Thursday, July 24, 2014

When Shmack Happens Book Review

Title: When Shmack Happens: The Making of a Spiritual Champion Author: Amber Neben Genre: Christian nonfiction/inspirational stories/sports autobiography Paperback: 172 pages Publisher: Neben Px4 (March 18, 2014) ISBN-10: 0991303008 ISBN-13: 978-0991303007 Purchase at: Amazon USA: Book website: Amazon UK and Amazon EU Have you ever been through a hard time in life? Ever wondered why bad things happen? Amber Neben has you covered. The 2x Olympic cyclist for Team USA knows a thing or two about shmack- her word for describing adversity that comes our way in life. Follow Amber’s journey as she overcomes major obstacles both on and off the bike-and encourages you to join her in developing the perseverance, patience, perspective, and power than only Christ can give us. Very few people may know or understand what road cycling is, but everyone knows what it means to be an Olympian. The champion road cyclist chronicles her disappointments and failures, as well as amazing comebacks and victories-while thrilling audiences along the way with gripping stories of faith and hope. After reading When Shmack Happens, you’ll feel equipped and encouraged to face life’s tough moments, and find yourself cheering for Amber to get back on the bike…one more time. Learn what it means to be a spiritual champion in God’s eyes.  
Excerpt: From Chapter 10 Fear gripped me as I skidded to a stop against the guardrail and looked up at the entire peloton riding toward my head. Another rider had just slid into my front wheel, causing it to turn violently sideways, ripping the handlebars out of my hands, and instantly halting the bike’s forward momentum. Since my body was still carrying the 30-plus mph speed and energy, I launched with my arms out like superman until I hit the pavement. Hard. The combination of the friction of my body on the road followed by the impact with the guardrail spun me around, so I could see what was coming at me. For a few seconds more, I was terrified of being run over until the peloton had passed. After this immediate danger was gone, I realized my finger was screaming at me. I hadn’t initially noticed it, but now it hurt like nothing I had ever felt. Fear grabbed me again as I connected the pain with the blood and the massive gash on it. I thought for sure I was going to lose the tip of it if I didn’t get help fast. I had no idea what had just occurred. We had crested a climb and started an easy downhill. I was still up front on the outside of the group. The corner was sweeping to the left, and I was looking far down the road…when suddenly I was tossed. It wasn’t until later that night that the rider who was behind me explained what had happened, and why I had no chance to react or had any sense that it was coming. I was in the middle of the 2009 racing season, coming off of the World Championship win the previous year. Only two days prior, I had won the time trial stage in this race, the women’s Girod’Italia. The win had catapulted me into the General Classification (GC) lead, and although I had cramped the next day and lost it, I was still close enough to fight back. There were enough hill-top finishes remaining, and I wasn’t planning on giving up the race so easily. However, in an instant, everything changed. I went from being in contention, to being bloodied on the side of an Italian road in the middle of nowhere, waiting for the race ambulance and a doctor.
Amber Neben is a decorated international road cyclist with victories in 11 countries and multiple UCI Category 1 stage race wins. She is a 2x Olympian, 2x World Champion, 2x Pan American Champion and 2x National Champion. She holds a B.S. from The University of Nebraska and an M.S. from UC Irvine. Amber and her husband, Jason, reside in Lake Forest, CA. For information on speaking engagements or coaching visit

My Review
I always find books about other people interesting. This book is all about Amber Neben and her exciting life as a champion with international road cycling. I honestly hadn't heard of her before this book but I don't follow anything on TV (we don't have it) and because of this I don't watch the Olympics much either. In any case this book was better than expected. It takes you into her life and really shows the reader how a personal relationship with Christ is possible, even when there is struggle. Amber has not had it easy, this book tells it all from accidents to being accused of taking drugs. She is a strong woman and I just have no idea what I would do in her place! Not only do you have to be strong physically but mentally and Amber is spiritually as well. This is a great book of picking yourself up and keeping on. 

"I received this book from the publisher and author for free in exchange for an honest review."

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Amber's book. I'm glad you enjoyed it.