Monday, July 6, 2015

Title: It's Not About Perfect: Competing for My Country and Fighting for My Life
Author: Shannon Miller
Genre: biography, memoir, inspirational

Shannon Miller was my favorite gymnast when I was a teenager. My family went without cable TV for about 7 years and the only channel we received through the backyard antenna was ABC. Almost every Saturday, ABC would televise a national or international gymnastics competition on ABC's Wide World of Sports. I remember Shannon in the Barcelona 1992 Olympics and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. We eventually moved and lost our one TV channel and then I got busy with life... and found out a few years ago from an online article that Shannon Miller had ovarian cancer! I rediscovered her on Facebook and have a re-faithful follower ever since. I was thrilled when she announced she was releasing a book about her gymnastic accomplishments and fight against cancer. In her biography, Shannon admits that she allowed her busy life as a wife, businesswoman and mother take priority over her personal health. Fortunately, for her she listened to "that nagging voice" that her chronic stomachaches needed to be checked out. Her stomachaches turned out to be a 7 cm tumor! Shannon takes us back to beginning: why she joined gymnastics (she was fearless, had lots of energy, and joined because her big sister did), her work ethic and constant mental fortitude, and her record-breaking gymnastics career. I also learned a few things about her: she tried out for the 2000 Olympics and married young and suffered through a divorce. Shannon took the hard knocks and turned them into something positive: her company that focuses on women's health. 

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