For our first book review on this site, we review First: What It Takes to Win. It’s a book about Rich Froning.
CrossFit is still a new and growing sport which is misunderstood by many to be a place only for the elite. Rich Froning breaks down barriers between the most elite tier of the sport and the most casual reader. He lays out his life and worldview in an amazingly fast and engaging read. His book has three main themes constantly woven together in an interesting narrative:
- Explaining CrossFit
- Telling us about his life
- Sharing with us insights about his faith and philosophy.
It is rare to find such an honest and optimistic account from someone with so much fame and talent. His readership will most strongly come from CrossFit fans. That’s great, but keep in mind that this book packs some great lessons for anyone. It’s not just about CrossFit. It has broad applications outside of CrossFit.
Like his fitness training regimen, he doesn’t hold back because of fear of hurting people’s feelings. He doesn’t shy away from key principles. He explains how his principles guide his actions.
All this results in an intimate portrait of his strengths, weaknesses and casual thoughts. Part of what makes this narrative so engaging is his casual style. This engages the reader. You’ve got to keep reminding yourself that he is winning first place (consistently now) among roughly 100,000 athletes. Due to
While he takes you into the action, you are motivated by the thought that you too could compete at his level if you just were willing to work hard and get your mental house in order. Unfortunately, reality reminds you that Rich has something very rare that remains incredible from a fitness perspective. You are aware of the power of context in his life. He gives due credit to his friends and family for providing rare and outstanding counsel, love and wisdom most notably to his wife and father.
Out of the roughly 30 books I’ve read this year, I have to say I’ve really enjoyed reading this one the most — both my wife and I read it in about a day as we fought for the book. Most modern biography seems to make the subject more inaccessible as details of their life unfold. Here, Rich has done the opposite, by the end of the book you know that you would be instantly comfortable around him and are inspired to make your life look a little more like his.
While I don’t think this is the greatest book of all time, I still think it’s worth the read. This conclusion is based on the work ethic that one could pick up by following one of the greatest athletes in world history. It’s probably worth your time. Therefore I can happily recommend this book.
First Book Review
This is the first book review that we have ever put up on this site. What do you think? Should the first book review be the last book review? Please let us know in the comments section and we will act accordingly.
Most of all, please let us know if you have a book we should review.