A Reluctant Ath­lete’s Jour­ney Into the Heart of Amer­ica’s New­est Ob­ses­sion

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Ali­cia Di­fabio, Velo­press, Soft­cover $18.95 (216pp), 978-1-937715-58-8

The hu­man body has nearly 700 named skele­tal mus­cles, so it stands to rea­son that an ideal ex­er­cise would make use of ev­ery last one—a tall or­der, to be sure. The full-body-work­out gold medal for sport­ing events may go to the swim­ming, bik­ing, run­ning de­mands of triathlons, es­pe­cially Iron­man­type com­pe­ti­tions—2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run—in which most com­peti­tors need more than twelve hours to fin­ish. While still gru­el­ing, most triathlons around the world in­volve much less to­tal mileage, and most triath­letes are ordinary women seek­ing a unique, healthy chal­lenge. Ali­cia Di­fabio, mother of four, ad­mit­tedly out of shape (be­fore her first triathlon), ex­plores the his­tory, sub­cul­ture, and psy­cho­log­i­cal ap­peal of triathlons in this en­gag­ing mem­oir.

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