At the tender age of 14, Amanda Beard walked onto the pool deck at the Atlanta Olympics carrying her teddy bear, Harold, and left with two silvers and a gold medal. She competed in three more Olympic games, winning a total of seven medals, and enjoyed a lucrative modeling career on the side. At one point, she was the most downloaded female athlete on the Internet. Yet despite her astonishing career and sex-symbol status, Amanda felt unworthy of all her success. Unaware that she was suffering from clinical depression, she hid the pain beneath a megawatt smile. With no other outlet for her feelings besides the pool, Amanda expressed her emotions through self-destructive behavior. In her late teens and 20s, she became bulimic, abused drugs and alcohol, and started cutting herself. Her low self-esteem led to toxic relationships with high-profile men in the sports world. No one, not even her own parents and friends, knew about the turmoil she was going through. Only when she met her future husband, who discovered her cutting herself, did Amanda realize she needed help.
Through her renewed faith in herself; the love of her family; and finally the birth of her baby boy, Blaise, Amanda has transformed her life. In this book, she speaks frankly about her struggles with depression, the pressures to be thin, and the unhealthy relationships she confused for love. In the Water They Can't See You Cry is a raw, compelling story of a woman who gained the strength to live as bravely out of the water as she did in it.
©2012 Amanda Beard (P)2012 Tantor
If it was told instead of chronogoligal order, but in life moments. 1. Start to swimming. 2. Parent's divorce and utter lack of ability to parent through their own suffering 3. Olympics all of them at the same time 4. College life 5. Bad bad relationships and how they sucked the life out of me.In the end this book was so difficult to get through. Probably much like Amanda's teenage/college life seemed to be. I was hoping she would find resolve, peace, clarity. 90% of the book I experienced anxiety and the last 10% seemed to be "It's all ok now, just get some therapy, sweep it under the rug, and find a good man." It would have been a much better book if there were more points of refection. Some tools learned in therapy. How to find a good therapist. bla bla bla. I'm not an editor, but this book was a very long diary entry.
I would have like to hear it from Amanda.
Empathy and then anger. The book seemed so flip when discussing her recovery compared to the pages and pages we had to endure with her crappy relationship.
Abolitionist, Wife, Mother, photographer, & quilter
No, it was pretty entertaining and I enjoyed the whole story.
I liked how "normal girl" she wanted to be and that swimming has always been fun to her even if there is a lot of pressure put on her throughout the years.
Makes me want to swim again. I like the fact that she still competes and is a pro even as a mom. I am only a couple years younger than her and a mom too and haven't swam in a long time. She has inspired me to want to get a gym membership sometime and to swim regularly even though I am not the size I once was when I used to swim.
I think listening to her relationships stories before meeting her husband was so sad and painful. The fact that she stuck in her first relationships for so long and didn't try to get out of that hurt me to listen to. I did however love that even though she had some family issues, her family were always there supporting her together regardless of the divorce of her parents. I think that is rare, but I did feel sad for her not really knowing reasons. I can't wait to see her swim in a couple of weeks at the Olympics in Rio!!!!!! I have been watching her since her first Olympics!
I loved this book. It's told well and the story is really interesting. She holds nothing back either so one really gets a good look in to the world of being an elite athlete at such a young age. One of my favorite parts of the Olympics is listening to the back stories of the athletes, though I doubt we are hearing the real story. The media likes to sensationalize and write their own story, when in fact the real story is often more interesting. Such as how they made such a fuss about Amanda's bear. That was done as a lark, at 14 she was very young but hardly the baby they tried to portray her as. In many ways the media contributes to the pressure that Amanda and other athletes, particularly female athletes have to deal with. Calling her washed up at 14, makes me ill. Glad she proved them wrong. Then asking her how she felt about losing the gold rather than winning silver. In my mind, MAKING IT TO the Olympics makes each and ever one of these athletes a winner. Then winning any medal is icing on the cake. I'm so disgusted with journalists today, many are nasty people trying to sniff out negative stories to feed their rabid readers.
As an athlete in high school, I can relate to the pressures. I chose not to even continue on in my senior year so tired of the pressures it ruined my sport for me. I just wanted to be a teenager. Obviously Amanda had more passion for her sport but it almost ruined it for her too. I'm so glad she made her comeback.
This memoir was nakedly honest. Amanda tells us the very unflattering side of herself and holds nothing back. She tells her story in a very interesting way, that I didn't want to stop listening. I always listen to audio books when I run, and I have Amanda to thank for extending some of my runs as I didn't want to stop listening. I really enjoy memoirs written by athletes, particularly Olympians but what I look for most is someone who also shows the ability to overcome obstacles and become a better person. I think this book is very inspiring and anyone who would like to pursue sports as a career should read this book to know it's not all sunshine and roses.
I would compare this book somewhat to Dara Torres' book. Dara did not face the same mental challenges and did not abuse her body but had to overcome age discrimination to prove everyone wrong. I think female athletes who peak before puberty (pretty much every gymnast and many swimmers) face the same challenges. I particularly like how Amanda called out the double standard for some saying she was not a good role model and demeaned women by posing in men's magazines. Yet when we see a male, shirtless athlete on a women's magazine, we praise him (and check out his abs). Ridiculous! Good for her, not just posing, but having a body that people want to look at.
This was a great book. It gave a glimpse into the life of a top competitive athlete both physically and emotionally. I, too, have struggled with similar thoughts on body issues. True passion and love will lead to success and happiness in the end.
yes I have eye sight issues and without audio books there is no quality
The beginning the first feeling of release
I would listen again to hear any parts I missed.
Amanda is a rock star. Very raw and honest.
She provides the emotions to really experience the characters in the book
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