×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Chalked Up: My Life in Elite Gymnastics
  • Alternative view 1 of Chalked Up: My Life in Elite Gymnastics
  • Alternative view 2 of Chalked Up: My Life in Elite Gymnastics
     

Chalked Up: My Life in Elite Gymnastics

4.4 31
by Jennifer Sey
 

See All Formats & Editions

Fanciful dreams of gold-medal glory led Jennifer Sey to the local gymnastics club in 1976. A natural aptitude and a willingness to endure punishing hard work took her to the elite ranks by the time she was eleven years old. Jennifer traveled the country and the world competing for the U.S. National team, but the higher she set her sights—the world

Overview

Fanciful dreams of gold-medal glory led Jennifer Sey to the local gymnastics club in 1976. A natural aptitude and a willingness to endure punishing hard work took her to the elite ranks by the time she was eleven years old. Jennifer traveled the country and the world competing for the U.S. National team, but the higher she set her sights—the world championships, the 1988 Olympics—the more she began to ignore her physical and mental well-being. Jennifer suffered devastating injuries, developed an eating disorder, and lived far from family and friends, all for the sake of winning. When her parents and coaches lost sight of her best interests, Jennifer had no choice but to redefine her path into adulthood. She had to save herself.

Chalked Up delivers an unforgettable coming-of-age story that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt not good enough and has finally come to accept who they were meant to be.

Editorial Reviews

Real Simple Magazine (blog)
“CURLING UP WITH A GOOD HEALTH BOOK: In 1986 Sey was the number one gymnast in America. Her memoir recounts what it took to get there. As a former gymnast myself (no where NEAR as accomplished), I relished this unvarnished account of the sport.”
The Observer
“Sey’s memoir has sent shock waves through the tightly knit world of top athletes, sparking controversy…She hopes her book might serve as both a wake-up call to a sport that she says she still loves and a lesson to parents whose children enter the world of top athletics.”
Kathryn Bertine
“A cautionary tale to not just athletes, parents, coaches, and judges but to fans of gymnastics… intense, gripping, and powerful.”
Jake Tapper
“A remarkably candid, unblinking portrait of what it truly takes to become a champion…that may forever alter the way you watch sports.”
Dominique Moceanu
“She has eloquently and fairly exposed a dark side to our sport that parents have long needed to be made aware of.”
(blog) - Real Simple Magazine
"CURLING UP WITH A GOOD HEALTH BOOK: In 1986 Sey was the number one gymnast in America. Her memoir recounts what it took to get there. As a former gymnast myself (no where NEAR as accomplished), I relished this unvarnished account of the sport."
International Gymnast
“Chalked Up pulls no punches…Sey’s writing is brilliant…offering perceptive psychoanalysis of everyone in her isolated world…Chalked Up is proof that she still has alot of guts.”
Penthouse
“Is the wonder of seeing these tiny bodies propel through space worth the horror they suffer to achieve grace and beauty? Or—and this is a conclusion the Sey refuses to draw—is this “sport” just institutionalized, commercialized, child abuse?”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061351471
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/21/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
296,062
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

What People are Saying About This

Kathryn Bertine
“A cautionary tale to not just athletes, parents, coaches, and judges but to fans of gymnastics… intense, gripping, and powerful.”
Dominique Moceanu
“She has eloquently and fairly exposed a dark side to our sport that parents have long needed to be made aware of.”
Jake Tapper
“A remarkably candid, unblinking portrait of what it truly takes to become a champion…that may forever alter the way you watch sports.”

Meet the Author

The 1986 national gymnastics champion and a seven-time U.S. National team member, Jennifer Sey is a graduate of Stanford University. She lives with her husband and two sons in San Francisco.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Chalked Up 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Trisha2011 More than 1 year ago
Journey to the Top and Down Again If you were to meet Jennifer Sey today you would see a Stanford graduate and successful businesswoman with a husband, and two sons. However, in the 1980's you would have met a completely different person. You would have met a young gymnast who was covered in bruises and on the verge of self destruction. There was never a sacrifice that Sey would not make in order to achieve her dream of becoming an Olympic gymnast. At six years old Sey started gymnastics. She was a natural and her family was willing to sacrifice everything to make her into a champion. She quickly moved up the ranks and by the age of eleven was one of America's elites. As Sey set her goals higher and expected more from herself she began to fall into a deep downward spiral that was ignored by all adults in her life. She endured erratic coaches, long days of hard workouts, and multiple major injuries only to crumble after winning the National Title. While Sey brings to light the dark side of this beautiful sport, you can't help but wonder what her motivation was for writing Chalked Up. Did she write it to show the cruelties that go into the making of a champion, or as a reminder of how dedicated she was and what she had to put up with to make it to the top? Sey deserves praise for all that she went through; but, in this novel she does more boasting about her advanced skills and natural talent than describing what and how a gymnast must push through the difficulties of the sport. Even though the motivation for the creation of Chalked Up is questionable it effectively shares an honest report of the side effects of elite competition on a young woman. Additionally, it describes how gymnastics made Sey into the successful woman and parent that she is today. Sey, was able to put her experiences into a format that keeps the readers attention and leaves them never wanting to set the book down. Sey creatively starts each new part with a detailed and interesting account of an experience that will occur after her achievements and failures of the following section. This book would not be interesting for everyone but if you have any ties to elite sports you will find it gripping and easy to relate to. The author provies an inside look into a sport where body image is everything and perfection is expected. Sey reveals the price that is paid by young athletes to achieve their dreams and the dreams of their families. If you enjoy gymnastics or find Chalked Up to be enlightening or moving, other good reads are Little Girls in Pretty Boxes, a book about the making and breaking of elite gymnasts and figure skaters and Letters to a Young Gymnast, about the life Nadia Comaneci the first gymnast to receive a perfect 10.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am only thirteen but i must say that is the best sports book i have ever read.. i mean for a person my age to say something like that means something right. But u truly have to be into gymnastics to truly understsnd what happening. But i recamend to some who truley loves and are into gymnastics to read because then you will truly unsyand the readers message.
daprasi More than 1 year ago
This is an extremely moving, emotional book about a gymnast obsessed with perfectionism. It covers the story of a young woman who was willing to do anything to be the best. Caution: Don't avoid gymnastics because of how it was portrayed in this book. The author mentions this multiple times.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author is an excellent writer with a will that stands up to anything. This book is both timely and an important read for parents whose children are extreme 'excellers' in sports. And a must read for sports lovers, even non-gymnasts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gymnasts who may dismiss this book as a negative portrayal of the sport will be pleasantly surprised. Jennifer's experience should be a cautionary tale to coaches and parents who fail to recognize eating disorders, overuse injuries, obsessive behaviors, and plain old unhappiness in their gymnasts. It's a fascinating account of her childhood memories, and it's well-written. As she says, it's not 'an indictment of the sport,' yet it's something that everyone in gymnastics should be aware of. I'm still a huge fan of gymnastics...but you don't have to be pro- or anti-gymnastics--or involved in the sport at all--to enjoy the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome book if you like the olympics, im really loving this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Insightful look at the sport. Author does a great job of illustrating how easily self-destructive tendencies in a young girl can be exacerbated by the pressures of this level of competition. She doesn't blame the sport or the people involved but rather draws a vivid picture of what a combustible brew combining overachieving but vulnerable young girls with an injury-inducing sport can be. A sport that for "women" is over before they even truly reach womanhood. I finished this book feeling for any parent who has ever tried to lead their child through that quagmire of fame, injury, ruthlessness and discipline and glory.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago