“One Life” by Megan Rapinoe with Emma Brockes – Review

By: Angie Haddock


Megan Rapinoe, Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup champion, has become a galvanizing force for social change; here, she urges all of us to take up the mantle, with actions big and small, to continue the fight for justice and equality.

Goodreads


I’m a soccer fan, and this is the second biography I’ve covered of a US Women’s National team player. Not surprisingly, I loved this book!

Of course, there is talk of soccer. But, I felt like it wasn’t too heavy. I definitely think people who don’t follow soccer, or know soccer terms, could still follow those bits.

Rapinoe tackles a lot of things that aren’t soccer, though – and this is where the book shines. (In current internet lingo – she spills ALL the tea.) She talks about living as an out gay icon in the public eye, and about how that affected her family in a rural/conservative hometown. She talks about her brother’s ongoing issues with drug use and incarceration.

Her political activism started through her connection with the LBGTQ community, as one would expect. But she didn’t stop there.

While kicking so much ass for the U.S. Women’s National Team (winning two World Cups and one Olympic tournament), Rapinoe also became involved with the team’s fight for equal pay and treatment with the men’s team. She does not shy away from the details on this one, and they are compelling. A lot has been written about the pay disparity, but there are other issues these women are fighting for, too. (Examples include not having to play on turf and not having to share rooms while traveling.)

Eventually, she also adds “racial activist” to her long list. She faced some blowback from that, from both her coach and the inevitable social media trolls. But she also acknowledges that she can get away with more, as a petite white woman, than some others – for example, she is still playing her sport, while Colin Kaepernick is not.

Of course this book will appeal to soccer fans, but I think it would also be a great read for anyone interested in social justice issues.

I’ll end with a few of my favorite passages:

“I was appealing to our country as a whole, but I also wanted to make a point about the right of each of us to fully live our own lives. There’s a fallacy in America that acting for the common good means sacrificing the individual. Well, as a person of robust ego, I am here to tell you that life doesn’t work like that. The interests of the individual aren’t at odds with the collective. You can win for the team and still celebrate your own performance.

I believe this especially with regard to women, whose individual needs have long been overlooked in favor of – oh, the irony – the collective good of men. When I yelled, “I deserve this!” I was speaking for women who are told to be selfless, invisible, meek; to accept less money, less respect, fewer opportunities, less investment. Who are told to be grateful, uncomplaining. Who are discouraged from owning their victories or even seeking them out in the first place. You can share, and help, and be part of your community, and you can also stand tall and enjoy your success. No caveat, no apology. Arms out wide, claim your space.”

“Real change lies within all of us. It is in the choices we make every day. It’s in how we talk, who we hire, and what we permit others to say in our presence. It’s in reading more, thinking more, considering a different perspective. At its simplest, it’s in whether we’re willing to spend even five minutes a day thinking about how we can make the world better.”


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

“All Heart: My Hard-Fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World” by Carli Lloyd and Wayne Coffey – Review

BY: Angie Haddock


In the summer of 2015, the U.S. women’s national soccer team won the World Cup behind an epic performance by Carli Lloyd. Carli, a midfielder, scored three goals in the first sixteen minutes–the greatest goal-scoring effort in the history of World Cup finals.

Goodreads

While I am not much of a sports fan in general, the singular sport I do follow is soccer. My favorite soccer to watch, specifically, is the World Cup.

All Heart, by Carli Lloyd

Last year, I was with a few friends at one of those wonderful library book sales. There were racks and racks of books – too many to even look at. But among the hardcovers, I found an autobiography from Carli Lloyd. For those who don’t follow the game, Lloyd was a top scorer on the US Women’s National Team during the 2015 Women’s World Cup. I had not known that she had written an autobiography, but I was excited by this find! It was only a few bucks, and I was supporting the library! Win!

I decided to start my current biography challenge with this one because, despite the absence of most sports for the past few months, soccer is sort of back for the summer. (The current MLS tournament follows the standard World Cup format – more info here.) Only after diving into this one did I find out that Lloyd actually published her story in 2016 – and then released this one, the young reader’s version of the original.

So, needless to say, it was a pretty easy read.

Lloyd details her rise as a soccer player – from playing as a kid in New Jersey, through college teams, the U-21 National Team, and the full Women’s National Team. While the text was pretty straight-forward, I will say that she does not spend any time explaining soccer terms to the reader. If you don’t know the basics of the game, be ready to Google.

The story itself is one of constantly striving for more. Lloyd is a perfectionist, and sometimes that works against her by leading her to overanalyze things and be self-critical. But mostly, she uses it to constantly push forward.

I love quotes, so here are some that I highlighted:

“It is not how you start that matters, it’s how you finish.”

“I know that I am the most free, having the most fun, and playing my best when I am focused completely on my own game, not worrying about what everyone else is doing.”

“You don’t start fixating on the finish line of a marathon when you’re steps into the first mile.”

“Negativity is like quicksand: you hang around it long enough and it will take you all the way down.”

“I don’t want to be satisfied, ever. That may sound grim, but it isn’t at all. It is joyful, because the pursuit of progress is joyful. Playing the game I love is joyful.”

So, that should give you some idea of the vibe of this book – motivational, especially to young people or athletes who like to train hard.

I had only a minor gripe about this one, and it is in two items that seem to be missing from the story. On both the dedication page, and in picture captions, she refers to her husband. We meet him in the book, obviously, but she only tells up to them getting engaged. Maybe it’s the “girl” side of me coming out, but I wanted to know the rest of that story! Did they elope? Girl, details! The other omission is similar, in that the book includes a picture (and caption) about the USWNT’s fight with US Soccer about earning equal wages with the Men’s Team… but it isn’t talked about at all in the text of the book.

Overall, an uplifting and breezy read for a hot, quick soccer season!


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.