Yesterday I finished listening to Dara Torres' book, Age is Just a Number. You may recall that I attended her appearance at The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta last year when she was promoting her book (read about that by clicking here). During that talk, Torres said that she wanted to write her book in a way that incorporated anecdotes of good times and bad, her victories and challenges.
Obviously, it was a while before I got around to reading her book (or rather, listening to it), but I found this to be true, and also this balance to be what made Torres very real. The wisdom that she has gained both in her life as a swimmer, as well as all other parts of her life truly made her seem like a down-to-earth athlete who has dealt with things that many of the rest of us have too: disappointment, infertility, sickness and death of loved ones, parenthood, and growing older gracefully. She tackles all of these things in her book, interwoven with many stories about her life as a swimmer.
I found her to be a fascinating person during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, but even more so now that I know a lot more about her. I definitely have my fingers crossed that she'll participate as a 45 year-old in the 2012 Summer Olympics. If that's the case, I think nearly the whole world will be cheering her on.