Speakers Corner Book Club: Perseverance in the Face of Adversity
All of us here at the Speakers Corner Towers have embarked on a mission to provide that extra bit of magic at an event. How are we doing this, I hear you ask? We have set up the Speakers Corner Book Club who will read a selection of our speakers books each month with the aim of providing a honest review of the book, pulling out our key take-aways from the read and posting them here for you all to see. We find that having a Speakers book alongside an event is the perfect marriage for attendees to read, learn and embark on their own personal journey after having the privilege of hearing them speak.
This month’s book club embarked on 3 different journeys. Following the stories of Martine Wright, who lost both legs in the 7/7 London bombing and went on to compete in the 2012 London Paralympics; James Cracknell and Ben Fogle as they compete in the race to the South Pole, and Lewis Pugh who defies all odds by swimming and setting records in some of the coldest and most remote locations all the while campaigning for the environment.
Three very different stories, but one compelling lesson on extreme motivation in some of the most challenging circumstances. Enjoy reading through the team’s reviews of these books and learn a little bit more about these incredible journeys.
Dani - Unbroken by Martine Wright
Martine Wright shares her story after the 7/7 bomb attack where she lost both of her legs and was severely injured. Displaying incredible strength and motivation, she learned how to walk again and earned her place to play for the British Volleyball team competing at the London 2012 Paralympics.
Through this book you will get to know more about Martine’s life, before and after the accident with the narration allowing you to not only connect and relate with her, but stand beside her as she rebuilds herself.
After reading Martine’s story I’ve realised that overcoming adversity is more about hard work, determination and having the right mindset. I really admire her because after everything she went through, she never lost her smile, and was always grateful for what she had. Martine is a remarkable woman, and a perfect example of determination and empowerment.
This book will make you laugh and tear up with Martine and will leave you with valuable life lessons.
“Twelve years on, I’m still optimistic, positive, up for a laugh, loving, sociable a bit of control freak. But the trauma and its aftermath changed me. … the important things were right there alongside me all the time.“
Dan - A Race to The Pole by James Cracknell and Ben Fogle
Reading the story of James Cracknell , Ben Fogle and Ed Coats’ race to the South Pole was electrifying and emotional. A deep look into three very different personalities and motivations throughout the race, the book follows their journey from the UK to crossing that finish line at the southernmost point of the world.
Displaying incredible teamwork throughout; Ben was there for the experience and to challenge himself, James is an elite athlete who doesn’t know anything but to win and Ed was a perfect combination of the first two. Although they don’t win, (they come second) they push a Norwegian military team to the very end and put on a display that shocked the world.
From reading this book it’s made me understand the importance of having clear goals when trying to achieve something, but it’s imperative to make sure that you are aware of how you act when going about it. A book that I didn’t expect to produce emotions, I found myself holding back tears and celebrating with them as if I was there standing beside them.
I was inspired and humbled by this story.
"There was so much I wanted to say to Ben and Ed about what they and the journey meant to me, yet no words said it better than holding each other tight, our heads together. The dream had finally become a reality."
Abigail - 21 Yaks and a Speedo: How to Achieve your Impossible by Lewis Pugh
The first person to complete a long-distance swim in every ocean, Lewis Pugh’s 21 Yaks and a Speedo: How to achieve your impossible follows his many swimming expeditions from the North Pole to Australia, Antarctica to Mount Everest and everywhere in between.
A compelling memoir of what it’s like completing the world’s toughest swims, while campaigning for global warming and climate change, each story is complete with some incredible life-lessons. The beauty lies within its simplistic writing style, allowing the impact of what he was attempting to shine through.
After I finished this captivating book, I’ve become more energised and empowered to chase my dreams and smash my goals!
This book would be the perfect giveaway alongside a speaking engagement, where Lewis really opens up to share his most treasured lessons.
“If someone tells you that you can’t achieve your dream, don’t waste time arguing. Walk away and do it.”
There’s no doubt that these stories are incredibly inspirational. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how these speakers could transform an event, taking every member of the audience through the ups and downs alongside them, and leaving everyone with a huge dose of motivation. And what better way then leaving the audience with a lovely memento then handing out copies of their books. A lovely reminder of an incredible moment.
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