As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

November 24, 2012

SLOW FAT TRIATHLETE by Jayne Williams, 2004

After years of obesity, poor health, and self-doubt, Jayne Williams took part in her first triathlon in 2002 to prove something to herself and became hooked on the rush of the race. Today she is a self-proclaimed "slow fat triathlete," unafraid to overcome humiliation, laugh at her foibles, have fun, and accomplish impressive goals. Slow Fat Triathlete is a book for those who may be overweight, out of shape, undisciplined, or otherwise unprepared to enter a triathlon but are curious to try. Through personal stories, practical ideas and suggestions, and uproarious anecdotes, this book inspires, encourages, and proves that with a little training, almost everybody can have a great time and reap huge rewards from pursuing their tri dreams—and that everyone can become a participant and an athlete. (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Sarah Hofhine, bibliophile and fellow slow, fat triathlete

With the London Olympics a recent memory it’s a great time to get off the couch, dust off the running shoes, and master a new sport.  Or, read a book about an injured, overweight woman who reinvigorated her life by doing that.

Jayne Williams was fat and unhappy.  After years of poor eating and inactivity (partially due to recurrent joint injuries) she decided to change her life.  She started by jogging around the park, and moved up to 5k running events and then triathlons.  In her hilarious book she describes herself as a slow, fat triathlete working her way to becoming a not very slow, not very fat triathlete. 

While books on triathlons are a niche market, this book is funny and poignant enough to interest anyone.  Her descriptions of the acrobatics required to get into and out of a wetsuit are hysterical.  This is one slow, fat triathlete with a wicked sense of humor, and killer motivational skills.

My favorite part of the book is how she manages to inspire by poking good-hearted fun at herself.  As she says “Self-consciousness is the enemy of fun.  It’s the enemy of feeling comfortable.  It’s the enemy of achievement.”  Her message is to live your dreams NOW.  Don’t wait until the kids grow up, or you lose 20 pounds, or the economy improves, etc, etc…just get up and do something that’s scary and exciting right now. 

That’s a message worth listening to.

Market: Nonfiction
Language: I don’t recall any crude or offensive language at all.
Sensuality: None
Violence: None
Mature Themes: None

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