rusch to glory

The ad copy for the book, Rusch To Glory, an autobiography of the world class bike racer and endurance athlete, Rebecca Rusch, says it is “Inspiration and motivation in 256 pages”.   Indeed. It is a very transparent look at a unique and special individual; what makes her tick, her fears, her victories, her disappointments.

I got to know Rebecca Rusch a few years ago when we met at a media event.  Then I only knew her from her reputation as a tough, hard racing endurance athlete (she is known as The Queen of Pain) but I found her to be very real and down to earth; quite approachable and humble.  Tough as nails.  Nice as the girl next door.  Interesting mix.  So when I received my copy of her new book, Rusch To Glory, I read it nearly non-stop while hanging in a hotel as my house was being worked on.  In those 256 pages I was drawn into the life of a very remarkable person who fought her own limitations and rose above them; faced self doubt time and time again and pushed through.  She is, in a way, and in her own honest appraisal, a very unlikely athlete to whom little came easy.  She was an poor runner.  She had a fear of water yet floated the Colorado River with a group of women on what really were glorified Boogie Boards.  Who would have expected to read that, in the beginning, she hated riding mountain bikes?  Big wall routes and world class climbing too, but with no love of heights.  In each case, she got better because she simply would not quit.  Even when she was not the smoothest or the most talented, she seemed to be able to out-suffer her competition…quitting seems to not be wired into her DNA.

I cannot hope to completely understand what drives a person to do such difficult things, time and time again.  It hurts.  A lot.  Reading about the early days of Adventure Racing (where she made her real mark as a world recognized athlete) makes me feel like my paltry attempts at pushing my limits are barely worth mentioning in the same room as she is in, but in reading her story, seeing how she dealt with her weaknesses and found her strengths, strengths she developed to crush her opponents in many a race venue…well I may not ever crush anyone but I can face my limitations and push through them, maybe rising to a level I did not believe I could ever achieve.  Rebecca did it.  Why not I?  I will never be as fast as Rebecca.  Ever.  But I can be better than I am now.

Reading Rusch To Glory should be on the to-do list of every aspiring endurance athlete.  You can get your copy here.

rusch to glory

 Note: Rebecca gave me my cherished, hand signed copy of her book  for my reading pleasure at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches but it would have been worth every penny to buy it. We are not being paid nor bribed for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.  Buy it.  Read it.  Do hard things.