When Turtles Fly, by Nikki Stone (Softcover, 2010)|
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Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.
This book has come at the perfect time. In her first book, author and Olympian Nikki Stone offers new hope and inspiration in an age rife with cynicism and despair.
She does that not with hokey political promises, but with real-life examples. Forty real-life examples, plus her own inspiring one.
This book fills a huge need, as we are at a crisis level of "I can't" and excuse-making. If you look at the cultural trends of the past couple of decades, there's a whole lot of whining going on. From "I'm a victim" to "It's somebody else's fault" to "That other person is just lucky," it's all about surrendering to failure.
These 40 people prove that surrender isn't an option, if you don't want it to be. Some of them succeeded through hard work and determination. Others had to overcome adversity so daunting their success was almost impossible. Yet, these people have achieved great things.
Nikki Stone herself overcame incredible adversity to win an Olympic Gold. As an athlete myself, I found her story reaching me at a gut level. I know the meaning of "push on through the pain," but Ms. Stone gives it a whole new meaning.
This book consists of nine chapters, the first of which is the introduction. Each of the next seven address, in this order: passion, focus, commitment, overcoming adversities, confidence, risk, and teamwork/support. In each of those seven chapters, Ms. Stone provides five to seven cases.
Each case is someone's story. The case has these components: photo, biography, Nikki's intro to the story, and the person's story. It then closes with lessons drawn by Ms. Stone from the story, under the subhead "To be successful, you need to...".
My favorite case was, for some reason, that of Nadia Comanici. I still remember watching her compete in the 1976 Olympics when she was 14. While many of the cases were people affiliated in some way with the Olympics, the book featured plenty of non-Olympians.
How did Ms. Stone manage to get 40 people to interview for her? Considering that many had no previous contact with her or the Olympics, that's amazing in itself.
Chapter 9, the conclusion, is very short. It doesn't try to sum up the whole book. It simply ends the book with some personal thoughts of the author and why twenty-five percent of the net proceeds from When Turtles Fly go to the American Cancer Society.
Inspiration, motivation, and courage. If you're short on any of these three, read this book. If you have all three, give this book to someone who could use some encouragement. And then lend your personal support.