IRON HEART

I regret reading this book so shortly after reading The Long Run because the plot lines are very similar and I found myself constantly comparing the two, which is not fair. Each book is great and deserves to stand on it’s own.

Shortly after graduating from high school Brian Boyle is in a car accident with a dump truck. He hovers on the precipice of death for months in a chemically induced coma and undergoes multiple surgeries. Basically every organ in his body suffered some type of damage in the accident.

When Brian wakes up he has to relearn how to do everything, and put all of his goals on hold. Through perseverance and family support he goes on to achieve his dreams of being a collegiate swimmer, and an Ironman triathlete.

What I think makes this book special is that Boyle was still a teenager when he was dealing with these overwhelming obstacles.  The maturity and determination showed by this young man to hang on to his dreams despite a setback is incredible. I would recommend this book to anyone.

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The Grace to Race

This is the memoir of Sister Madonna Buder, a Catholic nun, and champion triathlete. She tells the story of how she became both. What I really loved about this book is how she breaks the stereotype of what I think of when I think of a nun. Not only is she involved in these races, she actually competes and has won many age group awards. She is not afraid to get sassy in the heat of competition and I found her feisty attitude  both humorous and personable.

I was surprised that I actually found the beginning of the book, where she talks about making the decision to become a nun more interesting than towards the end where she chronicles her races. Sister Madonna has traveled the world to compete in hundreds of races, and I think that it would have been an easier read if she had not tried to include so many of them.

This is a quick read. I found it very inspiring. If an 80 plus year old can achieve these accomplishments, then there is really no excuse for us young whipper-snappers.