Popular Posts

Memoir Monday: Fast Girl by Suzy Favor Hamilton

Fast Girl by Suzy Favor Hamilton

This week's memoir is Fast Girl by Suzy Favor Hamilton. Those familiar with USTF will remember Suzy Hamilton as one of America's middle distance track athletes and participant in multiple Olympic games. What many may not know is that following her retirement from running, Suzy became the second most sought after female escort in Las Vegas. To me, this was mind boggling - I mean, how does an Olympic athlete go from living a very public life as a professional athlete to working as a high end call girl in Las Vegas? And why?!

In her memoir, Suzy Favor Hamilton, tells her story from the beginning. As a child she was a constant people pleaser and high achiever. Living with a brother diagnosed with bipolar disorder, her family was in a state of chaos that felt incredibly out of control. As with most young people who seek control of their lives, Suzy channeled her energy into rigorous training as a runner - and in pursuit of being the best and fastest, developed an eating disorder. She chronicles her time spent training and offers insight to her mental state during her youth and college years as her career began to progress. From the beginning, the reader gets a sense that Suzy was a little more "intense" than the average American teenager. Maybe this is the type of attitude it takes to become highly successful, but one thing is clear throughout the memoir and that is the unhappiness that plagued the author throughout her life. I never got the sense that success made her particularly happy and she couldn't seem to figure out a way to be happy.

The beginning of the book was interesting enough for me, as a runner myself, I could appreciate the training and work she put into her sport. The nerves and pressure to perform well are relatable and I feel that high achievers could at least identify with this part of her story if nothing else. The completely un-relatable piece is the time she spent as a high end call girl in Vegas. Leaving her husband and young daughter for weekend trips to Las Vegas where she would spend time with five or more clients in a weekend was just mind boggling to me. I wanted to know why she did this. And how could her husband be okay with these trips? Undiagnosed bipolar disorder and improper medication (due to misdiagnosis) were the causes of such behavior - which the author didn't find out about until after her time in Vegas. I had some questions about this which I felt were never really answered and wished that the author had spent more time talking about her diagnosis with bipolar disorder, how the disease affects people and in general bring more awareness to the subject instead of detailing the length of her extensions, the number of men she slept with or the things they would buy for her.

Overall I felt that this memoir was a B minus effort. The writing was forced and felt dictated at times. I was really hoping for more insight and discussion of her diagnosis, but this book is more about the story and events leading up to that time. For anyone interested in picking this up - it's kind of like a train wreck, not good but impossible to look away.

Have you read this? What were your thoughts? Did you have more questions than answers?
I'd love to hear your take on this book!


No comments