No Limits: The Will to Succeed Presented by Zac Brown

Written by Michael Phelps with Alan Abrahamson. Published on December 9th, 2008 by Free Press. Hardcover, 240 pages.

Michael Phelp's Background

Michael was born on June 30, 1985, in Baltimore, Maryland. After his parents divorced, Michael and his two older sisters joined a local swim team. His oldest sister, Whitney, tried out for the U.S. Olympic team in 1996, at the age of 15, but injuries derailed her career. At age 7, Phelps was still scared to put his head under water. After months of floating on his back, he soon found the ability to move through the water. As he got older he launched his swimming career at Loyola High School where he met his coach, Bob Bowman. Bob immediately recognized Phelps's talents and fierce sense of competition and began an intense training regime together. Now, he has shattered several records, was the first person ever to attend 5 Olympics and is declared the most decorated Olympian of all time.

A brief Summary

This biography is written by Michael Phelps, in which a step-by-step guide is demonstrated to realize and achieve one's dreams. He talks about how he has overcome the challenges of developing the mental attitude for the sport. For a small portion of his life, he gave up on swimming and decided to have fun and party. He had a few DUI violations and ended up going to a rehabilitation center. This downhill slump was caused by the fighting and hardships between him and his coach. The biography shows the the dedication and determination one must possess in order to persevere, not just in athletic competition, but as well as in life. Phelps encounters some bumpy roads as he heads off to claim the title of the most decorated Olympian.

Debbie Phelps and Bob Bowman

These two people are probably the most influencial people in Michael's life. Debbie is Michael's mom and she is a huge supporter of her son and his swimming. She loves him very deeply and always encourages Michael when he's under the weather or disappointed. Phelps looks up to her so much and couldn't achieved what he has without her. Bob is Michael's coach and his best friend. Without Bob and his attentiveness to see greatness, Michael wouldn't be where he is today. They may fight and hate eachother every other day, but they have a very close relationship.

Authors Message

I think that the message of this biography is: If you have a goal or dream, there are no permanent obstacles prohibiting you from obtaining that goal. If you believe you can achieve something, go for it. Never give up. "You can't put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get." Everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and this biography demontrates how to overcome those mental challenges one may possess.

Likes and Dislikes

Likes: I really loved the message behind this biography. I also like the set up of the book and how he coorelates each chapter with a specifc race in the Olympics. I think that incorporating the hard times in his life brought more to the story instead of just making it all positive events.

Dislikes: There isn't much that I didn't like other than the fact that there were pictures right in the middle of the book, I'd rather have them at the end. Also I think it would be interesting to get Bob's or Debbie's perspective of Michael's growth and experience.

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