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On Friday, July 25, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Gabrielle Reece, author of BIG GIRL IN THE MIDDLE.
Gabrielle Reece: Hello, I'm in St. Louis running around talking about volleyball and getting ready to play in a tournament this weekend.
Gabrielle Reece: I grew up on St. Thomas and we didn't have a alot of access to large figures, so most of my role models were teachers, friends of my parents, people like that.
Gabrielle Reece: I will be in Chicago on Thursday, the 31st of July at Niketown.
Gabrielle Reece: We used that title because my position in volleyball is called the middle blocker, we also thought it could translate to other meanings.
Gabrielle Reece: Usually people are questioning my athleticism more than my femininity!
Gabrielle Reece: Because I'm so tall and my structure is big, I just decided to go with it and not fight. . . that I would never be that skinny or that small. And for me the trend of super thin is just that - a trend.
Gabrielle Reece: I live a very normal regimented life that focuses on my training and my private life so I squeeze the insane stuff in around that.
Gabrielle Reece: Well, unfortunately because beach volleyball is demographically specific she would need to get to some place warm. Also. . . practice, practice and more practice!
Gabrielle Reece: I think that it has boosted their self confidence thereby indirectly affecting their behavior and the treatment they receive.
Gabrielle Reece: First, thank you - that is very kind. I think the only secret I know is maybe that because I was forced to, because I was tall, I decided to do things that represented who I am and it seems to have worked out. I think any time people behave in a way that's truly them, then they'll never fail. You get in trouble when you try to copy others.
Gabrielle Reece: Well, I think it works both ways. I think there are a lot of male collegiate athletes suffering because of Title 9, and there are a lot of female athletes that have suffered from football. But overall, I think women's college athletics is in a very exciting place.
Gabrielle Reece: No, at the end of the season we got together and combined all of the work done during the season - Karen is the one doing the documenting during the season while I was playing. Remember - we had a great editor!
Gabrielle Reece: In season, I practice three to three and a half hour, out of season I lift for an hour to two hours and some kind of fun cross training.
Gabrielle Reece: I wrote the book because I was comfortable with the premise and the writer, since I've been given the opportunity to be a voice, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share the perspective of women's athletics from a woman. As far as ten year old girls go, they should understand their doing it because they chose to do it, and it should be fun.
Gabrielle Reece: I think there a lot of instances where you're larger objective dictates on a daily basis to either bite your lip or not behave in a way that is 100% the way you feel or think -- that is true in life, not just for someone who does what I do.
Gabrielle Reece: I think it is exciting is the fact that they have gotten such a mainstream group behind them - that's great for women's sports, I do think however, that the two leagues need to unite so the game can be as dynamic as possible.
Gabrielle Reece: I think it's sad anytime a young person suffers from that kind of frustrated self-image. I think a lot of time people don't have enough balanced perspective. . . their vision gets too narrowed and they lose balance, which is central in my life, such as the youg ballerina - that's her poin of reference. The only way it can be alleviated is to make as many possibilities available to young people, so that everything satys in it's place rather than getting out of wack.
Gabrielle Reece: I do clinics with the boys and girls clubs in the cities I'm traveling through, but as far as camps and formal clinics, I haven't been involved in many of those.
Gabrielle Reece: Yes. I think people's awareness of beach volleyball has increased over the last few years.
Gabrielle Reece: I think it starts very young, Billy is given a ball and Suzy is given a Barbie. Playing is a way boys interact from very young in life. Girls less and less, have to make a conscious effort to play. At a higher level, sports are a lot of work -- not everyone wants to do that.
Gabrielle Reece: I played basketball and I did a TV show that allowed me to try a gambit of sports. I have recently begun to surf which I really enjoy - as long as the waves are small.
Gabrielle Reece: I do know Tiger since before he turned professional, and I talk briefly about my relationship with Nike in the book.
Gabrielle Reece: Beach volleyball is a lifestyle sport and it's an inevitable negative to a lot of plusses and that women compete in certain kinds of attire - that it's unavoidable.
Gabrielle Reece: First, I wish we were a machine. I don't have any immediate plans for TV, but I would like to do more in the future, but I'm not sure on which platform.
Gabrielle Reece: I think the sport chose me, I started in eleventh grade, fell in love with it in college, started playing on the beach at 21, and have had so much fun since! It's really just such a fun sport.
Gabrielle Reece: I'm going to be in season until Sept. 15, and that's my primary focus. Hopefully you'll see me winning tournaments on ESPN! So everyone doesn't get sick of me, I'll keep a low profile after all this for a few months.
Gabrielle Reece: First, you have to have a "go for it" attitude. Unfortunately, it's no big secret - if it's something you want to focus on you need to spend a lot of time on it! It will give you a lot of confidence, not only because you'll be better, but because you'll know you've put so much effort into it.
Gabrielle Reece: I really don't have the time to spend much time online, I do have web tv, which I use when I need information.
Gabrielle Reece: Well, I 'll be the first to admit I've used my looks -- but I don't think that's the only message I've sent. I spend a lot of time training to promote women's sports, and I'm looking at it from a realistic point of view and sometimes you have to back door it.
Gabrielle Reece: I follow college a little bit, and if I knew the secret about how to make a sport more popular I'd be using it for my own league. I think that men;s volleyball is a little younger, it's so new to people - they're just getting familiar with the indoor college game.
Gabrielle Reece: Not until I'm 80 years old. I't a different kind of experience - one I'm not excited to do again.
Gabrielle Reece: Thank you for taking the time and interest and for all of your questions! Don't spend too long on your computers!
Posted April 28, 2000
This book is great. She doesn't lie about her feelings or life. She tells it like it is. Gabriella Reece is also a great inspiration for people of all ages. I reccommend this book to everyone.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.