Don't get all excited, but I don't do that nearly as much as I would like to.
(Unless you count children's fiction. If you put those into the equation, I've read many, many, many books in the last 7 years. Out loud, and usually with someone on each side of me, and on my lap.)
This book was a little different from my usual read.
I was pretty anxious to get a copy of Life Outside The Oval Office, because I had a feeling that it would be juicy.
If you are not familiar with the author, Nick Symmonds, he currently runs for Brooks as an elite track athlete. Nick has established himself as a world-class 800M runner, and has competed at the Olympic level. His race times are mind-boggling.
While living in Eugene, I've had the honor of seeing him run some HOT races on Hayward Field as an athlete for OTCE (Oregon Track Club Elite). He always wears a smile, and is a favorite with the loyal Eugene track fans.
Nick has the reputation of a charmer, and after reading his autobiography, I believe he thinks the same of himself!
I wondered what the biography of a 30 year old might possibly include.
Obviously, there was quite a bit about track and field; but, it was not so centrally hinged on track that you have to be a huge fan of the sport to enjoy the book. (Some background on track would probably help though, and runners would be the target audience).
Without spoiling the book, the parts I read which I will remember for years to come will be those sections regarding :
- the dynamics Nick has had with coaches and parents
- his choices in lovers and roommates
- his entrepreneurial endeavors. This is the man who split from Nike and tweeted a nude photo of himself to announce he was without a sponsor!
At times, I felt uncomfortable or pained for Nick, (knowing what really would happen in the future, but reading from his viewpoint before events took place). More than once I caught myself (cringing) thinking, "Oh no. Don't do that."
Please note: This book will NOT be accessible to my 9 year old until he is 30-- I would not want him to be influenced by Symmonds on some topics, (I may be a stick in the mud, but I am a mom--and that's my prerogative. Sorry Nick!).
Another note: If you are Catholic, you might be offended in the early chapters in the book, but the potentially offensive material is, of course, based on the author's experience and plays a big role in how he views many other things later on in his life.
Life Outside The Oval Office left me wondering what Symmonds will do with his next 30 years.
I hope he has no regrets from writing his autobiography. (After reading, I was struck with the reality I could never write my own and still keep it interesting.)
It will be a special lady- a very special lady - who will end up being Mrs.Nick Symmonds. ☺
*****Here's my rating on key elements (out of ☆☆☆☆☆ )
- Flow (easy to follow) ☆☆☆ (I just got lost and had to re-read a few paragraphs.)
- Entertaining ☆☆☆☆½ (Sex, booze and running drama)
- Editing ☆☆☆ (Mostly for wrong word choices "Toe the line/ Tow the line". It seems someone in editing was in a hurry to meet a PR deadline.)
Life Outside The Oval Office is listed at 25$, but is on sale for about 18$.
You can find Nick Symmonds on Twitter @NickSymmonds and his website nicksymmonds.com.
Have you read anything interesting lately?