I haven't read Amanda Beard's forthcoming memoir -- In the Water They Can't See You Cry -- but already I'm depressed. I mean, could you pick a more sob-inducing title? I want to hug my kids. And discourage them from ever considering becoming an Olympic athlete.
I'm not one for personal histories, but Beard's book is one I'm seriously considering adding to my reading list if not because it will help me feel so much better about my own life, but because it's the story of a woman who hasn't even hit 30!
"Memoir" is something you'd expect from someone who's at least 40, enough time to acquire experiences both good and bad that will actually keep people interested and allow you to shed some perspective. But a memoir at age 29? Now that's one short and intense roller coaster ride of a life.
Here's someone thrust into the adult world of highly competitive sports at a very young age, who won her first gold medal at age 14, who stripped naked for magazines, who's championed for animal rights, who worked for Fox Sports, who survived the underworld of drugs, alcohol, and eating disorders, who found a way to survive it, marry, and have a baby, who went from brunette to blond, who retired from swimming and then came back, who looks amazingly gorgeous for all she's been through, who's training to compete in the 2012 Olympics in London. All the while writing the story of her life.
Phew. I'm exhausted just writing that. And I'm looking at my own life and saying, now what the heck did I do again? And also ... thank God.
But that's what promises to make Beard's tale stand out against any other you'd expect from the typical child star. Beard is a complex lady. She's a woman of great contradictions that makes you stop and say, What? Really? How?
Beard has told the press that she hopes her memoir "will help others, especially high school and college-aged women, who may be dealing with some of the same issues." But we'll have to wait to read it. The book is due out in 2012, to coincide with the Olympics. That's one more year! So much more could happen to her in that time!
Let's hope it's a quiet one for Beard, with productive time spent on the computer, in the pool, and with her son and photographer husband -- and not one providing her more harrowing material for her book.
Will you read Beard's memoir?
Image via Amanda Beard/Facebook