I'm Here To Win: A World Champion's Advice for Peak Performance by Chris McCormack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Totally awesome book! First time I ever seen Macca was on a Wheaties box. His grinning face was on our breakfast table for over a year. Don't know why they're doing the old Mary Lou Retton, Bruce Jenner and Ali boxes nowadays. I want Macca back!
This book is a great introduction to triathlons by the greatest triathlete on the planet. What I admire about Chris McCormack is his honesty. That's right. He talks about his failures as well as his glories and doesn't sugarcoat his mistakes.
The chapter about his mate Sean Maroney's death and later his mother's short fight with breast cancer was a real tearjerker. But he was able to persevere and dedicate his first Ironman World championship to them.
This book is more than a book about athletes, but a treatise on life experiences. Since I'm writing a novel (Hidden Under Her Heart) with a triathlete as the male main character, I found this book invaluable with diving into the mind of a world class athlete. My character had doubts about his biking ability. His father was an Olympic swimmer and his mother an Olympic sprinter. Yet he was a big man. Although before I read this book, I didn't know 175 lbs is considered heavy. My guy is 6'2" and 179 lbs. His girlfriend encouraged him to attack on the bike and he'd been training with uphill mountain biking and sprints to build is leg power. He'd always been confident about his marathon abilities, so hanging back on the bike had been his biggest obstacle.
All this was written before I came across Chris McCormack's book. Imagine my surprise when Chris outlined the exact strategy for my character to win. Obviously my character made mistakes such as attacking on the uphill close to the summit and losing it when he almost fell on the downhill [I mean, in fiction you have to pull out the bunny rabbit ran across the road moment], but Macca's descriptions of his races helped me with the realism of my race scene.
My editor may still cut it out, but at least I enjoyed writing it, and I am going to cheer for Macca to beat Crowie for the 2012 Ironman World Champion.
At the end of the book, Chris talks about honesty and not cheating. I immediately thought of Lance Armstrong and John Locke. What good is temporary glory when it is bought off the back of underhanded methods? I'm really glad he tackled this taboo topic, because at the end of the day, each person has to look inside themselves and like what they see.
I also love the relationship Chris has with his wife, Emma-Jane. Theirs is an undying love, close friendship and emotional consideration that all romance novels aim to achieve.
Macca said if you're too focused on the results and not on the process you'll burn out. The same can be said for writing. Enjoy and love the journey and savor the destination, but never cheat or take shortcuts.
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My next book, Hidden Under Her Heart, includes a fictional triathlon, the inaugural race of Ironman Lake Tahoe. Anyone interested in reviewing the chapter and making comments, please e-mail me at ayala (dot) rachelle (at) gmail.com Thanks! And Good Luck Chris at Kona!