A well-rounded investigation into the profound impact of sports on women of all ages and walks of life.
Samuels (The Queen of Cups, 2006) may celebrate the successes of professional female athletes who have thrived in a traditionally male-dominated arena, but her main focus is on the ordinary women who have achieved enlightenment through sports. The author illustrates the theme of sports as a metaphor for life, and is herself a testimony to this concept. Samuels credits her own discovery of distance running at 27 as the catalyst for her transformation from attorney and human-rights defender to writer and sports advocate. She suggests that women who approach life from an athlete's perspective are better equipped to find balance and harmony and are more courageous in the face of challenges than those who do not. She argues that the stamina and endurance built up by athletes is good practice for the resilience needed to persevere when they stumble off the pitch. The book is built on lighthearted accounts of women who become comically engrossed in their sport as well as uplifting tales of women who have overcome life-altering trauma. Samuels’ anecdotes may at times seem redundant or excessive in quantity, but they are neatly interwoven with background information on the female athlete’s plight from a political, psychological and social standpoint. As such, they serve a purposeful, rather than ornamental, function.
An enthusiastic tribute to women who replace the stigma attached to the term “running like a girl” with a sense of power and honor.