"We all have valleys, mountains, lakes, rivers, trees and clouds in our lives. What will we do with them?"

Author McCoy was raised with a zeal for outdoor life in the magnificent natural setting of Mammoth Mountain. She was skiing by age three and competing by age six, being trained by her enthusiastic sportsman father. In 1966, she made the U.S. World Championship Ski Team and, in Chile, took the bronze in the slalom competition. The following year, though, she began to see flaws in the system; being “older,” she was suddenly overlooked for younger, beginning team members and finally was bumped from the team with little notice. She then refused to take a position on the squad if it meant pushing out a friend. Later, married, with children, enduring foot surgeries, and at an emotional low point, she was encouraged to enter the Ironman Triathlon (swimming, biking, running). That experience gave her new goals to pursue, but her greatest influence has been her deep, abiding faith in God.

McCoy writes of her triumphs and challenges with admirable talent. In prose and poetry, she lets the reader ski, swim, bike, and run with her, feeling each pain, quirk, fear, and joyous sense of conquest along the routes. She left skiing “as a failure” and took up the triathlon to recoup self-respect. But the reader will sense that her inner reserves were always vast, based on religious beliefs that give her a deeper understanding of life’s trials than most people might have. She sees God’s intervention at every twist and turn, and her repeated mantra for the reader is, “You and I are no different.” This expression of her innate humility demonstrates that despite her taste of international fame, she is still just a person struggling with ordinary situations that call for crucial moral decisions. This unique perspective will doubtless encourage readers to learn more about McCoy’s life and philosophy.

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