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Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives Paperback – 17 Mar 2011

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"Get inspired to meet any fitness challenge with Mina Samuels's new book, " Run Like a Girl, " a chicken soup for the athlete's soul. Its interviews with hundreds of women will fire your desire to reach personal bests in all areas of life."
--"SELF," March, 2011
A well-rounded investigation into the profound impact of sports on women of all ages and walks of life.
Samuels ("The Queen of Cups," 2006) may celebrate the successes of professional female athletes who have thrived in a traditionally male-dominated arena, but her main focus is on the ordinary women who have achieved enlightenment through sports. The author illustrates the theme of sports as a metaphor for life, and is herself a testimony to this concept. Samuels credits her own discovery of distance running at 27 as the catalyst for her transformation from attorney and human-rights defender to writer and sports advocate. She suggests that women who approach life from an athlete's perspective are better equipped to find balance and harmony and are more courageous in the face of challenges than those who do not. She argues that the stamina and endurance built up by athletes is good practice for the resilience needed to persevere when they stumble off the pitch. The book is built on lighthearted accounts of women who become comically engrossed in their sport as well as uplifting tales of women who have overcome life-altering trauma. Samuels' anecdotes may at times seem redundant or excessive in quantity, but they are neatly interwoven with background information on the female athlete's plight from a political, psychological and social standpoint. As such, they serve a purposeful, rather than ornamental, function.
An enthusiastic tribute to women who replace the stigma attached to the term "running like a girl" with a sense of power and honor.
--"Kirkus Reviews" March, 2011
"There are lots of good sports books, but rarely beautifully-written ones." Run Like A Girl" iso

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 29 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Happier Women 10 Mar. 2011
By Louise Farmer Smith - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm not a runner. But there is a steady message in Mina Samuel's Run Like a Girl that I found helped me stay disciplined in my fitness efforts. Her book takes the form of cases of real women she has interviewed, stories of people with serious health problems or weight challenges or depression. Samuels doesn't suggest that running is the only way to get hold of yourself, but she offers so many inspiring examples I couldn't help but feel I was in a growing community of happier women.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Inspiring 2 May 2011
By Michele Weingeist - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In less than two months, I have a 1/2 marathon to run. Rain, sickness and a busy schedule have left me feeling low and wary of this upcoming run. "Run Like a Girl" is the perfect read for me right now. It is inspiring and gets me up and out on those runs. It is nice to hear stories I can relate to and feel inspired by. So glad I bought this book at a crucial time for me.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Put your running shoes on! 29 Mar. 2011
By C. Hesse - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Given the choice between exercise and cocktails after a long day, I've always opted for the latter. As I get older and fitness becomes more important, I've been looking for ways to incorporate exercise into my busy schedule. I even dabbled in a triathlon for the first time last year to give me a kick start to building a routine. Even then, I've been a weekend athlete at best.

Reading Run Like a Girl has lit a fire under my derriere! The book is full of insights and inspiration from the author and from the women she introduces in the book (go girls!). While there's a heroic aspect to all of them, each is just a "girl next door" making this book accessible and enjoyable for anyone. In addition to a few practical tips that I will put to use right away, I have the stories and images of the women in my head to access when I need them to cheer me on if training gets tough...or I can't get myself off the couch! I've already bought a couple of copies for friends who could use a gentle nugde towards fitness.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Must Read for Athletes and Non-Athletes Alike 16 Mar. 2011
By Elisabeth Drabkin - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really can't say enough about this book. As someone who was un-athletic in her youth and dicovered the joy of running and general gym-going in the past few years (late 20s), I feel confident stating that this is a book for everyone - athletes, non-athletes, sort-of-athletes, you get the picture. I was worried that like many books in this genre, it would be a poorly-written, juvenile, kind of cheesy read. My fears were so unfounded - the writing and the message are both well-developed, nuanced, and leave the reader wanting more.

I can't really do justice to this book through a review, but I think the fact that I'm considering buying about a dozen copies to give as gifts to some amazing (both athletic and non-athletic) women in my life says it all. The strength and confidence that I've found through reading this book has really caught me by surprise, especially since I didn't know I was missing any of that strength or confidence.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Good food for thought 1 July 2011
By JWS - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought 3 copies of this book after seeing the author on the Today Show. I bought one for me, one for my daughter and one for my neice - to share with her mother, my sister. I've really enjoyed the principles laid out and think they apply for lots of parts of life, not just athletics. Balance is always a struggle and the author does a good job of presenting this idea in all activities. I think it will be especially useful to my 27 year old daughter. One caution: after reading the book I am hesitant to send it to my socially and politically very conservative neice and her mom. My sister is easily offended by views and language that are more liberal in nature than she is. I would take this into consideration if you are buying the book for a gift.
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