Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sum It Up

When I was in college in the mid 1990s, I had many friends on the women's basketball team.  They were the ones that first introduced me to Pat Summit and her amazing coaching ability.  It is no wonder that one of these friends rated Sum It Up by Pat Summit as the best book she read in 2013.

I've had this book since it was published, and just finished it up on the treadmill. My running has slowed down considerably, which has also slowed my treadmill reading, too. But Pat Summit's memoir has had me looking forward to my time on the treadmill a bit more.

Summit's upbringing was no-nonsense as the first daughter and fourth child (another daughter was born after Summit) of a farm family. Hard work was expected and no excuses were tolerated. Physical affection wasn't a part of the way Pat was raised, and she possessed a drive that allowed her to pursue her passion for the game of basketball relentlessly.

As Pat recounts her life, she shares anecdotes of the players and people who have been a part of her life.  The highs and lows are discussed and Summit admits to her own failings openly.

In 2012 Pat was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease, and there are bits of this that Pat writes about as well.  However, Alzheimer's is not the focus of this memoir, nor are there medical insights or treatment recommendations.  This is an account of Pat's life and career by Pat Summit while she is still capable of remembering and sharing her story in her own words.

My college friends selected a great role model when they decided to pick Pat Summit to admire. I have always felt that Pat was an asset to women's athletics, but reading Sum It Up makes me more impressed than ever.

Her Alzheimer's diagnosis is a tragedy, yet even as Pat's future seems bleak, she aspires to help others and live life.  

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