Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Swinging for the Fences - A Book Review

I don’t often (and I am not sure if I have ever) review non-running or exercise books here on my website, mostly because I read tons of books and have drawn the line in the sand as to only include those on exercise here.  However, I am making an exception today.

Swinging for the Fences: Choosing to Live an Extraordinary Life by Alex Montoya is that exception.  Ironically, even though I now Alex is a runner (I met him at the Rock n roll San Diego expo) and the book has a sports metaphor title, the book has very little to do with sports.  Sure, as a Notre Dame graduate (which I am still trying to figure out if I will forgive Alex for) he speaks about a meeting he had with Liu Holtz back in his college days.  But other than a few playground stories this is a book that deals with overcoming adversity and, well, swinging for the fences.

Overcoming adversity stories are a dime a dozen.  Why should you read this one? Well, because Alex is funny, writes very well and if you cannot be inspired by him, then you simply cannot be inspired.  Now, I have buried the lead here a bit but I think Alex would like that.  Most people would start off a story about Alex with my next sentence because that is the first most noticeable thing you can see about him. 
Alex was born with only one leg and no arms. 

When his parents realized that his native Colombia would not offer him the best opportunity and care possible they sacrificed much to get him to the US.  The rest is history.

I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am that Alex has come into my life.  We are trying to find a way to get him to my Drake well Pikermi to race but it appears his uber-busy schedule might make that impossible. Nevertheless, he is a huge inspiration.  Moreover, he writes a very good tale.  This is a book which should absolutely be dog-eared in your own collection from multiple readings.  Do yourself a favor and get a copy soon.

Thanks for being you, Alex.

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