Big Girl in the Middle

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Big Girl in the Middle is the story of the gangly girl who turned into one of the world's great beauties. At seven years old, Gabby was already five feet tall. By the time she was eighteen, she was a professional model. Big Girl is the personal story of Gabby's eventful and difficult childhood and of how she took the athletic path to self-discovery and success. Loosely structured around the volleyball season, Big Girl takes a look at how she maintains focus and balance without losing sight of her aspirations and ...
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Big Girl in the Middle is the story of the gangly girl who turned into one of the world's great beauties. At seven years old, Gabby was already five feet tall. By the time she was eighteen, she was a professional model. Big Girl is the personal story of Gabby's eventful and difficult childhood and of how she took the athletic path to self-discovery and success. Loosely structured around the volleyball season, Big Girl takes a look at how she maintains focus and balance without losing sight of her aspirations and goals, both professional and personal. Gabby, along with journalist and novelist Karen Karbo, tells of the successes and failures, the glories and pain of being a female athlete. While she accepts and even plays up her sex-symbol status, Gabby works hard at being a respected athlete, displaying her wit and intelligence at every turn. She accomplishes these things by tapping into her aggressive, competitive side without losing sight of her emotional center or her femininity. Gabrielle Reece is an inspiration to all girls and women who want to become the heroes of their own lives.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The story of Gabrielle Reece, the first celebrity athlete to emerge from women's professional volleyball.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Reece explains that her career as an international model was taking a dive in any case when she abandoned it to play for Team Nike in the Bud Light Professional Beach Volleyball Tour in 1991. At 6'3" and weighing 175 pounds, she was certainly qualified physically for either calling. Writing with novelist and journalist Karbo (Trespassers Welcome Here), she begins each chapter with a bit of autobiography or an analysis of the female athlete in general and the ways her own personality equips her for the role. The authors cover the league's 1996 season, from its start in Manhattan Beach, Calif., through New York and the Midwest to Santa Cruz, Calif. And a miserable season it was for Reece's team, with few victories and much changing of personnel in a frantic attempt to land the players who would establish the right chemistry. Yet through it all, we are told, Captain Reece maintained her perspective and her resolve to keep plugging away. This account should give a boost to the morale of female athletes. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (July)
VOYA - Joyce Sparrow
Stereotypes are eliminated in this book that outlines the life of professional volleyball player, television personality, and fashion model Gabrielle Reece. What is striking about Reece's story is the contrast between the fragile, beautiful young woman and the aggressive, competitive volleyball player. Reece is a self-described "new style athlete ... in the multifaceted worker-of-the-media sense." She spent her childhood living with family friends on Long Island and with her mother on St. Thomas; she first played volleyball and basketball in high school and began modeling in Europe at the same time. She began her professional volleyball career at the age of twenty-two. Reece details her personal philosophies of Christian spirituality and self-esteem, as well as her work ethic as an athlete and model. Her determination encourages young people to embrace life as she has. Reece's story is presented in alternating chapters, with co-author Karbo describing Reece's role on the touring professional volleyball team, Team Nike. Reece explains how her careers embrace both her male and female sides, indicating that her modeling career has nothing to do with her sport. "Volleyball is a reflection of my entire personality, and modeling only reflects the so-called feminine side of me." The style of the book further emphasizes the contrasts in Reece herself. Good photographs complement the text. For popular collections and interested readers. Photos. VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P S (Readable without serious defects, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Library Journal
The newly established Olympic sport of beach volleyball has an image problem. Although every bit as fierce a game as its indoor version, it is still associated with suntanning and bikini culture. In alternating chapters, athlete, model, and 6'3" "babe for a living" Reece and coauthor Karbo (Trespassers Welcome Here , Putnam, 1989) discuss the balance Reece seeks between aggression and emotion, beauty and brains, masculinity and femininity. Shuffled about as a child, she developed a strong, brash, independent personality ideally suited for the self-promotion needed for both modeling and pitching for a developing sport. Only 26, she finds her greatest rewards in the challenges of volleyball. Her story is an inspiration to tall girls and young female athletes, who may fear looking, sounding, and acting big and strong. Recommended for public libraries. (Photos not seen.) [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/97.]Kathryn Ruffle, Coll. of New Caledonia Lib., Prince George, B.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609801932
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/16/1998
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Karbo is the author of two novels, Trespassers Welcome Here and The Diamond Lane. Her nonfiction essays have appeared in Esquire, Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, the New Republic, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. Her story on America3, the all-women's America's Cup Team, originally published in Outside magazine, appeared in The Best American Sports Writing of 1996. She lives in Portland, Oregon
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Read an Excerpt

The Friday Morning Grind

Gabrielle Reece likes to roar. When she's frustrated, she opens her large, much-photographed mouth and heaves forth a sound beloved of five-year-old boys playing monster. Errggghhhhhh! Today, at Southern California's Manhattan Beach, dressed in her uniform -- black running tights, black sports top, black visor emblazoned with a white NIKE swoosh -- she leans forward at the waist, carotid arteries snaking up either side of her long, strong neck, clenches her fists, opens her mouth wide and roars. Again and again, she roars. Sometimes the roar is followed by a half-swallowed curse. Farge! Profanity earns you a red card from the ref; a red card gives a point and the volleyball to the other team.
Even though we live in a time when a certain amount of female brutishness is considered to be spirited, and thus sexy, there are still limits, big ones. One thing women of the '90s have in common with every woman from Mary Magdalene up through Hillary Clinton is the feeling that there are boundaries beyond which you must not go, or else be written off as unacceptable. To flourish personally, professionally and, in the case of someone like Gabby, in the public eye, you must still refrain from being too opinionated or too emotional or too successful. A recent cartoon in The New Yorker shows two men at a cocktail party; one says to the other, "She's your type. Good-looking, some money, not too much ambition."
There is something you must understand about Gabby's roar. There is nothing remotely attractive about it. It's genuine, unfiltered human expression.Gabby's roar is -- like just about everything else about Gabby -- is a shade past the pale. It's a too big sound from a too big girl who turned bigness and buffness and brute strength to her advantage.
Gabby's roar comes out when she's frustrated, and she's frustrated a lot these days. It's the middle of the summer, the middle of her 4th season playing middle blocker on the Bud Light Professional Beach Volleyball Tour; the middle of a losing streak. Team NIKE, her team, cannot seem to put together anything resembling a winning streak. Unlike every other women's team on the tour, Team Norelco, Team Paul Mitchell, Team Discus, and Team Sony AutoSound, Team NIKE has never made it to the Finals. Not once.
But these are big picture facts that Gabby tries not to think about at 11:30 a.m. on this Friday morning in the middle of July, Round Three of the three day tournament, Team NIKE versus Team Norelco, Shoes Versus Nubs. The most hazardous seconds during a volleyball game are the 45 seconds or so before service when your mind can sabotage your game. When you might, if you were Gabby, start thinking that you need a win more than any other team, if only to prove that you're not doomed to spend the entire rest of the season losing. When you might start thinking how this year, more than any other, you've put it all out there. You've got the stats, you've got the awards, but this year, you wanted to both dominate the center and captain a first place team. First place, nothing else. And there you are in fifth. Fifth place out of five teams. A bad dream that shows no signs of ending.
But you can't think that, you mustn't, and all players know this, Gabby especially. She knows it's what's happening on the sand, this instant. And at this instant one of Gabby's teammates, also her roommate, a quiet girl named Jennifer Meredith rushes a shot and thwacks the ball straight into the middle of the net. Jen looks frustrated. Gabby roars. Tennis great and veteran grunter Monica Seles was publicly chastised for less.
Despite Gabby's status as someone famous, there are not many people around to watch her play on this Friday morning in mid-July. On Friday, the day before the weekend, when the tournament is routinely crowded with the usual smacking-of-good health-and-good-cheer California beach crowd, the scene is grungier than you might expect.
The ocean at Manhattan Beach is a disconcerting olive green, the breaking waves trimmed with pale green lace. Tiny, tobacco-colored moth flies alight on piles of kelp. Whenever the wind shifts, the tonic salt air is undercut by the carnival aromas of cocoa butter, fried foods, and incense. A blimp swims overhead. Fair grounds-by-the-sea.
This is the first year the Bud Light Pro Beach Men's Tour and Women's Tour have been combined in a single event -- the Men's tournament alternating with the Women's -- which accounts for some teams having to play to whoever strolls past on Friday morning.
Sure, it seems like an up-and-running, fully-operational professional sporting event; they have Smashing Pumpkins blasting from the speakers at the Sony AutoSound Truck, and the giant white Paul Mitchell shampoo bottle balloon is up and tethered between two sets of bleachers, and there is a girl with neat hair posted at the Paul Mitchell booth cradling a wicker basket of sample envelopes of Super Clean Hair Gel, but the tunes are grooved upon mostly by the roadies still assembling the bleachers, and the shampoo samples go unspoken for. What the organizers of the Bud Light tour have either failed to consider, or didn't care to, was that most people who might follow beach volleyball as a serious sport have something to do on Friday that forces them to miss the first day of play. Like jobs, kids, summer school.
The pleasing irony is that this fledgling quality is what makes beach volleyball attractive; the organizers and sponsors of the sport may be in it for the usual reasons, but the players are in it for love, and for a public weary of sports as big business, its a balm. Discovering the sport is like heading for Bali on an over-booked charter and stumbling upon a virgin beach. It's refreshing, and at the same time frustrating, that in an age when professional sports are over-covered by the media, there's rarely a whisper about beach volleyball in the local paper.
It's unlikely you'd find mention of beach volleyball in the L.A. Times. Especially on this day, in the middle of July. It is July 17, a big news day sports-wise which means money-as-it-relates-to-sports-wise.
On Page One, headlines: a 24-year-old actor, rapper, restaurant owner, spokesman for Reebok, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell & KFC, and basketball player, Shaquille O'Neal signed a 7-year, $120 million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. (O'Neal's contract breaks down to about $17 million a year, a million more than Lakers owner Jerry Buss bought the entire team for in 1979.) There is also an all-Shaq section. Articles on The Agent; The Competition; The New-Look Lakers; the Uniform; The TV Picture; Around the NBA; Assessing the Lakers; The Money Trail.
We also have The Olympics, on home turf, in Atlanta where, if you believe the hype, women will figure big, particularly women in the traditionally over-looked team sports: basketball, softball, volleyball and, for the first time, beach volleyball.
Page One of the Business section has this: Some 50 advertisers have paid an average of $500,000 each for 30 second prime time spots during Olympic coverage. Coca-Cola will air 100 different commercials, one time each, spending $62 million for the privilege. The honor of being an official Olympic sponsor can be purchased for $40 million; for a scant 1.5 to 2 million you can sponsor the entire Bud Light Pro Beach Volleyball Tour; for $90,000 -- petty cash! -- you can sponsor your own team.
At the back of the sports section proper, in the part of the paper that resembles the stock exchange listings, we learn that the Padres have ended somebody's losing streak, and that the British Open is underway. There are smeary stats from the last Dodgers and Angels games, updates on Roller Hockey and Arena Football, Bowling and Minor League Baseball. Nothing about the doings of one the most popular female athletes in America; a recent ESPN poll puts Gabrielle Reece at #7, somewhere between Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Nancy Kerrigan.
While Shaq is putting the ink on a contract so outrageous that it inspires a reexamination of the Seven Deadly sins, while the big dogs at Coke are mainlining Maalox, hoping their $62 million buck investment will pay off, Gab is at work. Roaring and sweating and burning the bottoms of her feet on the sand -- other players wear white cotton anklets or reef runners, silly looking with their body hugging lycra bicycle shorts and sports tops, but so what; Gab prefers to burn the bottoms of her feet; the socks are too distracting -- and losing, still losing. Gab is at work, getting her ass kicked on a beach whose name pops up only in the Fish Report.        
There is no question that Gabby wouldn't prefer to be one of the much-lauded female athletes preparing to go to Atlanta. Despite the corruption of the Olympics by the market, the on-going fuss about amateurism versus professionalism that never quite rises to the level of a balls-out debate, and the tacky opening ceremonies that have come to resemble the endless opening number for the Oscars, the Olympics remain for an athlete -- especially an athlete in an unheralded sport -- the pinnacle of achievement.
But Gabby's game is not Doubles, the game making its debut this July, but four person volleyball, and so she is here on the beach, with her team, grinding. It is Gabby's commitment for the summer, and it is part of her personal code to honor her commitments.

Shaquille O'Neal is the new breed of professional athlete; his profession is not his sport, but creating a need for his image as an athlete who plays it. He's the guy who makes more money off his endorsement contract than he does his sport. The one who gets so rich he sets his family up in business; he gets his mom a commercial and his brother manages his finances, he is his own corporation. The sport -- the activity at which he truly excels -- is secondary. It is the idea of him as athlete that has made him a hero; his sport, like the eventual fate of our little toes, falls away, no longer needed. The old-style athlete is the professional athlete; the new style athlete is the entrepreneurial athlete.
Gabby Reece is a new style athlete. Not in the slam-dunking, body-banging, racking-up-the-stats sense, but in the multi-faceted, worker of the media sense. In the post modern, post-Warholian American sense. In the gorgeous, charismatic sense. In the smile that can launch a thousand ships sense, and the strength to sink a few single-handedly sense.
Gabby's resume isn't all that different from Shaq's. Over the past four years she's come out of nowhere to occupy the white-hot center of popular culture, a distinguished nexus of TV, fashion and sports. Her face stares out from the covers of a cross section of magazines that represent the new female ideal she's come to represent: Elle and Outside, Harper's Bazaar and Shape. At the peak of her modelling career in the late 1980s, Gabby pulled down as much $35,000 a day. She made a hit with the Beavis and Butthead crowd as the host of MTV Sports, a show that profiled the kind of eyeball-bulging pursuits that typically raise life-insurance premiums, like drag racing, street luging, bungee jumping, and skydiving.
The short-lived The Extremists with Gabrielle Reece, which covered the same sort of terrain, was aired in 40 countries worldwide. A one-time fitness columnist for Elle, now a consulting editor for Conde Nast's SPORTS for Women, she is also one of NIKE's marquee athletes whose Air Trainer Patrol cross-training shoe she helped design; she was, in fact, the first woman to promote her own Nike shoe. Hollywood is has been courting her for years -- offering mostly roles that feature large weapons and thong bikinis.
But Gabby -- despite the cool countenance, despite the glamour oozing from every perfect pore, despite the fact she is in every way killer -- is not Shaq. She is a woman, and she plays in what she calls "an unhyped sport."
Also, she lives by some shockingly old-fashioned principals. One of the first being that waving your tear sheets and contracts around is no form of occupation. "I'm willing to be babe for a living," Gabby has said on a number of occasions. "I know it's part of the gig." But it's the grinding that makes Gabby able to live with herself.
For in The Gospel According to Gab, if you don't work, if you don't grind, don't sweat or burn the bottom of your feet, don't roar, you don't deserve to win. And it's not just that. If she, Gabrielle Reece, one of People's 50 Most Beautiful People of the Year, one of Elle's Five Most Beautiful Women in the World, one of Shape's buffest babes in the solar system, or some other impossible-to-live-up-to-accolade, if she permitted herself to spend half the time basketball and football and baseball players do being photographed behind the ubiquitous gaggle of microphones about her own multi-million dollar deal -- and yes, she does have one, with NIKE -- the world would see one thing and one thing only: a beautiful girl, cashing in on her beauty.
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Interviews & Essays

On Friday, July 25, welcomed Gabrielle Reece, author of BIG GIRL IN THE MIDDLE.

Moderator: Welcome to the Live Events Auditorium! We are proud to welcome Gabby Reece, athlete, model, author and inspiration. What is it like to be the BIG GIRL IN THE MIDDLE, on the volleyball court, and in a society enamored by small, feminine women? Gabby has broken the bounds... and this is your opportunity to find out what it took! Welcome, Ms. Reece! Thanks so much for joining us this afternoon! Have we caught you in the middle of a tour?

Gabrielle Reece: Hello, I'm in St. Louis running around talking about volleyball and getting ready to play in a tournament this weekend.

marla from la: Who were your idols growing up?

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.

Laura from Chicago, IL: Are you going on a book tour? Will you be coming to Chicago?

Gabrielle Reece: I will be in Chicago on Thursday, the 31st of July at Niketown.

Amy from Salt Lake City: Why did you title your book, BIG GIRL IN THE MIDDLE?

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.

Oliver Willis from Ft. Lauderdale: What do you say (or think) when people question your femininity?

Gabrielle Reece: Usually people are questioning my athleticism more than my femininity!

Amber Ramon from St. Louis: Have you ever felt pressure to lose muscle or slim down? You are incredibly beautiful, but I'm wondering if you too feel the pressure to assimilate into the trend of heroin-chic? How do you feel about these too-thin models?

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.

Gregg Graves from Yuba City, California: Hi Gabrielle. I would just like to know how you possibly cope with all of your fame, while balancing a modeling career, and heading a professional volleyball team? It must be insanity of which not even you must get used to.

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.

Jeff Charles from Canada: Your are a god, I have a friend who dreams of being just like you sexy, athletic, smart!! What advice could you give to her in becoming a pro volley-ball player?

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!

John from Hoboken: Do you think a wider participation by women in sports has helped women gain equality in other parts of their lives?

Gabrielle Reece: I think that it has boosted their self confidence thereby indirectly affecting their behavior and the treatment they receive.

Edward J. Gallagher from Hotlanta: Gabby, I remember sitting in class at FSU and thinking "my god that is THE most beautiful woman I have ever seen." My friends would say you were too tall etc. Those same friends have now seen the light and collect everything Gabby. My question isYou are a very strong and motivated woman (that's why I admire you so much) what are the things that you have done/said that have made you able to overcome the sterotypes and have people see you now the way I did at FSU? Good luck always and you are a real inspiration to me!!!

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.

Kendra Lewis from Allentown, PA: I am a big fan. What do you think of the current state of female collegiate athletics? Do you think it is unfair how they give so many more college scholarships to males versus females?

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.

ELISA from Pasadena, CA: Hi Gabby, I'm interested in what it was like to collaborate on the book. Did you and Karen each write drafts? How did it work?

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!

Vince from Manhattan: What is your daily training schedule like? How many hours a day do you usually work out?

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.

Tommy from Boston, MA: What inspired you to write this book? Is there a specific message you wanted to spread? What would you tell a team of 10 year old girls to keep them going?

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.

Gretel Leveth from Hartford, CT: Can you provide an instance where you felt that you had to compromise a part of your personality in order to fulfill the predetermined image of either model, or athlete, or girl?

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.

Moderator: If you are just joining us, Gabrielle Reece in online fielding questions about her book, BIG GIRL IN THE MIDDLE. To submit a question, click on the red SUBMIT QUESTION button on the left of your screen and ask away!

Gabrielle Reece:

Davis Fredricks from LA: How do you feel the WNBA is doing for the cause of women's sports? Is the league healthy enough to survive long-term?

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.

Wendy from Clinton, NJ: What do you think about the young ballerina in Boston that recently died of heart failure from losing too much weight? What's your take on young women and their skewed ideas of their body image? How can this be alleviated? Thanks for taking my question.

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.

Jessica from San Francisco: I saw your appearance on "Good Morning America" and thought you were terrific--it was especially great that you helped the host with her serve. Do you actually give volleyball clinics or teach anywhere?

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.

Michael A. Beck from Modesto, CA: Do you find the volleyball tours are becoming bigger in the past few years, with more of a fan following than before?

Gabrielle Reece: Yes. I think people's awareness of beach volleyball has increased over the last few years.

Sarah Gregory from Scarsdale, NY: Congratulations on your much deserved success! Why do you think girls are disuaded from playing sports in school? So many more boys do than girls? You must have an enlightened perspective on this issue.

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.

MaryLynne from Palo Alto: What other sports have you been involved in besides volleyball? What's your favorite sport?

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.

Moderator: If you are just joining us, Gabby Reece in online answering questions about her book, BIG GIRL IN THE MIDDLE. To read what has already been discussed, click on the FREEZE PAGE button in the right of your screen and your page will stop refreshing. When you are finished, click that same button and the chat will resume in real time. Thanks for joining us online.

Gabrielle Reece:

Jenny from Las Vegas: Do you talk about your relationship with Nike in the book? Have you met Tiger Woods?

Gabrielle Reece: I do know Tiger since before he turned professional, and I talk briefly about my relationship with Nike in the book.

Carson from College Park, MD: How do you respond to the oft-voiced criticism of beach volleyball that its popularity is due exclusively to the "babe-factor", i.e., that people only pay attention to women's beach volleyball because it features scantily clad women?

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.

Rob Ridlehoover from Columbus OH: Hi Gabby. First, congrats on Team Nike's success so far this year. You guys are a machine. Second, do you have any plans to do more TV anytime soon?

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.

Marnie from Philadelphia: Why volleyball? How did you chose this sport?

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.

Moderator: Gabby Reece will be 'returning' questions for just a few more minutes about her book BIG GIRL IN THE MIDDLE. If you have anything to ask, ask it now!

Gabrielle Reece:

Harold Neil from New York City: So what do have planned for the next couple of months? Where will we see you next?

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.

Megan from Pennsylvania: Hi! I play high school volleyball and I was wondering if there is anything you can do to improve your serve? Thanks a lot!

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.

Tim from Dallas: Hi Gabby. I like your homepage on Sportsline. Do you spend much time online? Do you have a favorite site?

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.

Diana from New York: From your book I get the sense that you believe the modeling industry sends the wrong message to young women, however, it's clear that you have used your looks--to some degree--to get ahead. Do you think that's an o.k. message to send young women?

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.

Mike from Pacifica: do you still follow the college game and, if so, what do you think can/should be done to improve the sport's popularity in the U.S.? Also, why do you think men's college v-ball is less an attraction than women's?

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.

Oliver from Ft. Lauderdale: Do you plan on writing any more books?

Gabrielle Reece: Not until I'm 80 years old. I't a different kind of experience - one I'm not excited to do again.

Moderator: Thanks for chatting with us online, Gabby! You are certainly an inspiration to all of us. Any final words?

Gabrielle Reece: Thank you for taking the time and interest and for all of your questions! Don't spend too long on your computers!

Moderator: TGIF to everyone online at Thanks for joining in on the conversation with Gabrielle Reece, who discussed her new book BIG GIRL IN THE MIDDLE.

Gabrielle Reece:

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2000

    Great for bookreports

    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.

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