Meredith Kessler has been around a while and she might be the shining beacon for all those age groupers who are living the triathlon dream in the hope that they too can become a pro. What Meredith has achieved in her career wouldn’t be out of place in Hollywood. Amateur athlete takes on the challenge of becoming a pro and then goes on to be uber successful. So why are we praising the career of Kessler? Well she has written a book and together with her husband Aaron has shed some light on the pro world.
What we liked.
Ok so there are a number of triathlon books on the market. Most of them give you iron clad promises as to how to eat drink train and race. By chapter 2 you are generally pretty bored and have read enough. A sweeping statement for sure but the general make up of a triathlon book is pretty familiar. The ones that really grab you are the ones that give you some colour like Greg Welch’s book …. and Scott Tinley’s Racing the Sunset. Kessler’s offering to the triathlon world kind of gives you a bit of everything. Kessler’s book opens the door on the professional world as you get walked through the life of a triathlete.
The opening chapter tells you how the book is to be used. “This is not a self-help guide promoting ways to increase your mental toughness to succeed in the triathlon world. This is not a rah-rah book where I share my life lessons and try to give you hope that reaching your goals in the tri world is possible.” Kessler rates this book as a simple “This is a practical guide to laying the foundation for success as a pro athlete in the triathlon world.” And she is the expert in this.
We liked a lot about this book. The first is that the Kessler duo don’t try to BS you. Triathletes read a lot and know the difference between when they reading something that panders to them and is full of BS. Kessler’s uncompromising approach to racing drifts through in the text in that she is very matter of fact in her writing. This text is concerned with walking the reader through the myriad of things a pro must do in order to succeed. It isn’t filled with flowery anecdotes and chance meeting with the heavy hitters of the tri world and beyond.
And no stone is left unturned in the making of a book that makes no bones about the fact that becoming a pro in the triathlon world is not all interviews and signings. Team Kessler do give the reader insight in to key sessions including their aptly named WEB workouts. WEB meaning Why even bother. Yep we have all been there. She also encourages the audience with gold like “When I was teaching I often had to encourage my clients to break their comfort zone to reach their next level. I’m sure some of you are thinking ‘no way’ can I do that (and I get that)…but trust me many of you will find the power and strength to do this.” Again, this book is not your normal read and thank goodness for that.
The other side of their book is the business side of the sport. Trying to get the elusive money or product deal is super tough and once again the book does go into how to get a sponsor involved going so far as to providing letter templates.
All in all this is a different and refreshing style of narrative that still has a thread of the traditional triathlon text in it while being a worthwhile investment.
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