There are few things as inspiring as reading the heartfelt memoirs of truly incredible athletes and coaches. With a little more time on our hands (and feeling a little overwhelmed with the amount of screen time being thrust upon us lately), what better time than now is there to top up your motivation by turning the pages and leafing through the memories of the euphoric highs and heartbreaking lows of some of the greats in CrossFit and Fitness. Read on to see our top picks of books you won’t be able to put down, and of lessons you’ll draw from, forever.
Start Your Engines: My Unstoppable CrossFit Journey, Samantha Briggs
CrossFit Games Champion Sam Briggs, aka 'The Engine', is a true hero in the sport, with a level of endurance unparalleled in the game. This is the story of how she got to the top and battled with everything she had to stay there.
Sam's memoir takes in the whole story, from being kicked out of ballet lessons as a child but being accepted on the boys' sports teams, to working as a firefighter in West Yorkshire for ten years, tackling dangerous and adrenaline-fuelled situations on a daily basis, to then taking up CrossFit at the comparatively ancient age of 27. Sam tells what it took to become champion a mere three years later, after a year out with a broken patella. Despite the numerous setbacks and debilitating injuries that have plagued her in the years that followed, when most other athletes would have thrown in the towel, Sam has fought, and continues to fight, to be the very best that she can be. Start Your Engines is the story of how, with a combination of grit, training and dogged motivation, it's never too late to achieve your dreams.
‘Sam is the epitome of resilience, a true inspiration.’ Three Time CrossFit Games Champ, Tia-Clair Toomey.
Dottir is two-time consecutive CrossFit Games Champion Katrin Davidsdottir's inspiring and poignant memoir. As one of only three women in history to have won the title of “Fittest Woman on Earth” twice, Davidsdottir knows all about the importance of mental and physical strength. She won the title in 2015, backing it up with a second win in 2016, after starting CrossFit in just 2011. In Dottir, Davidsdottir shares her journey with readers. Alongside the help of Rory Mckernon, Katrin details her focus on training, goal setting, nutrition, and mental toughness.
“Katrin became champion by choice, and she highlighted what I believe above all things. That there is no magic pill. There are no superior genetics. There are no shortcuts. There is only hard work. And hard work pays off. If you love Katrin and you love the CrossFit Games, then this book is for you.” Mat Fraser, Four-time CrossFit Games Champion.
CrossFit coach Ben Bergeron has helped build the world’s fittest athletes, but he’s not like other coaches. He believes that greatness is not for the elite few; that winning is a result, not a goal; and that character, not talent, is what makes a true champion. His powerful philosophy can help anyone excel at all aspects of life.
Using the dramatic competition between the top contenders at the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games as a background, Ben explores the step-by-step process of achieving excellence and the unique set of positive character traits necessary for levelling up to world-class. The mindset and methodology that have produced some of the greatest athletes in the world’s most gruelling sport can work equally well for anyone who’s willing to commit totally to becoming better than the best. By Chasing Excellence, you’ll discover how extraordinary it’s possible for you to be.
“This book will do for you what Ben has done for me-take you to the next level and show you how to be the best. His insights on the mental game are second to none. You will feel prepared for anything.” Bethany Hart-Gerry, US Olympic Bobsled Team.
Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator of Nike
In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike's annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of start-ups, Nike is the perfect example of its kind. The swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols in the world today.
Phil Knight, the creator of the symbolic swoosh details the many risks and daunting setbacks that stood between him and his dream - along with his early triumphs. Above all, he recalls how his first band of partners and employees soon became a tight-knit band of brothers and built a brand that changed everything.
'A refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like ... It's an amazing tale' Bill Gates
Relentless: From Good To Great To Unstoppable
For more than two decades, legendary trainer Tim Grover has taken the greats-Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade and dozens more and made them greater. Now, for the first time ever, he reveals what it takes to get those results, showing you how to be relentless and achieve whatever you desire.
Direct, blunt, and brutally honest, Grover breaks down what it takes to be unstoppable: you keep going when everyone else is giving up, you thrive under pressure, you never let your emotions make you weak. In “The Relentless 13,” he details the essential traits shared by the most intense competitors and achievers in sports, business and all walks of life. Relentless shows you how to trust your instincts and get in the Zone; how to control and adapt to any situation; how to find your opponent’s weakness and attack. Packed with previously untold stories and unparalleled insight into the psyches of the most successful and accomplished athletes of our time, Relentless shows you how even the best get better and how you can too.
‘Tim Grover knows more than anyone about the mental side of sports.This book is the blueprint for discovering what you are capable of achieving, getting results you never imagined, reaching the highest levels of success-and then going even higher.’ Kobe Bryant.