Sunday, August 12, 2012

Redemption Book Review

Bryan Clay's story is amazing. He candidly explains his rough childhood, his internal frustrating anger as a young child into his young adulthood and holds nothing back when talking about his personal feelings about how he viewed God and prayer. He explained how his mom would pray about everything and God always seemed to answer her prayers, but he just saw it as coincidence. As he saw his Olympic dreams start to become plausible, his amazing faith transformation began. He is so upfront about his issues, doubts and fears that this book speaks to a large audience! Being a teacher, I often see kids like Bryan who we simply label as "troubled" and don't really take the time to try and nurture them. It also speaks to kids who think that they were just born dumb (Bryan explains that's how he felt about himself when it came to school). I could write about how great this journey is all day, but I would say overall, this is a must read for everyone-whether you're struggling in your faith, feel like a failure, or are completely grounded and want to see how you can come along someone struggling the way Bryan did, this story will move you and encourage you in your relationship with God, no matter where you are in your faith!I recently had the opportunity to read a book called "Redemption" by Bryan Clay. When I chose to review this book, I will be honest - it's because it looked the best out of all the options. It wasn't because I thought I would enjoy it, or because I knew who Bryan Clay was (an amazing Olympic athlete.) I actually put off reading the book for a couple of weeks because I don't normally like autobiographies very much. When I did finally pick up this book it took me just a couple of nights to read the whole thing. Bryan has a great testimony. He spent his childhood dealing with a broken family, constantly getting into trouble, and running from God as fast as possible. But his mother just as constantly was on her knees praying for his future. It's amazing to read his story and see how he came from a kid who just liked to run to an Olympic athlete. For me, reading his story of growing in his faith was really interesting. Bryan is a completely likeable person, and he was so honest about all of his feelings throughout his early years growing up and in college. But then I was also intrigued by his details of what was happening in his track & field life. As a former track star (okay, okay, that's over-reaching!) I knew many of the sports he was discussing, but I'd never heard of a decathlon. I never knew the physical stamina you must have for events that seem so simple, like javelin-throwing and the high jump. I was really into those parts of the book.I finished the book around 11:00pm last night and immediately started Googling Bryan. I have not been watching the Olympics this year and I was now berating myself - if he was participating I definitely wanted to watch! Unfortunately he did miss the Olympic trials this year and is commentating rather than competing. This book still made me gain so much respect for athletes. There is so much that goes on in the background that we don't know about, especially for competitions that don't get as much publicity like track & field. Also, Bryan's faith is extremely prevalent in his life. I now follow him on Facebook and you can tell he's just a normal, honest family man who has really strengthened his faith over these last few years.I am definitely passing this book on, and I highly recommend for it to be read by you.

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