Thursday, 12 January 2017

#BookReview ; Anywhere But Home by Anu Vaidyanathan

Anu Vaidyanathan is the first Asian, male or female, to compete in Ultraman Canada: a punishing 10-kilometre swim, a 420-kilometre bike ride and an 84.4-kilomete run. She placed sixth. Which is breath-taking. But what is your typical good Indian girl, super-nerd doing at the Ultraman? Anywhere but Home is the funny, heart-breaking, unexpected story of a woman who would not give up. As she followed her passion on the roads of Bangalore and across several Indian cities, coaches advised her to get married. She was stuck in sports facilities that lacked basic support systems, even toilets. If she wanted to compete, it would need to be on her own salary. All she could rely on were her own two feet and the seat of her bike. With self-deprecatory humour and characteristic curiosity, Vaidyanathan tells the story of how she found triathlon, how she came to be training in one of the most challenging sports in the world. She writes of her many firsts in the Ultraman, Ironman, Half-Ironman, but also of motherhood and pushing the boundaries of what a body can do. Heart-warming and heart-breaking, this is most of all a tale of love: for a sport and for life.

Anywhere But Home is the debut work of Anu Vaidyanathan. The author is founder of PatNMarks, an intellectual property consulting firm. She received her PhD in electrical engineering at UC Canterbury, she has been teaching courses in computer architecture, innovation & business policy at IIT Ropar & IIM Ahmedabad. She is also a regular speaker at forums on entrepreneurship, innovation & leadership, along with that she is an endurance athlete representing India in long-course triathlon.

This book is about the journey of a typical good Indian girl who aspires something more from life & ultimately becomes the first Asian woman to complete the Ultraman Canada which is considered to be one of the hardest triathlons in the world consisting of a 10 km swim, a 420 km bike ride & 84.4 km run. Anu Vaidyanathan depicts so many people with good education background but with that they also want to do something more, something which drives their passion. The book consists of all the details how she realised that triathlons were her thing & how she worked through through different difficult situations to achieve her goal. Get this book here to know more..

 Being a non-sporty person (I hope that term exists) I had never read any book related to sports or sportspersons but I’m glad that I did picked this book. The author has written this book in such a way that its far away from a self-help book, that’s exactly how it should be! She wrote about the struggles she faced while studying in a foreign country & how sports was quite therapeutic for her. She also mentioned the problems she faced on a daily basis while running on the streets of Bangalore & how even coaches demoralised her and just asked her to get married. I like the fact that the author was extremely honest in telling her story & didn’t portrayed herself as some superhuman. She did mentioned her lows but also how she came out of those thoughts. The use of humor just enhanced the whole book. The cover is to the point also the title. Readers shouldn’t miss this one..

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