Top positive review
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Stands on Its Own
on December 25, 2008
First, if you've read Michael's autobiography he published shortly after Athens Olympics, this isn't book's sequel. It doesn't claim to be, but you may think it is if you look through chapters' headings, as they're based on all events Michael swam in Beijing (autobiography as it is published now stops pretty much shortly after Athens). What that means is that some of the stories are repeated, but if you keep that in mind and ignore it, you'll enjoy all the new stories he shares.
As a former college swimmer and now a masters swimmer I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. It's well written, and gives you an idea of what it takes to get to the level that Michael is at. He's obviously gifted with a body well suited for swimming, but it was 99% hard work and effort that got him to the top where no other swimmer have been before. He tells you how he got there while also sharing other stories about his life outside of the pool.
This book also provides a chance for Michael to tell you more about Beijing experience. He was too busy during the Olympics to sit down and give a lengthy interview, and in a way, this is what this book is all about. For example, 12,000 calories a day diet that everyone talked about is actually a myth.
What always impressed me about Phelps was his focus and determination on staying on top of his goals. I have no idea how he was able to remain focused and execute to perfection every single stroke and turn in 17 races he participated in Beijing. In this book he shares how you can overcome distractions and remain motivated to reach your goals.
Finally, if you're into setting any kinds of goals in life, this book is a must read.