Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Forward by Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach is a superstar in the soccer world.  She has 184 goals to her name, two gold medals, a World Cup and a Fifa Player of the Year Award.  She was a standout soccer player in high school. And yet, she really doesn't want to be known as just a soccer player, even though that is what she's totally famous for. After retiring in 2015, she started to work on becoming famous for something other than being an absolutely amazing soccer player.

Forward, her memoir, is one way of documenting her journey - from the beginning as the youngest of seven children, through her relationships and struggles with substances as well as her failed marriage and DUI. The book is a very quick read and I'm not totally impressed with MS. Wambach's literary writing ability.  I found it to be quite amateurish really but I enjoyed learning more about her in the meantime. She has struggled with the low self esteem and the need for outside building up that I think a lot of women need.  I wonder how much the US National Soccer Program knew about her substance abuse issues though.  I'm not sure that they were complicit in it, but a Women's National Team Trainer knew about Abby's issues while she was employed with the program, so I'm hesitant to say that the program didn't know about it.

I enjoyed how honest and open she was about the struggles that she has with addiction - it seems that she has taken a tremendous step in accepting that about herself. Perhaps this book provided one of the mechanisms by which she could face her demons and if that is the case, all the more power to her. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

I don't honestly remember where I heard about this book but it's absolutely one of the most courageous books.  It is unflinching and contemplative in some ways, but with the most recent news of the author coming out (no pun intended), I'm not sure how thoroughly contemplative the author was (although of course, much could have changed since the book was published).  It did, however, motivate me to be a better and more authentic person at the time that I read it.

The author, Glennon, deals with a number of hot button issues: body image, substance abuse, you name it.  How one person could deal with all of the issues at once is beyond me.  However, the overarching theme is love - love of self, love of family, love of others. Glennon ultimately decides to love herself enough to put the work in to make herself a better person and to silence the harsh self critic. I found that she was engaging and insightful during her memoir. I wonder, though, what will happen when her children are old enough to read the book - will they feel uncomfortable with how much she shared?  What about her parents?  Were they on board with this?

Melton recently announced that she and soccer star Abby Wambach are engaged and will be getting married. I am genuinely happy for her and for Abby because both women have gone through many, many struggles. 

Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti

Many know Jessica Valenti as the founder of Feministing , a feminist blog and website.  However, she's also a successful author. This b...