Author Vordenberg is the retired US Team Head Coach of (not coincidentally) our best team in decades. He is a two-time Olympian and National Champion.
This book is special for a few reasons. One, it highlights the junior years, which no other outdoor sports book does. Two, Pete is telling stories here. It's not just sports writing. And the stories are often about other people. Pete knows he stands on shoulders. So it has a big cast of characters. Lastly, if you're nuts about sport, you know it's year-round. XC skiers maybe take off April then get going again. So ski stories aren't only about winter anymore.
Here's how the book starts: "The trick is to leap out of bed as soon as you are aware of consciousness. Up, into motion, no time for doubt, no questions asked. New day. Game on. Eli Brown taught me that. He wakes up awake. His eyes open and he's swinging legs over the bed, popping out from under the covers. Eli attacks from the gun. Then we are out the door and in the van -- on our way to work on the dream. On our way to training. This is a mission. Every day is a mission."
Momentum is "the best XC ski read ever," says Bob Gregg, editor of Master Skier magazine. In Momentum Vordenberg opens up skiing in a way we haven't seen before. It shows a life of chasing a near-impossible dream without excuses. Why bother trying to do something as futile as win Olympic gold in XC? No American has done it. Read the book and see! Momentum gives you the only look at life inside the scrappy do-it-all US ski team of the late 1990's.
Customer Reviews 3 item(s)
- If Quixote tilted at Bigfoot
Admittedly I felt a little like Sancho Panza, because I didn't really anticipate reading "Momentum." Odds were that it prove to be just another insipid, quixotic memoir in the vast wasteland of sports literature. I was in for a surprise. In that ego-fueled and littered expanse "Momentum" shines like a rare and precious gem.
The body of the work is solid, and there are several scenes which are more than adequately--shall we say--"fleshed out." For example: the Halloween night revenge of the NMU xc ski team against a less than candid comedian-evangelist. Some guys are probably going to spend some time in purgatory for that caper, and I don't mean skiing in Colorado!
It is a very well written work. This book is autobiographical--Pete Vordenberg as he bled, sweat, toiled, cried and laughed trying to acquire Olympic fulfillment in a practically anonymous nordic odyssey. Nevertheless, if measured together with a Sasquatch or two, Pete's life would balance the scales of 10,000 ordinary men.
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In describing his fourteen-year pursuit of an Olympic medal in Nordic ski racing, Vordenberg recalls his youthful adventures in Boulder, Colorado; from there his saga takes us on to survey his years of training, summer and winter, in such places as Trout Lake, Washington, Marquette, Michigan, Sweden and Oregon, with high jinks adventures and merry pranks to balance the triumphs and failings with delightful levity.
MOMENTUM offers escape from our American obsessions with the mega-sports that lead winners to multi-million dollar contracts with the pros. By contrast, Nordic ski racing remains at the verge of awareness and interest, although in the Scandinavian countries it is THE SPORT. To become an Olympian, the racer must train relentlessly for years while surviving on meager financial aid; he sacrifices loot in pursuance of a dream that offers intrinsic satisfaction - the sheer joy of skiing among the elite.
This book takes us back to that magical stage of yourh when exciting dreams lead us on. It progresses not chronologically but episodically, offering choice metaphors and smooth transitions that make it a satisfying reading experience. One can't resist comparing it to Lance Armstrong's popular book; for with Lance it was not about the bike. Similarly, for Vordenberg, in summary it was not about skis gliding smoothly over snow but rather years of reflective experience that take us to discovery of self, of meanings and values and processes that can apply to all.
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- Join The Momentum!
Momentum is not only what author Pete Vordenberg has on skis; it's what he uses to propel the reader through this dynamic book! It's hard to put down as you follow Pete from junior high trials to Olympic trails, from Swedish snow to Mexican mermaids, from inspiring coaches to aspiring competitors. But I find myself stopping to savor the flavor of particularly vivid passages such as the first snow coming to northern Michigan or to laugh at the hilarious antics of the athletes as they seek balance from intense training. Skiers will appreciate Pete's training notes and motivational insights, but everyone will enjoy the authentic flow of the conversations he captures on paper, and the sympathetic portrayal of the the unique people who have crossed his path from fellow skiers to famous skiers, from escapees to Baja to an over-weight lady jogger, among others. This book is a kaleidescope of adventure both for those who pursue their dreams with determination and discipline, and for those who prefer just reading about those who do.
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