One of our recommended books for 2020 is Brave Enough by Jessie Diggins

BRAVE ENOUGH


In Brave Enough, Jessie Diggins reveals the true story of her journey from the American Midwest into sports history, when she and teammate Kikkan Randall won the first ever cross-country skiing gold medal for the United States at the 2018 Winter Olympics. With candid charm and characteristic grit, she connects the dots from her free-spirited upbringing in Minnesota to racing in the spotlights of the Olympics. Going beyond stories of races and ribbons, she describes the challenges and frustrations of becoming a serious athlete, the intense pressure of competing at the highest levels, and her harrowing struggle with bulimia,

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In Brave Enough, Jessie Diggins reveals the true story of her journey from the American Midwest into sports history, when she and teammate Kikkan Randall won the first ever cross-country skiing gold medal for the United States at the 2018 Winter Olympics. With candid charm and characteristic grit, she connects the dots from her free-spirited upbringing in Minnesota to racing in the spotlights of the Olympics. Going beyond stories of races and ribbons, she describes the challenges and frustrations of becoming a serious athlete, the intense pressure of competing at the highest levels, and her harrowing struggle with bulimia, recounting both the adversity and how she healed from it in order to bring hope and understanding to others experiencing eating disorders.

Between thrilling accounts of moments of triumph, Diggins shows the determination it takes to get there—the struggles and disappointments, the fun and the hard work, and the importance of listening to that small, fierce voice: I can do it. I am brave enough.

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  • University of Minnesota Press
  • Paperback
  • March 2020
  • 296 Pages
  • 9781517908195

Buy the Book

$24.95

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About Jessie Diggins & Todd Smith

Jessie Diggins was raised in Afton, Minnesota, and became a professional skier at the age of nineteen. A two-time Olympian and four-time World Championship medalist, she is the most decorated U.S. cross-country athlete in World Championship history.

Todd Smith is author of Hockey Strong. His sportswriting has been published in The Rake Magazine, Minnesota Monthly, and Twin Cities METRO Magazine.

Praise

“With admirable vulnerability, Jessie demonstrates how to be a leader and ‘best teammate’ while also being open to help and support from others. I have never been more proud of my teammate and friend.” —Kikkan Randall

“Already an inspiration to us all, Jessie once again shows her courage to leave it all on the track by sharing her deeply personal story. Readers will be encouraged by how one woman created a path forward for herself—and helped and uplifted so many in the process.” —Ann Bancroft

Discussion Questions

1. “I have loved being outdoors pretty much since birth,” Jessie writes to open Brave Enough. Diggins grew up in Afton, Minnesota, and had an extremely active childhood, surrounded by a natural world that became her imaginary kingdom. In what ways did Jessie’s childhood setting inform her future career? In what ways are people a product of their environment?

2. One of the most emotional parts of Brave Enough is when Jessie reveals intimate details about her eating disorder and her time in treatment at the Emily Program. In her honesty, Jessie wanted to open a conversation about eating disorders. How did these chapters affect you? What did you learn about eating disorders? How can we help others that are struggling with disordered eating?

3. Jessie has worked with a lot of amazing women and men during her career that all have different leadership styles. Kikkan Randall leads by example, Sophie Caldwell is quiet and supportive, Liz Stephen is the team Mom, and Jessie is the team’s cheerleader. Which teammate’s style of leadership do you most relate to?

4. In 2018, Jessie and Kikkan Randall won the gold medal in the team sprint at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. What would it feel like to see Jessie charge toward the finish line in one of the most dramatic sprints to the finish in sports history? If you won the Olympics, what would be the first thing you’d like to do? What causes would you use your new platform for?

5. As a cross-country skier who has been traveling all around the world since her teens, Jessie has seen the effects that climate change has had on our world. For example, many World Cup races in mountain ski towns are now held entirely on man-made snow. How have you seen the changing climate impact your life or the lives of others as you travel? What actions can we all do to make a positive impact?