Okay, I know that Shelf items are supposed to be unbiased but I cannot resist in saying that Fierce: How Competing For Myself Changed Everything by Aly Raisman is a fantastic read for all aspiring and current female sport professionals. Netflix just released (on June 24), a documentary Athlete A, taking a deep look at the gymnasts who survived USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s abuse and the reporters who exposed the USA Gymnastics’ organizational culture. So it’s important that I recognize what I think is one of the most inspiring books for women in sport to read. American gymnast Aly Raisman is a two-time Olympian and six-time Olympic medalist, and one of those survivors. Although Aly Raisman is no longer competing, she has many important messages to share in her book Fierce: How Competing For Myself Changed Everything. Recently, Aly Raisman has become a spokesperson for the #MeToo movement based on her experiences with former team doctor for USA Gymnastics, Larry Nassar. In Fierce, Aly Raisman opens up about her experiences, highlighting the importance of talking about sexual assault. Fierce is not only Aly Raisman’s memoir but also a voice for those involved in similar traumatic
Being an Olympian is an athlete’s dream, but it is a difficult journey. Aly Raisman faced big challenges beyond the competition surface. Fierce: How Competing For Myself Changed Everything depicts Aly’s career and the struggles and triumphs that lead her to her Olympic career. Aly discusses her journey through her gymnastics career, but she also discusses body image, social life and mental health struggles as a gymnast.
In Fierce: How Competing For Myself Changed Everything, Aly speaks openly about hurdles she had to overcome throughout her career. The pressure to perform is incredible and would take a toll on anyone, including Aly. To add to this pressure is the difficulty in stepping forward as a victim of sexual abuse – at the hands of USA Gymnastics. Aly exhibits her resilience for when she is knocked down through her career and personal life, she comes back stronger. Aly encourages the underdog mentality and exuberates confidence in all she does.
Aly Raisman may be an Olympic medalist, but her story is relevant to females worldwide. In Fierce: How Competing For Myself Changed Everything, Aly Raisman speaks to body positivity, mental health struggles, and sexual abuse – all factors that contribute to the self-image. Aly’s discussions surrounding these topics allow for others to relate and potentially open up about their struggles.
It is with the hope that Aly Raisman and her story, Fierce: How Competing For Myself Changed Everything., will initiate change and hold those accountable that fail to protect young athletes.
Aly Raisman has always been an athlete I admire. She is both fearless in her sport and in reality. Her courage to speak up and further the #MeToo movement has brought light to issues that continue to happen not only in gymnastics but also in the world of sport. Aly beat the odds that were stacked against her and is continuing to inspire young girls by sharing her journey. If books could be put on an Olympic podium, Fierce would get a gold medal.