“If you can’t dream big, ridiculous dreams, what’s the point in dreaming at all?”
This book was ridiculously inspiring.
Rating out of five:
This book is a lot about fighting, about Ronda’s routine, mindset and training, which I expected, but also about her background in judo and life growing up, dealing with struggles like her dad’s accident and then suicide, and all setbacks she’s had fighting and in life in general. Have in mind that it was released before she lost her champion title, I’m just late reading it.
Things I learned about Ronda Rousey:
(I already knew she was a strong superhuman)
She can tell a story. I listened to the audiobook, which might’ve increased this even more, but there’s so much power behind her words and looking over the writing afterwards it’s written just how she would express herself. It feels like a nine hour motivational speech/documentary, with tough as well as good times, and it was amazing. I mean –
“The kind of hope I’m talking about is the belief that something good will come. That everything you’re going through and everything you’ve gone through will be worth the struggles and frustrations. The kind of hope I’m talking about is a deep belief that the world can be changed, that the impossible is possible.”
I never realized how emotional Ronda is, even if she clearly says so at the beginning. She cries a lot, and with each time my respect for her grows. It must be difficult to cry in a room with fighters, and then say it to the world with such confidence.
She’s had some shitty boyfriends. Not all shitty, some just with their own alcohol/drug problems, but I wanted to punch most of them. Telling her to be more feminine? Get the fuck out. Who did they think they were dating? Another ex-boyfriend took nude photos of her without permission, which is all kinds of fucked up. Not wanting to let him have that control of her, never knowing if he really deleted them in the end, she did a nude photoshoot.
– her backstory –
There has also been some very bad times in Rousey’s life. At one point she had walked out from home while everyone was sleeping, was between gyms and eventually thrown out from friend’s house, without much money. All after being in the olympics. How the fuck can’t olympic athletes earn money to sustain themselves?
When I all of a sudden realized how alone she was, without real possibilities to turn to or even work towards, it was heartwrenching. Had to remind myself it would get better, obviously knowing she ends up in the ufc someday. That’s what Ronda seems to focus on too looking back, that she’s earned good things out of the bad times. She’s never complaining or bitter, but still emotional about certain things.
“You have to fight because you can’t count on anyone else fighting for you. And you have to fight for people who can’t fight for themselves. To get anything of real value, you have to fight for it.”
– MMA career –
Other things I noticed was how much anger, or maybe agressiveness, is shown at times, and I certainly understood why she’s a fighter. I’ve always wondered how much of the focus in her mma career was on the sport and being the best fighter she could be and how much was show and entertainment.
Turns out she already had more experience than I thought fighting in judo, and she also was aware it also was about giving a show and personality people that people could be captivated by and cheer for. A good mix, then. She was the first female champion in the ufc, and the one who opened up a lot of possibilities for others.
It’s interesting listening to her future plans and movie roles, from the future knowing she lost the way she did. But in the book she even admits it all might end some day, in an instant. And how she describes every other loss she’s had through her career, I don’t doubt that losing the champion title was extremely hard for her as well.
– fighting and bulimia –
In many ways this book is made for a broad audience, but also fighters, becase she describes in detail her pre-fight routines, food and weight loss. She’s quite open about her problems with bulimia early on in her career, but with the more professional team in ufc she got an expert on food around her, which made her realize she could eat nearly normal and still make weight.
She doesn’t say it outright, but there’s clearly tension on the contsraint and unprofessionalism fighting in judo, in comparison to mma. Which makes sense because it’s where the attention and money lies, but it’s still weird.
“Once you give them the power to tell you you’re great, you’ve also given them the power to tell you you’re unworthy. Once you start caring about people’s opinions of you, you give up control.”
– final thoughts –
It’s a book I would recommend to everyone interesting in fighters and sport, or just looking for inspiration to work hard to achieve something. The audiobook was the best kind, a memoir told by the person it’s about, and I would completely recommend that as well, I can imagine it would be great listening to it while working out.