot of lessons to learn from her story. This is a well-edited book; I found just three grammatical errors in it. Finally, considering the aforementioned merits and the absence of any complaints, I am delighted to rate Ride On! Dame Sarah Storey’s Extraordinary Journey of Triumph: How to Unleash the Power Within, Push Boundaries, and Champion Excellence five out of five stars.
Ride on! Dame Sarah Storey's Extraordinary Journey of Triumph
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