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Strong: A Runner’s Guide to Boosting Confidence and Becoming the Best Version of You
By Kara Goucher
Blue Star Press, $20, bluestarpress.com
Read it: For an enlightening look into the mind and insecurities of one of America’s favorite runners, who has fought through her own self-doubt using a confidence journal and the help of a sport psychologist. Part book, part journal, Strong provides the tools and inspiration to achieve your own goals, whether in running or in life.
Snapshot: “Beginning to build confidence is really about asking yourself the right questions. ‘What did I fight through today that I didn’t think I could?’ Or, ‘What did I feel great about today? Did this surprise me?’ Or perhaps, ‘What was the best part of today? What was the worst part, and how did I get through it?’ Over time, you’ll start to see that you’re so much stronger than you think you are.”
Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story
By Wyomia Tyus and Elizabeth Terzakis
Edge of Sports, $16, akashicbooks.com
Read it: For an important memoir of Wyomia Tyus, the first athlete to successfully defend an Olympic 100-meter title, winning in 1964 and 1968. From a tenant dairy farmer to a Tennessee State Tigerbelle to an Olympic champion, she reveals the struggles she faced to get to the top as well as the challenge to gain recognition as a black female athlete.
Snapshot: “Black women and black girls in general got no encouragement from the community, let alone the wider society. I was lucky; I was a person who had opportunities. …I was always encouraged by my family. My family wanted more—not just for me, but for all of us. When I was a young girl, my parents made me feel that whatever I wanted to do, I should be able to do.”
Summits of My Life: Daring Adventures on the World’s Greatest Peaks
By Kilian Jornet
VeloPress, $25, velopress.com
Read it: For a mind-blowing look at the latest project of the world’s fastest mountain climber, ultrarunner and ski mountaineer. This book documents—through stories, maps and photos—Jornet’s successful attempts to break the fastest known times (FKTs) on the world’s most important mountains (think: Mount Everest, Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn).
Snapshot: “I began to feel depressed. It might seem silly: I’d been at the top of the competitive world for years, but I knew that even at such a high level, what I was truly capable of went beyond what was being asked of me in competition, so much so that I felt I was missing out on opportunities to really discover myself, to do new things that would allow me to open myself up to experiences in a new way.”