In the Water They Can't See You Cry: A Memoir [NOOK Book]

Overview

In this candid and ultimately uplifting memoir, Olympic medalist Amanda Beard reveals the truth about coming of age in the spotlight, the demons she battled along the way, and the newfound happiness that has proved to be her greatest victory.

At the tender age of fourteen, Amanda Beard walked onto the pool deck at the Atlanta Olympics carrying her teddy bear, Harold, and left with two silvers and a gold medal. She competed in three more ...
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In the Water They Can't See You Cry: A Memoir

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Overview

In this candid and ultimately uplifting memoir, Olympic medalist Amanda Beard reveals the truth about coming of age in the spotlight, the demons she battled along the way, and the newfound happiness that has proved to be her greatest victory.

At the tender age of fourteen, Amanda Beard walked onto the pool deck at the Atlanta Olympics carrying her teddy bear, Harold, and left with two silvers and a gold medal. She competed in three more Olympic games, winning a total of seven medals, and enjoyed a lucrative modeling career on the side. At one point, she was the most downloaded female athlete on the Internet.

Yet despite her astonishing career and sex-symbol status, Amanda felt unworthy of all her success. Unaware that she was suffering from clinical depression, she hid the pain beneath a megawatt smile. With no other outlet for her feelings besides the pool, Amanda expressed her emotions through self-destructive behavior. In her late teens and twenties, she became bulimic, abused drugs and alcohol, and started cutting herself.

Her low self-esteem led to toxic relationships with high-profile men in the sports world. No one, not even her own parents and friends, knew about the turmoil she was going through. Only when she met her future husband, who discovered her cutting herself, did Amanda realize she needed help.

Through her renewed faith in herself; the love of her family; and finally the birth of her baby boy, Blaise, Amanda has transformed her life. In these pages, she speaks frankly about her struggles with depression, the pressures to be thin, and the unhealthy relationships she confused for love. In the Water They Can’t See You Cry is a raw, compelling story of a woman who gained the strength to live as bravely out of the water as she did in it.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The standard reporter's opening line about Amanda Beard is that she walked into the Olympics with a teddy bear and left with a teddy bear and medals. Thanks to Amanda's performances in the 1996, 2000, and 2004 games, this lead-in has gained resilience: Beard has now amassed no fewer than seven medals (two gold, four silver, one bronze). Behind all those stirring medal presentation moments though, this record-making heroine was hurting. Plagued by clinical depression, the two-time American Swimmer of the Year battled with anorexia, bulimia, cutting, and drug and alcohol abuse. In her new memoir, she writes candidly about those demons and the marriage, lifestyle changes, and baby that helped drive them away. An Olympic champion's memoir in an Olympic year.

Lisa Echenthal

Publishers Weekly
In this bold and candid memoir, Beard details her sudden rise to Olympic fame, its huge toll, and how she reclaimed her life. Beard swam in the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta; she was 14-years-old. She won a gold and two silvers, and would go on to swim in the subsequent three Summer Olympics in Sydney, Athens, and Beijing, medaling in each save the last. She was a smart, talented, athletic overachiever, but behind the scenes, her life spiraled out of control. A self-described late bloomer, Beard was wracked with insecurity as puberty ushered on the pounds, and the limelight broadcast the changes. She recalls finding newspaper clippings her father had hidden in which "sportswriters called me fat, washed-up, and finished," though she was only 15 at the time. Nevertheless, she continued swimming, going on to join the University of Arizona swim team, where she met fellow Olympic swimmer Ryk Neethling. The two were soon became a couple, but the constant fighting and stress of competition led Beard to anorexia and cutting herself. In 2001, she went pro and signed a four-year contract with Speedo, and things started to look up. But when Beard accidentally cut herself too deeply one day, she finally relented and sought help. Now a healthy wife and mother, Beard still swims professionally. Her remarkable story, courageous resilience, and honest self-assessment make this an inspiring read. (Apr. 3)
From the Publisher
"Her remarkable story, courageous resilience, and honest self-assessment make this an inspiring read." —-Publishers Weekly
Library Journal
Now 30, Beard is a seven-time Olympic medalist, a veteran swimmer who has competed in the last four summer Olympics. She is now training with Team USA for the 2012 games in London. In this candid memoir written with Paley (Dogs 101), Beard doesn't hold back as she chronicles her challenges both in and out of the water. Starting with her parents' divorce and her struggles in school, Beard tells of using the pool as an outlet for her frustrations. The stories of her later battles with cutting and bulimia serve to inspire rather than rebuff. Engaging on many levels, this memoir resonates with readers by addressing real-life issues, not just those facing Olympic athletes. Glimpses of the inner workings of the competitive swimming world add interest for swimming enthusiasts. VERDICT Obviously well suited for fans of Beard and Olympic swimming, but also for general readers interested in memoirs about human struggle and triumph.—Holly Hebert, Brentwood P.L., TN
Kirkus Reviews
Candid though bland memoir of an athlete juggling award-winning aquatic prowess with hobbling insecurities. In straightforward prose, seven-time Olympic medalist Beard recounts her bubbly childhood with her family amid the manicured lawns of sun-drenched Irvine, Calif. Her blooming obsession with neatness, order and compulsive "Windexing" sparked high-energy sports participation, beginning at age four. Swimming eventually trumped all else ("Water had become my getaway"), and the author began years of dedicated training with competitive clubs. Bolstered by the full support of her family, Beard qualified to compete in the 1996 Olympics at 14, where she won a gold medal and two silver. However, in addition to the emotional toll of her parents' unanticipated separation, the author faced the embarrassment of late-onset puberty, mild dyslexia and the pressure to deliver self-confident performances in a sport she considered "incredibly monotonous." Determined training sessions throughout her youth became marred by botched romances (including a relationship with NASCAR star Carl Edwards), bulimia, drug experimentation and depression-fueled self-inflicted "cutting" that persisted well into adulthood. Still, the photogenic Olympian (who posed for Playboy in 2007) went on to win 21 medals to date. Now 30, Beard writes gushingly about her supportive husband, new baby and a happier life with an anticipated return to the Olympic arena. Though the narrative tone and delivery remains amiably direct, this style leaves little room in an awkwardly stiff, workmanlike portrait for much-needed personality. For sports junkies fascinated by determined athletes back in the game after near emotional ruin.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451644395
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 4/3/2012
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 67,672
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Amanda Beard
Amanda Beard is a seven-time Olympic medalist. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband, the photographer Sacha Brown, and her son, Blaise. Visit her at AmandaBeard.net.
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Read an Excerpt

chapter 1

I wanted to get to the pool so badly, I was practically running. The July sun had already dried all the dew on our neighbors’ matching green lawns, and I was hot. Why were they taking so long?

I turned around to watch my family, almost half a block behind me. Mom and Dad, laughing as usual about some story, carried all the junk. They had packed a cooler filled with drinks, sandwiches, and chips that’d last us the whole day of hanging out in the pool and on the surrounding soft, grassy hills. Though we lived only two blocks away, my mom had enough towels, books, and blankets that we looked as if we were moving to the pool.

Okay, I could understand my parents’ slow speed, but what were my sisters’ problems? Lagging even farther behind, Leah and Taryn had their heads close together the way they always did when they were gossiping, which was a lot of the time. The three of us were like variations on the same theme. Despite the age differences (Leah was two years older than Taryn, who was five years older than me), we were all beanpoles with olive skin, dark brown hair, bright blue almond-shaped eyes, and huge California-girl smiles. But we couldn’t have looked more different.

Leah’s hair was feathered as it always was, and even though we were headed for the pool, she had put on the blue eyeliner that was her current style obsession. I had to admit, she looked really good. Taryn was just as pretty. Her short hairstyle made her neck look graceful like a dancer’s. It was so different from the long, mostly blonde hair that practically every girl in our town had. But she hated doing her hair so much that Mom had threatened to cut it all off if she didn’t brush it. Taryn didn’t brush it, and my mom didn’t make idle threats. So Taryn had hair like a boy’s, which was fine with her.

However, I was the real tomboy. I never heard of a sport I didn’t want to play, and I never wavered from my uniform of shorts, T-shirt, and sneakers. Today I had jazzed it up with my acid-washed shorts and New Kids on the Block tank top. But the heat was beginning to make my bathing suit underneath stick to my torso.

“Come on!” I shouted at my family. They just ignored me.

I could have run ahead without them. I knew the site—the pool (nine feet at one end, four feet at the other), the grassy hills, the showers, the covered area with picnic tables—like I knew the back of my hand. And I loved everything about the place: the buttery smell of sunscreen, the feel of hot concrete under my feet, the shock of the first jump into the pool. It didn’t matter that I spent all day, every day of the week, around the same pool during swim team practice. On the weekends, it was different; I had to be with my family.

Instead of bolting ahead, I waited for my sisters, who agreed to play Marco Polo with me as soon as we arrived. After they grew bored, my dad chucked me across the pool a few times before he had to get out and help my mom set up the chairs and cooler near the encampment of parents. Luckily a group of neighborhood kids started a fierce game of sharks and minnows that went on until we were starved and our skin was puckered and white. I hopped out of the pool and bolted toward my mom, who greeted me with a clean towel, a turkey sandwich, and a cold Dr Pepper. After gobbling down lunch, I went straight back into the water. And that’s where I stayed, where we all stayed, until the sun started to go down on that perfect summer day.

Perfect. That’s the word that describes where I grew up. Irvine, California, had cul-de-sacs and identically manicured lawns, kids on bikes and parents who let us do pretty much as we wanted in what seemed like the safest town in the world. It was straight out of a John Hughes movie where the biggest problem is a fight with your best friend. You never saw a single piece of litter on the streets. Even the bright blue sky was straight out of a Hollywood set. Located in Orange County (not exactly known as a land of hardship), my hometown was sunny, on average, 325 days a year. And because it’s on the coast, the average temperature is a comfortable seventy degrees. We never had to worry about the town’s Easter Egg Hunt or Fourth of July Bike Parade getting rained out. As I said—perfect.

My parents fit right in. High school sweethearts from the Puget Sound region in Washington State, they got married when my mother, Gayle, was twenty and my dad, Dan, was twenty-one. He had been the captain of the football team, and she had been captain of the cheerleading squad. I made fun of them for their cheesy perfection (my mom was homecoming queen), but secretly I was proud to have them as parents.

With his dark skin, black hair, and blue eyes, I thought my dad was the most handsome guy in the world. A basketball player at Washington State, he kept his six-one frame in great shape by continuing to play lots of sports. My petite mom, a lighter beauty with sandy-blonde hair and pale-blue eyes, fit right into my dad’s side.

You couldn’t have asked for better parents. They were like best friends who never fought. Because they were both teachers—my dad taught hotel and restaurant management at Orange Coast College, and my mom taught art at various local schools—they always seemed to be around. Over boring, balanced breakfasts and dinners prepared by my mother, which we ate together every day, my siblings and I competed to see who could be the goofiest and get the most attention. Whether it was acting out Annie during a family camping trip or telling the best fart joke over chicken and broccoli, Mom and Dad encouraged us to have fun. Everything was about having a good time.

There was always something crazy going on in our house. That’s why all the neighborhood kids gravitated to our four-bedroom tract home in a development called the Colony. My parents, in their very laid-back way, welcomed every single one of our friends. They kept the fridge and cabinets stocked with all the best junk food and allowed us to act young and silly. That meant not freaking out if someone spilled soda on the carpet, hit a lawn ornament with a hockey puck, or lay around watching MTV all afternoon.

Some kids liked it so much, they hardly ever left. One summer, Bobby Lanza, a boy I was really close to from the age of two on, spent every minute that he wasn’t sleeping at our house. That wasn’t such a big deal; lots of kids did that. But Bobby, who was eight at the time, wore his Speedo for every single one of those minutes. “Jeez, Bobby, give that thing a rest,” my sister Taryn said by early July.

“Maybe you should give it a wash and wear something else,” Leah said.

“Do you sleep in your Speedo too?” Taryn laughed.

Bobby was unfazed, and so was I. Teasing was the price we happily paid to hang out with (or at least around) my older sisters and their friends. Although we were on the fringes—listening to the new Huey Lewis and the News album through an open door to the living room or using the terms face! or bitchin’ even if we had no idea what they meant—it was still an exciting place to be. Growing up, I thought Leah and Taryn were the coolest people on earth. Anything they did, I wanted to do too. When they started wearing huge socks scrunched down by their ankles, I begged my mom for a pair and wore them piled around my toothpick ankles. They used mousse to get their bangs to stand straight up, then so would I—well, at least once before I decided hair was a waste of time. I even posed the same way they did in photos, with their head tilted way over to one side.

Taryn wasn’t tolerant of my copycat ways. To her, I was nothing more than the annoying little sister. If my parents ever left her to babysit me, we’d both cry to try to get out of the arrangement. Leah, on the other hand, treated me like her special little baby. She would do anything for me, including play endless sessions of Barbie. If Leah had jumped off a bridge, I would have followed in a heartbeat. While I didn’t leap off Golden Gate, I did take tap, jazz, and ballet because Leah was a big dancer. I stuck with it for several years until it was obvious to me and everyone else that I wasn’t very good at it.

While I adored Leah, the best times were when the entire family was together. And there was no better time in our family than Christmas. In our house, Christmas was not a subtle affair. We were those guys who got our tree the minute after the Thanksgiving dishes had been cleared. We played Christmas music and Christmas movies nonstop, decorated the house like crazy, and drank hot cocoa even though it was Southern California. I lived for our traditions, which included my mother and grandma baking trays of fattigman, an exotic savory cookie popular in Sweden and Norway, and my dad reading the children’s book The Polar Express to all the kids at our annual holiday party. We also used the holiday as an excuse to sneak in a few practical jokes, like the time we gave our grandfather—my dad’s dad, who had been a strict high school principal—a black lace thong for Christmas just to see his reaction when he opened his present. My mom, dad, sisters, and I all wound up laughing too hard to see the expression of shock on his face.

While I recognized that my parents, my town, our home, the pool, and my sisters (even Taryn) were perfect because of their natural, easygoing, and carefree ways, for me perfection could be achieved only through a kind of vigilance I had known ever since I could remember.

Hyperorganized, a neat freak, kind of compulsive: call it what you like, I needed order. All my stuff was perfect. In my sixth-grade classroom, my little desktop stood out like an empty island in a sea of chaos. My pencils were lined up in descending height order next to my pens at the top of the desk, schoolwork and notes to the left, books to the right. When kids knocked my display askew with their backpacks, the disorder sent a cold feeling directly to the pit of my stomach. Until I righted it again.

No one ever had to tell me to clean my room; it was always clean. That was no small feat considering I had two parakeets (Goldie and Zeba), two lovebirds (Peaches and Big Mouth), and our family cats (Angel and Dodger), who used my room as their hangout. Those birds were a mess, constantly throwing their food out of their cages and all over my floor. The vacuum was practically attached to my hand, I used it so much. They were worth it though. I spent hours with my animals, dressing up the cats in outfits and teaching the birds to sit on my finger, which I thought was so cool. They were like best friends.

It wasn’t just my room that I cleaned. I would have sooner died than have my human friends come over to a dirty house. Before a playdate, I cleaned the house—and I don’t mean tidy but what my mom called a “deep clean.” I busted out the wood cleaner for the coffee table, dusted the bookshelves, put all the dishes away, Windexed the sliding glass doors, and made sure my Chipmunks record collection was nicely organized. My sisters—whose rooms appeared to have been hit by bombs that sent their Huey Lewis and Andre Agassi posters askew and their clothes across the floor—looked at me like I was crazy.

My mom, on the other hand, thought her youngest daughter giving her house a good scrub-down was hilarious.

“When I grow up, Mom, I want to be your maid,” I said. It was my fantasy job because I could live with my mom and clean.

“Fantastic,” she said.

I didn’t know my Windexing was weird—my parents certainly never made me feel that way. In fact, they made me feel as if anything I did was okay. Limitations never crossed my mind, especially when it came to the physical. Rambunctious to the extreme, I loved a goal, a competition, a challenge of any kind. There’s an old family video from one of our hiking trips to Yosemite where my sisters stop at a soggy, moss-covered log to discuss whether they can use it to cross a rushing creek. Suddenly the camera pans to me; with tall alpine trees as my backdrop, I flip my hair brazenly and then start to run across the log. No contemplation, no strategy, no taking it slow—just going for it. In the next scene, I fall off the log like a cartoon character and land smack in the gooey mud. I was completely humiliated, but no fall could erode my fearlessness. Nothing bad was ever going to happen to me. I was sure of that.

My combined fearlessness and high energy made for a lot of showing off. To expend a little bit of the energy that drove my parents nuts, they enrolled me in every activity under the sun. By the time I was four years old, I was taking swimming, soccer, gymnastics, and dance. And still, I had enough steam left over to play endless roller hockey with the neighbors.

When it came to sports, I wanted to do it all. And in Irvine that was a completely realistic goal. Everything was at our fingertips, with pristine basketball and tennis courts, fields, and pools that anybody in the community could use for free. I didn’t care if they were “boys’ sports” or not, I played softball, football, and basketball—you name it. Dad couldn’t have been happier; I was the son he never had.

Even when my dad and I rode our bikes to the basketball court to play horse, I felt the rush of competition and pedaled hard to keep up with him. On the court, he towered over me, his broad shoulders, lean torso, and powerful legs completely eclipsing my spaghetti-thin frame. But I thought I still had a shot. I’m faster, smarter. I can beat this giant. We both had the squinted look of people taking a game really, really seriously.

For hours we played horse (there was no way I could out-dribble my six-foot dad), forgetting about the time of day, trying crazier and crazier shots. My dad didn’t let me win. I had to really win. That hardly happened, but when it did, I bragged to my family how I had schooled Dad on the court.

In the whirlwind of activities that I did on any of the trim fields or bright, shining facilities in our town, swimming held a special place. Swimming was major in Orange County. Every kid did it, and every rich kid tried to do it well. For me, the love was real. From my earliest memories, the pool was the place of long, happy summer days having fun surrounded by everyone I knew. It was also the only sport shared by my oldest, girlie-girl sister; my middle, rebellious one; and me.

Before I had even turned two years old, my parents toted me to the community pool to watch my sisters’ practices and swim meets with their team, the Colony Red Hots. Hanging from my father’s arm or toddling with the help of my mother’s hand, I thrust my hands out, trying to reach the moving shapes in a spray of blue. By three, I was a full-on water baby who longed to be a part of the team, even though I wasn’t eligible to join the summer league until the following year. I was such a pest that the coaches got me a tiny black swimsuit with red piping, the uniform of a Red Hot.

It was official (at least to me!): I was part of the team. My parents and the coaches let me spend all summer pretending. I followed swimmers alongside the pool during races as if I and not they were swimming. During free swim, I dove like a dolphin between the legs of the older kids horsing around and challenged my sisters to see who could hold our breath underwater the longest. I stayed in the pool until my lips were blue and someone finally yanked me out.

In the summer of 1986, it was truly official. Old enough to really be in the league, I curled my toes around the edge of the starting block, as I had been taught, and stared at the long stretch of shining blue in front of me. In the periphery of my goggles I could detect the movements of my competitors, but I didn’t look at them. Just straight ahead.

Bang! A shot announced the start of the race.

I pushed off the block, trying to fly as far as I could through the air, and plunged into the water. In a flurry of reaching and kicking, my brain repeating every instruction again and again, I moved like a fish through the water. No, that’s too slow. More like a speeding bullet. Definitely. My heart pounded with the effort and my four-year-old muscles began to strain. How much longer could I go? Then, bam, my hands hit the hard wall, and I shot up out of the water. An entire lap! And I had done it. I won!

I scanned the crowd through the watery view of my goggles and found my family cheering wildly. My sisters, in their Red Hot suits, were making whooping sounds while my mom clapped happily. But my dad was the most excited, pumping his fist into the air. I felt as if I had won the Olympics. I was hooked.

That summer I practiced for a half hour in the morning every day of the week with the other kids my age and then spent the rest of the day hanging around the pool, watching the older team members work out, or playing games until the sun had finally ducked behind the hills, which meant it was time to go home for dinner. The pool was the place to be. Mom and Dad, who had the summers off from teaching, were always waiting alongside the other parents at picnic tables covered in sandwiches and drinks for their ravenous kids. When my sisters weren’t in the pool, they joked around and gossiped with their friends in the shade of the trees or moved to the grassy hills for more serious discussions.

Out of the whole week, Saturdays were my favorite. That’s when we had swim meets. My three or four races were each only a lap long, which I knew wasn’t as hard as what the older kids did, but it didn’t matter. They were races and I was going to win. I put everything I knew how to put into those fifty-second bursts of crazy energy, and it usually paid off.

If anyone singled me out as a swimmer, it wasn’t for talent. It was for love and belonging. With the sun shining, my sisters as teammates, and my parents as cheerleaders, I would have been happy to stay in the water forever. Life would always be like this, because why change what’s perfect?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    Amazing book! I recommend it to swimmers, former swimmers, swim

    Amazing book! I recommend it to swimmers, former swimmers, swim parents and girls/women struggling with self-image issues.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2012

    Beautiful

    I never read something so realistic .

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    This is a book worth reading for those suffering eating diorders, depression, self-doubt

    In this book Amanda has the courage to share personal issues that would be taboo in the world she lives in. She has had the courage to give voice to subjects that other women (and men)
    cannot, or don't have the courage to voice.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2012

    Amazing

    I was watching the Today show one morning, and Amanda Beard was on the show. They were talking about this book, "In the Water They Can't See You Cry." Amanda Beard's words meant so much, and I knew right then and there that I had to read the book. So I did, and it turns out I really really really really really really liked it. Well, I didn't like it. I LOVED IT!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    "Don't hate me because I am beautiful." Ok Amanda, we

    "Don't hate me because I am beautiful." Ok Amanda, we get it. The book is a tell-all revealing her poor choices in life-alcohol starting in high school, sex, drugs & abusive relationships. All of these actions with no consequences-in fact the opposite- Olympic medals and lucrative modeling contracts. There is the recurring theme of self hatred & perfectionism tied to her eating disorder which she credits for her drive to be the best swimmer but also blames for her alcohol & drug use, her abusive boyfriends and her cutting & bulimia- taking no responsibility for her actions. This book was written to make money not to inspire young girls. For a girl with an eating disorder, this book is a trigger! Shame on you , Amanda!

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    I read this at the gym working out and felt at first like it was a little too much. But like my workout I pushed on through it and SO glad I did. Amanda's story is compelling and felt like it struck a little bit of a cord with me. The battles she went through are very real some I could relate to. If you have or you know someone who has gone through some real life battles then this is a wonderful book for you.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Amazing

    I am a former swimmer and i felt this book was amazing. It made me want to get back in the pool. I had heard about this book a while back and I'm glad i found it for my nook. I read it in 2 days. It left me wanting more.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    One of the best autobiographies I've ever read

    Perhaps I am a little bias because I am a swimmer, but this book was phenomenal. Beard and Paley do a great job outlining her life and in a way that everyone (not just swimmers) can understand and relate to. I found this book to be very inspirational; same goes to Amanda as a person. I condemn her for coming out with this story so other athletes can learn and relate to her. It sometimes pains me to read books more than once (especially within a short period of time) but I've started reading it a second time as Olympic Trials is underway. Great, quick, inspiring read. Buy it!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    This was both entertaining and enlightening. I really enjoyed her story as a person and sports idol.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    Unmatchable

    I absolutely love this book. The things she went through are unimaginable!!!!! I am a swimmer myself and know the stress but I feel exactly the same way as her. Now I know that it is normal of us swimmers. It tells of her struggles with bulimia, anorexia, cutting herself, and drugs. Very touching read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2013

    Should I...?

    My sister needed a biography and looked at this. I asked her if I could read it if she got it and she said: "Natalie, no, because she did a lot of stupid things. She cut herself-" "Stop there." I said. I knew what cutting was, and I thought, 'Why? Why would someone abuse themself like that?'
    Yes, I am a breaststroker in swimming, but I recremend more apropriate books like JANET EVANS TOTAL SWIMMING. Read my review on that book.
    -Swimmer Forever (or SwimGirl)

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2012

    Did not like.

    thought this would have more depth to it.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    Should I read this can someone answer me

    I'm a big time swimmer on a state teem and I'm wondering if I should buy this. I just want a brief summary telling me what age this is ment for

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Worth purchasing!

    I highly recommend this book to anyone. Its very real & honest. Read the entire book in 4 hours because i couldnt put it down.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    I can't even put into words how much this book touched me. I te

    I can't even put into words how much this book touched me. I teared up multiple times while reading. I would highly recommend this to anyone.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Look Into Her World

    The is a look into the life of a four time Olympic Athlete. She really bares her soul, and the pain of growing up with a Learning Disability. At first she seems to keep her inner demons under control, and is a fish in the water. We journey with her through all aspects of her life, some good and some so very hard. We go with her through her difficult High School experience, suffering from a type of Dyslexia, and getting relief and achievement in the pool.
    I loved how her Dad seem to cherish her, one time recording a book that she was having trouble reading. Of course her whole family were always there to support her when she was competing. She seemed to have it all, and yet she really didn't seem to like herself.
    You will feel so sorry for her, and her choices of relationships, where she values herself so very little. This should also be mandatory read by parents with Children at high levels of competition. One You will find this a rather compelling page turner, and I love the ending!

    I was provided with a copy of this book by the Publisher Simon & Schuster, and was not required to give a positive review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2014

    the book title nailed it

    Amanda is a courageous woman for sharing her story with the world. It is a very well written book and truly conveys the depth of her emotions be they joy, fear, or pain. To share such personal trials, all the broken relationships, her family dynamics, self harm (cutting), her journey through swimming to the Olympics and back again is very insightful. It certainly opens your eyes and makes you realize life is not necessarily a bed of roses for them (Olympians) as many may think, they are after all human just like the rest of us.
    Reading how much her father loved her and the sacrifices he made for her was so incredibly touching. What an awesome dad. Her husband, to stand by her after discovering her "secret" and continuing to love her and help her through it was beyond words.
    This is a wonderful read. You truly become immersed in the book and feel as though you're right there with Amanda as she grows to become an Olympian and the woman she is today. I think many athletes can associate with with this book even if they aren't swimmers. As a former gymnast, I know I certainly can....

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  • Posted November 17, 2013

    Excellent story

    Amanda Beard is very honest about herself and her swimming career. She goes through the good and the bad, including occasional drug use and purging. Overall, it's a good, complete honest look at herself and her career and how's she's come out strong on the other side. A must read for any sports fan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    Millybear

    Amaizing

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    May 20,2013

    Btw im only nine and its long course and in the 50 free i have a 34.00 and the zone time is 33.69 i am so close !!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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