A health and fitness consultant (The Physical Fitness Encyclopedia) recounts--in loving detail--the success stories of 18 people who used exercise to overcome a pretty harrowing range of debilitation: missing limbs, massive heart disease, leukemia, alcoholism, depressive disorders, etc. The thought is that if Joe Blow with cerebral palsy can go on to win a marathon, the rest of us should be inspired to stick with those exercise programs we tend to take up and drop regularly; after all, we're whole. Of course, an entire book lauding determination against incredible odds could backfire; what if we come to regard jogging without overwhelming handicaps as incredibly boring? But the subjects of the selection have a nice modest sound, and their stories may ring bells: like that of 240-pound Ginny, jiggling along the road in a pink warm-up suit; or chronic leg-breaker Bob, who had to relearn walking four times and then beat the cancer rap with a Norman Cousins-like approach (his favorite childhood story? ""The Little Engine that Could""). And so on. What is successfully conveyed here is that exercise, discipline, and health virtually guarantee a positive self-image and therefore a positive approach to life. This is probably not the easiest of convictions to put across, so on the whole the authors may deserve their own medals. Nicely done.