Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness

Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness

by Suzy Favor Hamilton


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Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness by Suzy Favor Hamilton


The former middle distance Olympic runner and high-end escort speaks out for the first time about her battle with mental illness, and how mania controlled and compelled her in competition, but also in life. This is a heartbreakingly honest yet hopeful memoir reminiscent of Manic, Electroboy, and An Unquiet Mind.

During the 1990s, three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton was the darling of American track and field. An outstanding runner, a major sports apparel spokesperson, and a happily married wife, she was the model for an active, healthy, and wholesome life. But her perfect facade masked a dark truth: manic depression and bipolar disorder that drove her obsession to perform and win. For years after leaving the track, Suzy wrestled with her condition, as well as the loss of a close friend, conflicted feelings about motherhood and her marriage, and lingering shame about her athletic career. After a misdiagnosis and a recommendation for medication that only exacerbated her mania and made her hypersexual, Suzy embarked on a new path, and assumed a new identity. Fueled by a newfound confidence, a feeling of strength and independence and a desire she couldn’t tamp down, she became a high-priced escort in Las Vegas, working as “Kelly.”

But Suzy could not keep her double life a secret forever. When it was eventually exposed, it sent her into a reckless suicidal period where the only option seemed out. Finally, with the help of her devoted husband, Suzy finally got the proper medical help she needed. In this startling frank memoir, she recounts the journey to outrun her demons, revealing how a woman used to physically controlling her body learned to come to terms with her unstable mind. It is the story of a how a supreme competitor scored her most important victory of all—reclaiming her life from the ravages of an untreated mental illness. Today, thanks to diagnosis, therapy, Kelly has stepped into the shadows, but Suzy is building a better life, one day at a time. Sharing her story, Suzy is determined to raise awareness, provide understanding, and offer inspiration to others coping with their own challenges.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062346209
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/07/2016
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 206,938
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Suzy Favor Hamilton is a three-time Olympian for women's middle distance running. She is a sought-after public speaker—addressing eating disorders, mental illness, and the struggles that young athletes face—as well as a yoga instructor. Favor Hamilton lives in California and Wisconsin.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Manic 1

Chapter 1 A Feeling Like Flying 7

Chapter 2 Perfect 23

Chapter 3 Go Badgers 39

Chapter 4 I'm Going to Marry Him 51

Chapter 5 Chasing Gold 65

Chapter 6 Real Life 93

Chapter 7 A Diagnosis 113

Chapter 8 What Happens in Vegas 129

Chapter 9 Exploration 147

Chapter 10 A Wake-Up Call 163

Chapter 11 Double Life 175

Chapter 12 ATF 187

Chapter 13 Becoming Kelly 201

Chapter 14 I Know Who You Are 215

Chapter 15 Extreme 223

Chapter 16 Marriage of Convenience 233

Chapter 17 Numb 241

Chapter 18 Marry Me 247

Chapter 19 Who I Really Am 261

Chapter 20 The Smoking Gun 273

Chapter 21 Exposure 283

Epilogue: A Work in Progress 289

Acknowledgments 293

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Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running From Madness 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Depressing read. Sounds like a self indulgent brat hiding behind being Bi Polar when it suits her need to act irresponsibly until the truth comes out and then she faces life in a rational manner. I'm not buying it. Too late guess i already did and i regret it .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazingly honest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very good. While I do believe mental illness can cause serious issues, I also felt as though she was using it as an excuse for her irresponsible behavior. I just don't believe that her bipolar disorder caused all of these actions, as she claims. However, it is a good book and does shed light on mental illness which I think is very much needed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My ex wife was diagnosed as bipolar after we divorced. I read this book to gain understanding about this illness but the author's experiences were so extreme that I did not learn much that helped me understand a less afflicted bipolar woman.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very sad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not sure what was more unbelievable--her becoming an escort or her husband putting up with it. There must be degrees of bi polar as i know three people with it and they never stooped so low. Hope her daughter can put this behind her and have a good life. She deserves it for all the time her mother wasn't there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AltitudeMom More than 1 year ago
Don't waste your $$ on this one! Awfully written! Her writing voice to tell a story is like how any 5 year old's mind works... And then I broke my femur... And then I met this guy who was going to be my husband... And then my professor said I didn't have to take my final. In 2 pages, you might cover a year's events which leads you wondering more things or how it will work into the entire story. Think no more--- it never does! Sex sells. The majority of this this book is her glorifying the sex trade such as how men took her shopping, wanted to marry her, and wished their wives were more like her. Almost next to nothing regarding mental illness, except for a page or 2 in italics (obviously not written by her) at the end of each chapter. At the end of the book, the prostitution part of her life was just explained away in a sentence dealing with her therapist, something like, "We talked through it and why I did that." Really!?? Talked through what?! So why did you do it?! She goes through the process of writing this book but only ends it with getting discovered by the Smoking Gun. No further insight to her mental state. Like I said, sex sells. She is a narcissist with an enabling husband who blames the issues in her life on her brother. Instead of ever trying to work through something professionally, she blames her inabilities on a learning disability--- except for the sex trade--- she went on and on how good she was at that career!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An expertly written story that shines a much needed light on the tribulations of one suffering from a misunderstood mental condition. You will soar with her, fail with her, love with her, but most importantly, you will understand her. A must read for anyone that loves someone they dont understand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazingly incredible look into a life of a person with a bipolar disease! A very enjoyable yet shocking read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was hoping for more details, as bad as i feel about her mental illness thats not why i purchased the book. I really wanted more descript of her encounters .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Hey Bella." Winks at you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Make tje bed rock so hard it almost breaks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He gets naked