Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self

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Product Description

For those of you tuned into this past season?s Dancing with the Stars, it?s hard to believe that spectacularly fit former tennis champion Monica Seles struggled with binge-eating and depression.

Getting a Grip chronicles Monica?s success on the tennis circuit where, at age sixteen, she became the youngest winner in French Open history. For three years she dominated the tour, racking up eight Grand Slam titles, and charming the media at post-match conferences with her trademark giggle. She seemed unstoppable until a deranged Steffi Graf fan plunged a knife into her back during a match in Hamburg and turned her life upside down. Her injuries healed but the emotional trauma was deep. With no support from the WTA and her number-one ranking falling, Monica sunk into a depression. Hiding from the media and disappearing from the tennis world, she turned to food for comfort. She spent more than two years in seclusion, trying to fight off the fog of despair.

Back in the public eye but far from recovered, she continued the battle against herself?grueling six-hour workouts were sabotaged by secretive late-night binges?and she was assaulted with criticism about her weight from her trainers, nutritionists, and, most brutally, the press. Playing with an extra thirty pounds and devastated after losing her father/coach to cancer, she was never able to regain her former dominance on tour.

After an excruciating injury forced her to take time off from tennis in 2003, Seles embarked on her own journey. She abandoned the arduous workouts and the punitive diets. As she uncovered the painful emotional reasons that had been the trigger for her binge-eating, she finally found the peace and balance she had been searching for.

Monica Seles?s determination, amazing talent, and touching vulnerability make her story both incredibly human and inspiring. By sharing her own narrative, she hopes to motivate other people to take control of their lives and their own happiness.

Customer Reviews:

  • I can relate
    So many of her struggles with food I can relate to. I was halfway hoping for a quick fix at the end that I could use -- of course, there isn't one. She evolved over many years to reach a peace with herself whereby she reduces her anguish over those things she cannot control, and realizes more that she can do a better job over those things she can control -- such as eating.

    It took her a long time. Another thing she did -- she didn't give up. Not after years of struggling with food. ...more info
  • Very Honest!
    I purchased this book after seeing Monica discuss her book on "Good Morning America." I too used food to "stuff down" my emotions instead of dealing with them and allowed food to control my life for far too many years. After recently becoming more in touch with my emotions and dealing with very traumatic incidents from my past, food does not have the same unhealthy hold. Reading Monica's book was interesting to see how she has learned to deal with her addiction to food....more info
  • honest sports'biography
    I found "Get a Grip" to be a compelling story in a very honest voice,aided by the added perspective of her being in retirement, with revealing insights that are applicable to Ms Seles and to all women.
    Her path to the top and all of the ups and downs in between make for fascinating reading and an unvarnished glimpse into the world of big time sports and the participants' very real life challenges.

    ...more info
  • Terrific memoir!
    I don't read a lot of memoirs, but I was really drawn to this one because of Ms. Seles' honesty and openness in her recent New York Times interview. I've been a fan of hers for many years, and have always wondered how she coped with the horrible stabbing.

    In this memoir, Ms. Seles is not only inspirational, she is vulnerable and thoughtful. She lets down her guard completely and tells her story without whining or complaining, a real plus. This was very moving and I think the book can be beneficial to fans of Monica Seles as well as those who are struggling to overcome eating disorders and/or grieving the loss of a parent.

    I remain a huge fan.

    Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of Wake...more info
  • Absolutely Scintillating and Candid
    Monica Seles' autobiography as expected, lives upto the standards of an awesome read. The simplicity of the book appeals to the reader right from the first page. Truly inspirational and motivating is how I would describe this book. The journey of Monica from her early tennis days to the days of "Dancing with the Stars" grips the reader. I felt as if some one out there had and is experiencing what I had been through many times in my life. I would like to thank the author for sharing her experience. Kudos Monica!
    Please keep writing....more info
  • Highly, highly recommended!
    Monica's story is probably the most compelling in the history of modern sports, and she lays it all out here. From her childhood days to her meteoric rise to the top of the cut-throat world of pro women's tennis, Monica shares the sacrifice and commitment by her and her family to get to the top. Then she elaborates on the temptations of celebrity as a teenager, until we get to that fateful day in 1993. Monica devotes little time to the actual stabbing incident, what is more telling is her disappointment at her perceived lack of support from her tennis peers and the WTA. The rest of the book is devoted to Monica's attempt to rise back to the top, fighting demons not of her creation (the psychological damage from stabbing incident, her beloved father's death) and of her creation (her destructive addiction to junk food), never with anger or looking to cast blame, until she gets to the place of peace in her retirement from tennis from which she writes this memoir. Monica also elaborates on the changes in woman's tennis that she has seen in her years on tour, to now where players are bigger, stronger, more glamorous, and look more suited for the cover of Maxim than S.I. The book is a great summertime book, an easy, yet utterly compelling read, and would be great for younger readers. I've always been a big fan of Monica's, I'm an even bigger fan of her's now having read this book. After seeing how stunningly beautiful and graceful, yet humble and down to earth she is now on various TV interviews, that attitude also comes across in the book, and I'm joyed that her story appears to have a happy ending!...more info
  • MONICA!!
    Way better than her first book! Tennis fans this is a must read! This book goes far more into the psychology of what Monica went through after being stabbed, most notibly her weight and eating disorder. Anyone who has gone through that will I'm sure relate as well, tennis fan or not. It's also a fascinating account of the evolution of women's tennis, and how being marketable has become FAR MORE valuable than actually winning matches. The WTA has been notably quiet about Monica's book, as have Tennis's less glamourous icons B.J. King and Martina! Maybe because Monica hit the nail on the head... it's not about excellence on the court anymore, it's about looking good on it!...more info
  • Monica Seles and her new book are definite winners!
    I highly enjoyed this book from cover to cover. Ms. Seles is a very down-to-earth, likable, hard-working genuine person who just happens to be one of the greatest professional tennis players, male or female, who have ever played the game. Her book proves that she is an equally superior human being who has met her challenges and never given up. A club-level player or any person can learn much from her book as it contains much wisdom and truth. I found the book to be one of the best that I have ever read and recommend it wholeheartedly! Kudos to Ms. Seles, a great person. She and her book are definite winners! *************** Princeton Junction, New Jersey 609-799-2060...more info
  • Amazing
    I used to watch tennis when Monica Seles played and I lived in Queens. It was an exciting time. I also remembered when she was stabbed, but by that time I had stopped watching tennis as my life became more complicated. I read a little about her life and recently heard she was on "Dancing with the Stars". Since I was a fan, I picked up her memoir, "Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self" and I am not disappointed that I did. Seles has written an excellent book about her life on and off the court, her struggles with the stabbing and the aftermath and also the death of her father. She became depressed and gained weight which made her unhappy and she began to hate herself. Tennis was her life, but through her inner strength she overcame her fears and problems. She is a down to earth person and writes with such honesty about her experiences....more info
  • Encouraging and Heartfelt Memoir
    I had never heard of Monica Seles before hearing her do an interview on NPR last week, but her story sounded really interesting and so I decided to buy this book. I don't know a lick about tennis - I had to look up "Grand Slam" on Wikipedia because Seles refers to it so much and I had NO CLUE what it was. Despite my ignorance of tennis, I still felt incredibly drawn in to Seles's story from the very first pages.

    Seles experienced a lot of highs, and a few very tragic lows in her first 30 years and she does a good job of striking balance when writing about both. I couldn't help but silently cheer along when she was describing the good times and cry along at some of the bad. I still don't understand much about tennis, but I now have a greater appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice professional tennis players must make to succeed in the sport. I also imagine that tennis fans will get a great deal more out of this book than non-fans will, as Seles provides an insider's point of view on the business side of tennis that the general public never sees.

    What I appreciated most about this book is that Seles wrote about her experiences with both compassion for herself and a healthy dose of humility. She never wallows in self-pity or denies her own shortcomings but she also acknowledges the very real pain she experienced at the hands of others - classmates at the tennis academy, the ruthless press, and her attacker in Germany. She balances this well, however, by also acknowledging the tremendous positive role her family played in keeping her grounded and the support she received from fans, fellow players, and her coaching teams.

    In so many memoirs, the subject is either cast as the hero or the victim of their life story. Seles, however, does an excellent job of reconciling in the end that, like everyone else, she is both. It's a satisfying journey to take with her and I found Seles to be nothing but sincere and likeable the entire way.
    ...more info
  • Get A Grip
    I have always been fascinated by Ms Seles and her story. A deranged fan knifed her at a tournament in Germany and she lost her father soon after that. She began to use food as a salve and put on many pounds in the process. She hated herself and who she had become. This is her story of recovery from her mental and physical trauma. She is a champion and this book proves it....more info
  • Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self
    I had become a fan of Monica since 2003 and followed her career until her retirement. When I read all the news about her a few years ago, I could not stop wondering why Monica could not get back to the top after she came back. After reading this book, I have the answers and that makes me admire her 1000 times more. While I would still wish that the April 30 event had never happened, however, I have learnt to appreciate more that she kept playing while suffering from the loss of her father, the stabbing and of course the disorder. I would recommend this book to everyone, not because Monica is a nine times Grand Slam champion but a lady who showed enormous courage in overcoming her adversity. ...more info


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