Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Review: Focused by Noelle Pikus Pace

Focused: Keeping Your Life on Track, One Choice at a Time, by Noelle Pikus Pace
2014, 137p, Non-Fiction, Inspirational
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

In her first book, Olympic silver medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace shares ten vital lessons that have been instrumental to her success—in sports and in life. From overcoming devastating injuries to pursuing her dreams despite feelings of inadequacy and loneliness to maintaining her values in the face of extreme pressure, Noelle tells of heartbreak and triumph in a warm, conversational style as she shares insights to help others focus on the right priorities and find the faith to stay strong. With dozens of full-color photographs, motivating observations, and soul-searching reflections, chapters such as "You Always Have a Choice," "Dare to Stand Alone," and "The World Is Watching" offer a unique perspective for readers of all ages as they strive to stay on track the challenges and opportunities of everyday life.

I love Olympians and learning about them because I think what they do is amazing! I cannot comprehend the hours and hours of practice it takes to work to become the best in the world at one particular thing. I just don't have the discipline and attention span to do that but I love to read about those who do.

What I love about this book is that Noelle is so down to earth. She is honest about her life experiences and willing to share what she has learned from both the good and the bad. I loved her chapter titled, "A Well-Balanced Life." She and her husband became so involved in playing softball that they neglected other things and it wasn't pretty when they realized what it cost them. She also talks about setting goals in different areas of life to work on becoming a well-rounded person. 

Throughout the book, she shares her experiences in training for the Olympics, overcoming loneliness, her accident and how she came back from it, retirement and her decision to come out of retirement and try for a medal again. There's so much more, too. Her husband, Janson, is so supportive of her and they make a great team! 

I love the layout of this book. There are great quotes and pictures. It's not too long and it was so easy to read one more chapter. This is a great book for teens since Noelle is a great role model for young women. I love the advice she gave as she contemplated helping her daughter through struggles as she gets older and compared it to what the Savior might say to each of us when we want to give up. I would recommend this to everyone, especially those who are looking for inspiration and motivation!

NOELLE PIKUS PACE became the first American woman to win the Overall World Cup Title in skeleton in 2005. After playing a variety of sports through high school and college, her exceptional strength in skeleton made her favored to win the gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics. An unfortunate accident prevented her from competing, but the following year she came back to win the World Championships by the largest margin in the history of the sport. Noelle competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics and was the top U.S. finisher, placing fourth.

She retired after the Olympics to spend more time with her family. Following a miscarriage in April of 2012, Noelle and her husband, Janson, decided that she would try one last time to earn an Olympic medal, on the condition that the family would all travel together. Competing in 32 national and international competitions over two years, Noelle finished on the podium 29 times and concluded her career by triumphantly winning the silver medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and jumping into the stand to share the moment with her family and the world.

Noelle earned a bachelor’s degree in 2005 and a master of business administration degree in 2007. Noelle and Janson have two children, Lacee and Traycen.


Unknown said...

I cannot wait to read this. I am so glad you enjoyed it. I loved following Noelle during the Olympics. She seems very down to earth, and just and all around nice person.

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