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Age Is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life Hardcover – Apr 7 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (April 7 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767931904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767931908
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 15.6 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #534,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Barbara on Oct. 3 2011
Format: Hardcover
I thought this book was going to be more inspiriational than it was. I enjoyed the descriptions of the differences in her workouts as her body aged. She is also very honest about her problems with eating disorders and the politics within certain teams that she was a part of, which I have to give her great credit for. There were parts of this book, that, quite frankly, I didn't like Ms. Torres, which is neither good or bad. Goes with the honesty with which the book is written. I have a bit of an issue with this being promoted as an "you can do it too" book. This woman was an exceptional athlete with Amercian records starting in her early teens. She also came from money. (Sponsorships and endorsements for swimming are not equal to golf and basketball). I don't believe that she could have done what she did, or may do in the future, without having the money to pay for her pair of massagers/stretchers that are with her during training and competition, her strength training coach from a professional hockey team, and her nanny. She is, also, blessed with the support of her husband and mother. I can do without the, "I am a mother above all else" sentiment throughout the last years on which the book was based. I know that having a child fills you with an undescribable love and changes someone fundamentally, but being a top athlete, especially beyond a certain age requires total dedication. It's your workouts, your rest, your diet. You have to be selfish.

Overall, the book is well written and honest. Despite my complaints, I did enjoy getting to know Darra and her triumphs and trials.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 28 2009
Format: Audio CD
"Older" is not a popular description in our society, but Dara Torres has turned that idea upside down, inside out and every which way with her inspiring story, "Age Is Just A Number."

Sports enthusiasms well know who she is - Torres is the Olympic Gold Medalist who restarted her career at the unheard of age of 41. Not only was she older but she was a new mother and her father was fighting cancer. Eight years prior to this comeback she had retired, thinking that was the end of her swimming career. Not so!

We hear, "I've been old before. I was old when I was 27 and I got divorced. I was old when I was 35 and I couldn't get pregnant. I was really old when I was 39 and my father died. But when I was 41 and I woke up in a dorm in the Olympic Village in Beijing, I didn't feel
old. I felt merely-and, yes, happily-middle-aged. "The water
doesn't know how old you are,"

How right she is! Water does not know how old we are nor does the Earth nor do other people. For us, the problem is that we know and we gauge our attractiveness and abilities by the calendar. Torres will change minds regarding those assumptions as she candidly discusses doubts, believing in ourselves, perseverance, and really believing we can achieve whatever goals we set for ourselves.

If you want to hear a really upbeat true story with lots of good advice, give a listen as narrator Rebecca Lowman tells us just how it can be done. Winner of the 2006 Boston Film Festival and an accomplished actress, Lowman delivers a distinct, listenable reading of one woman's inspiring story.

- Gail Cooke
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 45 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing June 29 2010
By Gwen - Published on
Format: Paperback
First off, the title is misleading - this is not a motivational or a how-to book. It's a memoir. I knew this beforehand so it wasn't an issue but others could be confused. Dara Torres won three silver medals at the 2008 Olympics - an incredible achievement, especially since she was 41 at the time. I was curious about her story and hoping to be inspired at the same time. Unfortunately, I was distracted by the poor writing (even with the help of a co-writer) and the extremely disorganized chapters. There were also strange gaps. For example, she goes into detail about her first marriage and subsequent divorce but later in the book only mentions in passing that she got married and divorced to someone else in the meantime. (I'm not saying that she's obliged to provide personal info but the inconsistency was odd). I wanted to know how, after not swimming for 7 years (literally not a single lap) she launched straight into training with her team. Wouldn't she be extremely out of practice? This is never addressed. I ended up feeling very frustrated.This could have been so much more.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful book June 6 2009
By Lance Rodman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If you've read the most recent Michael Phelps book, No Limits, don't let that dissuade you from reading this. And if you're choosing between the two, choose this one. The Phelps book is really just a "sports" book (with all the negative connotations that brings), while this is much more -- infinitely more interesting, and much better written as well. Torres and her co-author, Elizabeth Weil (who I suspect deserves a lot of credit for making this the book it is), have produced a highly readable, inspirational story that stretches from the early years of Torres's success through the 2008 Olympics. There's also a surprising level of candor about the ups and down Torres has experienced, from eating disorders to her marriages breaking up. Will non-swimmers like this? I think so, but I don't really know. I'm a swimmer, and so I was really impressed with the detailed descriptions of what Torres did to prepare for her success. Long story short, it took a level of commitment that few people could ever make. Nor is this a book just for women. Your reviewer is male, through and through, and there was nothing in this that smacked of any kind of feathery "women's power" type messages.

For those interested in reading more about swimming and the commitment needed to reach world-class levels, two other books worth reading are Gold in the Water by P.H. Mullen and Champions by Daniel Chambliss (Torres is featured in both). Both are extremely well reported, and well written as well, though long out of print.
36 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Most insightful Olympian ever April 8 2009
By Jody Whitaker - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I thought this book would be light and fluffy like a little purry kitty cat. I thought I knew her story. Surprisingly, I was blown away with the accolades that Dara Torres deserves for her life story. A jock is just a jock but not in these pages. What unfolds in the Torres story are the dreams of a little girl who chooses not to grow up in a privileged way that is a platter that could be served before her but with discipline that she defines through a rigorous swim schedule at a very early age in her young life. We see her in her early days flopping around near her radiant young mother only to swim away from her with bigger dreams. Never before will you read an athlete's autobiography and see a competitive spirit that defines this Olympian just build and build. You feel her sweat. It's all too real. Away from her parent's glamorous life, is the story of one young woman striving for dreams that mere mortals only dare to dream. Although the Olympic medals are draped around her neck so young, we see her then battle demons that come with the ugly side of fame, and her almost demise with bulimia. We see her as an everyday us, facing divorce, and problems with the sometime complications of pregnancy. Each time Dara Torres sets off off on an Olympic quest, the chapters read like an Indiana Jones chapter, with her always overcoming some odds that are there for her to face. Age Is Just A Number but Dara Torres proves that her very presence is for us to bear witness to such a remarkable life story both in and out of the pool.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
All-American Wonder Woman April 12 2009
By Jennifer King - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Reading about Dara's life is definitely a roller coaster of emotions. As she points out, there is always something good to counter what is bad. The birth of Tessa followed by the death of her father. Making Beijing, followed by her coach Michael Lohberg, becoming extremely ill. This is the yin and the yang that makes up Dara Torres. She speaks openly about her first marriage to an abusive husband and her attempts to keep peace. Her struggles with infertility as she watched her brothers and sister have kids. And her most triumphant moment when Tessa was placed on her chest for the first time after giving birth. These are just a few of the moments she relates to her fans that make you realize that she's not always Wonder Woman in a Speedo. She also talks of her fears of letting so many down as her story became bigger than life and much more important than she herself anticipated. Dara didn't set out to be a superhero to middle-aged America. But, once she accepted her new role, she embraced it. Throughout her struggles and triumphs she remained focused on her one goal of winning and wanting nothing less. Her ability to handle adversity and still come out on top is what makes this woman so amazing. And throughout it all keeping her sense of humor whether it be discussing her giant swimsuit while pregnant or walking in on the guy in the bathroom while in a rush to get ready for her race in Beijing. The title of 'role model' is used loosely in America but if you were to choose one role model to follow, especially for your daughters to follow, it's Dara Torres. Do yourself and your teenage daughters a favor and make "Age is Just a Number" mandatory reading.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This is inspirational April 23 2009
By Thomas E. Murray - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'm a 62 year old male who has never won anything ever. I train for the enjoyment and to compete with myself. Each word of this book motivates me to get out and train. She has so many challenges in life, but meets these challenges with strength and energy. Her story of her dad's death brought me to tears.

I'm elevating my workouts. I've bought the audio version so I can listen in the car.

Thanks Dara. You are amazing.


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