Carry On: A Story of Resilience, Redemption and an Unlikely Family by Lisa Fenn is at first glance a book about wrestling. Once you read it you will realize it is a story about so much more.
Fenn, a journalist for ESPN, received a call from her father one morning telling her about two wrestlers he read about in the paper that day. Intrigued, she decided to go and see these wrestlers in person, and felt compelled to share their story.
Fenn admits there are a lot of stories about handicapped athletes. The two young wrestlers are also handicapped. Leroy Sutton was pulled under a train at the age of eleven and lost both legs. Dartanyon Crockett is legally blind. These two boys attended one of Cleveland's toughest high schools and decided to go out for wrestling one year.
Both were well built and muscular. Neither had wrestled before. Although the goal was winning, their records weren't amazing. Their friendship was. Dartanyon took to carrying Leroy on his back wherever he went. Their relationship went far beyond the wrestling mat, and inspired others in their school.
Fenn could have walked away after the filming of their story was done. She chose to become involved in their lives and help them find a way to make dreams such as college come true for them.
This story is inspiring in so many ways. Both Dartanyon and Leroy had so many obstacles to overcome - poverty, poor parenting, and their physical disabilities certainly were high on the list. Their work ethic and ability to continue to keep persevering despite what was thrown in their path is inspiring. Lisa Fenn is also inspiring. Instead of remaining detached from the story, she decided to go the extra mile and become involved with these two young men because she could see their need and potential.
I loved this book. My husband, a high school wrestling coach, also loved this book. Several years ago he watched the documentary Fenn produced, so Dartanyon and Leroy's story wasn't new to him, but still was interesting to read and see the behind-the-scenes perspective the book provides.
Although this might initially seem like a book for wrestling fans or sports lovers, this is a book for everyone.
Thanks to TLC Books for providing a copy of this for my review. All opinions expressed are, as always, my own.
Carry On is published by Harper Wave.