Six Months for the Rest of my Life
By Anthony Ricciuto
One of the recent projects I have taken on for PL USA is that of doing some different product reviews when time permits. Now I have reviewed some different strength books, videos, and such to help readers have the inside scoop on various strength media in the search for that bigger total. Now in my lifetime, I have read a lot of different books. Now you may be thinking that I am talking about nutrition texts or different studies from some Journal of who knows what, but that’s not what I am referring to at all. I like to read books on a variety of topics from history to finance to arts and just about everything in between minus science fiction. But of all the books that I have read over the years, none have touched my heart like the one that I will be doing a review for today. The book that I am talking about is called Extraordinary Resolve: Six Months for the Rest of My Life and it was written by Bob Youngs and Michele Stanek.
Bob Is a World Class Powerlifter and Strength Coach!
More than just an Elite Powerlifter
Now for the veterans in the sport, you will know who Bob Youngs is right off the bat. Bob is a World Class Powerlifter and an Elite Member of Westside Barbell. Bob was not only a top-level competitor but he was also a World-Renowned coach and owner of Southside Barbell in Florida. Let’s not forget that he is a prolific writer as well. He has written numerous articles for Elite FTS website where he also had his training journal outlining his latest contest cycle. He was one of the early pioneers helping to bring forth the Westside Barbell Method of training on the internet. Hell for years I would look forward to reading Bob’s work because he could take an advanced theory on strength and simplify it so even someone like me could understand. One series I always enjoyed was called, “My Diary” where Bob would discuss his precontest thoughts and ideas as well as reviewing his performance at different competitions. Another amazing article that I really enjoyed was one called, “Things I Would do Differently”. Here from his vast training knowledge and experience in the trenches, he explained to lifters things he would have done differently throughout his competitive powerlifting career. By taking his advice in this article alone it would help beginners to the sport prevent injuries, perfect their technique, improve their recovery, and much more. Another very invaluable series was his four-part saga titled, “Handling Lifters at a Meet”. This was without a doubt the most comprehensive series written about being the best handler for your teammates when they stepped onto the platform. Plus with Bob’s unique writing style it felt like he was right there with you coaching you every step of the way. I guess this is one of the reasons why he’s writing in his new book will without a doubt touch your heart in a way you never thought possible. Now for those of you who have not followed Bob’s blog or his entries on Elite FTS you might be wondering why I sound so affected by just another book written by a Powerlifter. That is because this book is not just another book written by a Powerlifter. Extraordinary Resolve is not simply a book but a testament to Bob’s struggle and fights with Cancer.
The Fight of his Life!
On June 24th of 2009 at the age of 39, Bob was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). For those of you who don’t understand what this means I‘ll explain. AML as it is known is a cancer of the Myeloid line of blood cells. It causes rapid growth of white blood cells that later accumulate in the bone marrow. This then causes problems with the production of normal blood cells. From the next day on Bob would start his chemotherapy treatment and would be in for the fight of his life for the next six months. The book travels on daily entries from Michele taking you step by step through Bob’s tragic suffering through chemotherapy and his recovery. I am telling you this is a book that you will not be able to put down once you pick it up. When someone writes a book about a specific topic even if it’s their true love in life, nothing will compare to the heartfelt sentiment that his fiancée Michele has poured through these pages. Michele is a wonderful person whose loyalty and sincerity through Bob’s struggle is displayed throughout his chemo treatment and remission. One thing you will note from this book is that Bob was surrounded by some of the most loving and caring family and friends that ultimately helped give him strength during his darkest hours. They supported him and were by his side from the beginning of his chemotherapy and are a constant support structure to him to this day. Through all their valiant efforts and support, this is one of the reasons why Bob is here today to tell his story.
Bob Fought For His Life and Never Gave Up!
Live Strong and Never Surrender
The story of this book is one that will give you a bird’s eye view into the life of an Elite Powerlifter who wouldn’t give up when the fight of his life knocked on his door. Bob didn’t back down or lose hope even when things looked their worst. Even after losing close to 80 pounds and having multiple organ failures, having suffered massive internal bleeding, and even coming out of a coma, Bob would not settle for defeat. One of the things that sticks out so much after reading this book is the fact that Bob’s positive attitude played a major role in his recovery. No matter how bad things got Bob would not lie down and give up. He fought every inch of the way like a true warrior not bending to the hand of cards he was dealt. You see many of us get down and focus on small things that affect our lives. We somehow forget that there are other people in the world, in our country, in our city, or even in our own backyard that is suffering a million times more than us. This book will make you look at your own life and will make you realize that many of the everyday problems you face are really nothing at all. It will make you appreciate every day you wake up healthy and can live and work and enjoy all the things you do.
Priceless Life Lessons
There are so many valuable life lessons in this book that everyone can benefit from. Sometimes people,( I am talking about all of us), can lose focus on what’s truly important in life. You can sometimes get lost in the hustle and bustle of work, making money, training, and your daily chores and forget to enjoy each and every day that you are blessed with. One thing you will take from this book that I found very inspirational is that Cancer survivors only have two types of days. Those are good days and great days. In fact, this is how everyone should look at life and not let all the petty headaches and drama that occur in everyone’s life make them lose scope of what is truly important like your family, friends, and loved ones who have your back when times get tough. This book will help you truly understand what it is like to face death head-on and beat it. It will also show you how precious a loving network of family and friends are when you don’t know what the next day brings forth.
Bob Spending Time with His Son
Life is Precious
Now I don’t want to give you the entire story here because I want you to take this journey yourself. I am telling you this is one of the most moving and inspirational books you will ever read. Cancer is a disease that affects everyone at some time. Now I don’t mean that everyone will get it but what I am saying is that at some time in your life you will know someone either in your family or from friends that will be affected by this horrible disease. We are seeing a rate of Cancer among the populations of North America that has skyrocket in recent decades. I am so glad that I read this book because I have learned a lot not only about Bob’s struggle and his “never give up” attitude, but also how truly precious life is. Many of us take things for granted and don’t take time to stop and smell the roses and lose focus where our real priorities should be. This book will change your thinking and your priorities in life beyond what you can imagine. I have read plenty of motivational books from all the top names in the industry but none of them will change your outlook on life like this one. To get a copy of this truly amazing book go to Dave Tate’s website at www.elitefts.com or you can order it by phone at 1-888- 854-8806. If you read one book this year make it Extraordinary Resolve. I guarantee it will move you and motivate you in ways you never thought possible.