Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sole Sisters Book Review



Sole Sisters, by Jennifer Lin and Susan Warner, is the book that swept me out of my several month long reading hiatus.  I walked into a quaint  used bookstore in Riverside, Downtown Books, while I was running errands and found this treasure. I thought it was so fitting since I'm happy I'm actually running again and recently found a new running buddy, Alma, which in Spanish meals "soul".


Sole Sisters is a collection of short stories about the lives of female runners. Like any good anthology, the stories are as varied as the women themselves. The personal stories of well know athletes such as Sister Marion Irvine (better known as "The Flying Nun"), Joan Nesbit Mabe, Cheryl Treworgy, Grete Waitz, Colleen Canon and the Ndereba Sisters (Catherine and Anatasia Ndereba), are woven among the tales of  lesser known women who run for their health, the camaraderie, to recover from a loss, or for the love of running itself.


What I enjoyed the most, even more than getting inspired to run, was learning about the history of the running world through the eyes of a woman. I gained insight on what it was like for Cheryl Treworgy to run prior to 1972, before Title IX was passed.  Cheryl was banned from running alone at the high school track.Since her school did not have a female track team, the closest she got to the sport was to be the score keeper for the boys' meets. From Colleen Canon's story, I learned how one can go from not knowing the difference between a triathlon and a walkathon, to becoming a professional triathlete, to getting burnt out, and then walking away from that to organize adventure retreats for women through the company she founded, "Women's Quest".

I would have loved for these stories to be told from a first person point of view rather than in the third person, but none the less, the content is rich and diverse enough to keep you reading.You will be inspired to lace up your running shoes and call your best running pal after reading this book.