REVIEWS for “FINISH LINE FEELING”
10 Reasons to Read Finish Line Feeling
By Sarah B
#1 It’s the next Eat Pray Love
Both authors go by Liz and they kind of look alike, don’t you think? It’s a sign I’m sure.
As soon as I finished reading Finish Line Feeling, I emailed Liz and told her she needs to start working on the screenplay ASAP. Finish Line Feeling has got all the elements of a Blockbuster hit, much like Eat Pray Love, only completely different. There’s tragedy, complicated family drama, the hero has lots of inner conflict, world travel, love, and inspiration to carry all of us forward on our own journey.
#2 Friends Don’t Let Friends Read DUMB Books
I wouldn’t even recommend it if I didn’t think it was worthy of your time.
#3 You’re a Die Hard Runner
You’re part of the running community or family. This is a fellow runner’s journey, so it’s kind of like your grandmother wrote a book. If your grandmother wrote a book, you’d read it. You’d be a jerk if you didn’t read it and you’re not a jerk, because you’re a runner. If you were a jerk, you’d be breaking some sort of Runner’s Ethical Code. According to Liz, runners are some of the most generous people she’s ever encountered.
#4 You Aspire To Be A Runner
You are not currently a runner, but you have friends that are. They eat, sleep, and breathe running. You’re curious. If this is the case, read the book. I was NOT a runner, but Finish Line Feeling made me wish I was one. Liz, who is a life long runner makes everything about running sound appealing, even the sweating.
I ended up downloading the Couch to 5K app on my phone shortly after finishing the book and gave it a shot myself. I haven’t completed the program, but I enjoyed pushing myself further each day.
#5 You’re a Quote Lover/Motivational Junkie
I LOVE quotes and Finish Line Feeling is chock full of great quotes at the beginning of each chapter.
Here’s just such a quote to segue into Reason #6
“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too?””
#6 You Feel Like Nobody Understands Where You’re Coming From
Maybe you, like Liz, were the victim of sexual abuse as a child. Liz dives deep into her pain and shares her very personal journey of wrestling with herself for years to overcome that childhood trauma. Perhaps her story will help in your own healing and help you experience that you are not alone.
#7 You Love Stories of Triumph
You cried tears of joy as you read or watched The Miracle Worker teach Helen Keller to speak with her hands. You were impressed by Lincoln’s determination in his political pursuits. He experienced many failures on his way to the White House, but he kept going. More recently, you have applauded Malala Yousafzai as she continues to take a stand for education, in spite of being shot. Liz Ferro’s story of overcoming her childhood tragedy to help change lives presently belongs in this list. It is every bit as POWERFUL and inspirational.
#8 You Are A Struggling Single Mom or You Know A Single Mom
I was a very young single mom. I’ve never experienced adulthood without children. If I’d read Liz’s book way back when, I feel like it would’ve been an eye opening experience to what life would be requiring of me. Whether a young single mom, like me, or coming out of a bad marriage, it’s inspiring to read the steps Liz took to make a good life for both her son and herself.
#9 Do It For The Girls
Girls With Sole | Liz Ferro
Help Liz help others. Liz started the nonprofit organization Girls With Sole in 2009. She volunteers her time and her money to change the lives of at risk girls by empowering them through physical activity. The proceeds of the book Finish Line Feeling go to provide running shoes, sports bras, water bottles, and race entry fees for girls who would otherwise not be able to participate in this LIFE CHANGING program. These precious young girls learn to set and accomplish goals and develop healthy self esteems. Imagine a world with girls who love and respect themselves and teach others to do the same.
If you’re still not convinced that you should read Finish Line Feeling, then I’m going to pull the mom card.
Reason #10 to read Finish Line Feeling
BECAUSE I SAID SO!
Liz is an amazing role model for girls
By Sondra L. Miller
As President and CEO of Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, I have learned that every survivor of sexual violence has a unique journey to healing. Liz Ferro candidly takes the reader along her journey beginning with early trauma from foster care and child sexual abuse through to her triumph as a marathon and triathlon runner and founder of the nonprofit organization Girls With Sole. While moments of her story are challenging to read, Liz’s writing style evokes chatting with a friend and she finds ways to inject humor throughout her memoir.
Liz is an amazing role model for the girls she works with through Girls With Sole and for the girls she has worked with in Camp Create, a Cleveland Rape Crisis Center summer program for girls ages 12-17. Through swimming and running, Liz developed her self-esteem and sense of empowerment and control. She shares her coping skills with each young woman she works with and shows them that they are stronger than they knew.
Liz has written an amazing narrative of transformation as a girl who ran from her challenges and trauma to a woman who knows she can accomplish any goal she sets. “Finish Line Feeling” will leave the reader wanting to lace up running shoes and start training, and every book purchase helps girls develop that same drive. Liz and Girls with Sole are tremendous assets to Northeast Ohio and I am excited to watch her organization grow in the years to come.
Beautiful. Just Like her.
By Emily Shelton
I love this book. truly inspirational, charming and witty. I won a kindle from Girls With Sole and I made sure I downloaded this book first. I love Liz’s backstory, because it is relatable . I was abused when I was younger as well. I have only cried at the end of two things. a book my brother in law wrote ( called chaos) and this book. Liz and finish line feeling have inspired me to think about raising awareness for abuse when I am an adult, finish line feeling is an amazing book, five stars all the way.
Awesome and inspiring story of strength and survival
By Kimberly Cummings
This is one of the most inspiring and empowering books I’ve read. You will not regret buying this book. Proceeds go towards helping the girls in the Girls with Sole program, so if you’re going to buy any book – make it this one!
A sad story, a story of strength, a story of survival. No matter what you are going through in your life, after reading this book you will want to take on the world! Thank you, Liz!
Everyone deserves to feel that FINISH LINE FEELING!
We run for all reasons. We run to things, we run away from things, we run with things bearing down on us, we run with things lifting us up. Running provided clarity and therapy for Liz after an unimaginable childhood. This book is real, raw at points and honest. It’s a book about hope though, for one woman but for the life she hopes to inspire in others. There is light, there is speed, there is bad -ss, there is love in all of us. Liz’s style is likeable and relate-able. Everyone deserves to feel that FINISH LINE FEELING of pride, power, joy, effort and exhilaration. Thank you Liz for all that you do for so many girls who need an ear, an outlet, someone to hold their hand, someone to deflect the yelling, to provide comfort, to provide strength, to provide friendship and camaraderie. Like others, I have never met Liz but thanks to this book and social media…I am honored to help in any small way I can for Girls With Sole.
READ THIS NOW if you are a Mom, if you work with girls, if you are a teacher, if you are a runner, if you need inspiration and motivation to do more to help others.
Great read for all!
By maura giardina
Liz Ferro’s “Finish Line Feeling” is an inspiring read for anyone! I could not put it down! She speaks with such a casual, relatable tone, you feel as if she is sitting down next to you on the couch telling you her story.
As she discloses her experiences, I went through a roller coaster of emotions, but ended with an ENORMOUS sense of empowerment, motivation, and inspiration. Liz describes the “finish line feeling” after running a race perfectly, and she describes all the possible emotions felt during a run. If you don’t run before you read this, you will start once you put it down!
Not only does Liz describe her abusive past, and how exercise has changed her life, but she describes why Girls With Sole is so important, both to her and to the girls that she is working with. Liz is an excellent role model for girls ANYWHERE, and she shows this through the life lessons in “Finish Line Feeling.”
Liz Ferro – Survivor to Thriver – A Tale of Success Against All Odds!
By Sam W
After reading Liz’s book – The Finish Line Feeling, I can say that Liz is a woman of vision who is a shining example of an individual who has gone from surviving her childhood experiences to thriving in adulthood and using her experiences to help others. Liz Ferro is the Founder of Girls With Sole which is an organisation whose mission is to use free fitness and wellness programs to empower the minds, bodies and souls of girls who are at risk or have experienced abuse of any kind.
Within a few pages of starting the book, Liz had me hooked as she began her story of her childhood where she was fostered until the age of two when she was adopted and the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her neighbour at the age of eight. She takes us through her teenage years where she suffered from bulimia and into adulthood as she battled the legacy and impact of her early childhood experiences and is honest and raw in describing how this affected many areas of her life.
Liz excels in conveying to the reader her trials and struggles as she made her way through life; a move to Germany during her early adulthood, her relationships with the opposite sex and her struggle to love herself. Her passion for sport which she credits with saving her was enough to make me want to grab my trainers and sprint somewhere, anywhere to experience Liz’s feel good feeling!
Yet in her tales of trials and struggles, she writes about her experiences and adventures in such a way that I shed tears of sorrow and laughter on many occasions. This is a woman who doesn’t do comfort zones and has lived an epic life.
Her story is emotional and raw yet very inspirational and empowering to any individual, no matter their background or experiences. She shows the reader that with determination and belief in oneself together with sheer willpower, no mountain is too high – anything is achievable!
The ultimate triumph in the tale of her success in the face of such adversity is that she shows us that each and every one of her experiences, good and bad, led Liz to her ultimate achievement of following her dream to help young girls who are at risk or have experienced abuse by founding Girls to Sole.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone but especially to victims of any abuse in childhood. Liz’s story gives hope and shines a light forward to all survivors.
The proceeds of Liz’s Book, Finish Line Feeling, provide invaluable funds for the Girls With Sole organisation and by purchasing this book, you would be supporting a very worthy and uplifting cause.
Go Liz! Now where are my trainers…
This book Opened my Eyes
By colleen m geppi
I loved the book! It opened my eyes to a healing process that was so heart warming to me! I would recommend this book to anyone that is healing or needs healing from any type of abuse. Liz wrote her inner story with heart and honesty. For that I will be forever grateful!!
By Stephanie D. ~ The Creator of I RUN California
It is rare that you are able to meet someone online and connect with them immediately. However, when you do make that connection, it as if you have known that person your entire life. I have felt this connection with Liz Ferro. I found Liz’s Facebook page, Girls With Sole when I started I RUN California. Liz and I shared a few messages. One of these messages was an introduction to a book she had written called, “Finish Line Feeling”. Proceeds of the book sales are used to fund her program, Girls With Sole. LULA (Lace Up for a Lifetime of Achievement) is a phrase lovingly adopted by girls who participate in the Girls With Sole program. It is a mantra that all participants in Girls With Sole grow to cherish. Girls with Sole is a non-profit organization that helps troubled or at risk girls who are between the ages of 9-18.
The feeling one gets when crossing the finish line of a race is a feeling that many of us runners and endurance athletes know well. It is the rush of adrenaline that we get as we know that the race we trained so hard for is about to end. It is the internal desire to beat the time that we had previously set or the time in our minds that we feel we can obtain. It is the sense of pride and pure ownership of what we have accomplished. It is that brief moment in time that can not be taken from us, shared with anyone else, explained, or cheapened. It is a feeling of complete bliss. It is empowerment. It is pride in its most genuine form. It is a precious moment.
In her book, “Finish Line Feeling”, Liz Ferro shares how she found this precious moment. She eloquently expresses how she shares it with girls who have not had a positive start in life. Girls who have been abused or are on a path of destruction, are shown through both physical activity and various mentorship programs that they do matter. They receive the love and compassion through Liz’s organization, Girls With Sole, that they deserve and are worthy of. They receive the precious self-esteem boost and adrenaline rush that only accomplishing something by oneself can bring. A child of the foster care program, Liz connects with these young girls in ways that many of the volunteer “coaches” in her program can not. Liz’s book is a candid look at her life as a child of the “system”, how the system did not work for her and how she was eventually adopted at the tender age of 2 into her final family. Liz opens her heart and tells intimate details about her abuse. She grabs your heart with her story of angst and pain. She passionately shares her love for sports and how literally this love for competing either with herself or with the time clock on a race course, saved her life. Liz’s detailed and explicit outline of her life explains why Girls With Sole is so important to her.
As a survivor of a multitude of abuses myself, I connect with Liz when she says that she went for runs to find herself. I connect with her when she says that she used her sport to search for her form of identity. When one is abused, one’s autonomy is destroyed as well. The quest to find oneself is sometimes a lifelong journey for some, often never bringing solace. For others, a passion such as running, bicycling, or swimming allows one to find oneself and truly get acquainted with the real person they are.
I highly recommend “Finish Line Feeling” to any organization who deals with young girls. I recommend this book to mothers who are at a loss with how to reach their daughters. I recommend “Finish Line Feeling” to the girl who feels lost in a world that seems so vast. I recommend it to abuse survivors to help them find a passion that will enable them to finally leave the darkness. Anyone reading “Finish Line Feeling” will be empowered. To borrow a phrase from Liz, after reading this book, you will have no choice but to “keep moving forward”.
From start to finish….
Knowing an author sometimes jades the view of the reader when reading a true life story. This book presents a roller coaster of emotion and many examples of self-preservation. Liz was a challenge to all around her. To “keep up with” for some – and to “put up with” for others. Her bravery in putting her life and soul on paper to become an example to others that are life challenged by abuse of any nature is inspirational. God speed with your continuing journey Liz…..
The Finish Line Is Just The Beginning
By Moushumi Mehta Brody
Life happens. I actually would substitute the first word “life” of the first sentence with another word that is more appropriate (or rather inappropriate) to describe Liz Ferro’s unyielding tenacity throughout her book, Finish Line Feeling. Through her devastating encounters with sexual abuse as a child, battles with eating disorders, and attempts at suicide, Ferro’s wit, positivity, and undying spirit make her what she is today: a powerful writer, leader, and mother not only to her two children, but also to the hundreds of young girls who are at-risk or survivors of abuse whom she empowers through her non-profit, Girls With Sole.
In her book, Ferro delivers a fearless and uninhibited account of her life from the time she was adopted at the age of two and takes us through tumultuous relationships with her family, sexual abuse by her neighbor, an abusive ex-fiance, and a divorce from an alcoholic husband. Throughout all of these adversities, Ferro not only survives, she lives. She lives the life she ultimately deserves at the finish line. She never pities herself despite the devastation in her life. In fact, at times she sadly feels she deserves the life of trauma she is given because she is always made to feel she has done something wrong. It is how she learns to deal with what life hands her – facing herself in the mirror and kicking out the past that had taken up real estate in her heart – where she begins to love herself and realize her gifts.
The one thing that feeds her will to survive is sports. Swimming, biking, and running are her faithful friends who have witnessed each and every moment of her life since she was a young girl. She raises her self-esteem by breaking through barriers that confined her as she runs in countless races including marathons, ultra-marathons, and Ironman triathlons. She begins to take responsibility and control of her life while carrying her first child. She develops a love for herself. As this happens, she arrives at more of a start line than a finish. And although, the finish line is a line of personal victory, Ferro is not finished. She has begun. And since she has begun, she has achieved victories along the way for her non-profit organization, Girls With Sole, and the number of girls for whom she has changed the game by sharing her love of sports with them. Ferro provides fitness, nutrition, and wellness programs along with healthy competitive events for these girls. Her program started in 2009 with four girls, and has expanded to over 450 girls. Ferro reaches out to community service organizations, such as shelters and juvenile detention centers, to recruit these girls – girls who lack the self-esteem or the will to survive, just as Ferro once did. Ferro’s life experiences are her qualifications and she has lifted girls out of the lowest and darkest of despairs to a feeling of worthiness and an excitement to face each day.
Early in the book, Liz inspires girls as she says, “I would never be one of Charlie’s Angels, but I could pretend to be the Bionic Woman, which I thought was much cooler anyway.” While being strong, fierce, independent, and self-confident may be Ferro’s goals for the girls, she is more of a “Fairy Godmother,” not only equipping the girls with sports bras and water bottles, but also with running shoes that magically transform them into princesses like Cinderella. Ferro can turn a girl into a princess whose goal is not to win a prince’s heart, but into one who believes and loves herself and can experience victory and pure joy at the finish line.
Liz Ferro is a very likable writer. While reading, you can relate to her since you have felt that same way in your life numerous times. She says things about the way you have felt in the past, but you were too afraid to vocalize. You want her to be your best friend because she open, honest, nonjudgmental, will lift your spirits on your worst day, and has an enormous, generous heart. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt or yearns to feel that Finish Line Feeling.
By Christine Kalie
Finish Line Feeling is an honest and real look at how one’s spirit can triumph over trauma through involvement in sports, specifically becoming a triathlete. Liz uses that same amazing spirit to help young girls over come their struggles and trauma by sharing her love of running and sports with them. As a therapist I know that bibliotherapy can be an effective tool in therapy and I would recommend this book to young people who are survivors of trauma or to anyone who thinks life has dealt them an unfair hand. And as a woman who discovered a love of trail running just two short years ago, I would recommend this book to anyone who has experienced “that finish line feeling” or desires to do so! Amazing story and even more amazing is the woman who risked so much to share it with us!
To Get Away from Shadows of Past? You Run From it!
By Aimee L
How do you get away from the shadows of your past? You run from it, literally!
Liz hasn’t stopped running since she was a teenager. She ran for the rush of adrenaline, for the excitement, from past boyfriends, with friends, exercise partners… and now she runs for the kids at “Girls with Sole”, kids who don’t know how to help themselves and let out the frustration in their lives otherwise. Through athleticism, she worked through, fought through the damage, the problems in life, and now it is through running, swimming, biking that she has found the higher meaning of the motions of life. It is through running that she is living her live with the purpose of helping other girls “find the mind, body and soul” connection that they otherwise wouldn’t have found.
“All that who wander are not lost.” When we are struggling in the darkness of life, we don’t seem to know what we are looking for, or even running away from most times. But for some of us, it is the gut feeling of something better that leads us to put one foot in front of another. It is that inner drive that propels us to keep on searching, from one thing to the next, one relationship to another. It might seem reckless, it might sound confusing, and it might be restless, but only the ones who have been through the hardship know the feeling of not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We are led forward by the light and drive inside of our hearts.
I think it is with this kind of drive and determination to find happiness that Liz found the salvation for herself, as well as many other teenage girls who were abused in their lives. The mind, body and soul connection is an especially refreshing approach to solving the seemingly unsolvable problems in our lives. Our body is so capable, it can do things that our mind cannot do. Isn’t that why we dance, hug people, and are so happy that we burst our laughing? Liz found this connection through running towards what she thought happiness was, and she hasn’t stopped. If we all can take the time to be with ourselves, listen to our body and let it inspire us, we all will be happier, healthier people.
Her story-telling style makes reading this book very relatable. The honest and unapologetic writing of Liz’s is also very amusing. It makes you say, I wish I could say that out loud! Why not?! Having been through a lot of troubles in my own life, and having felt the same uplifting power through sports and dancing, I have to say, it is very impressive to recognize how we feel affects what we think. And it is even more respectable to “bottle that finish line feeling up” and give it as a priceless gift to the girls who need exactly that kind of hope.
If Only You Could Bottle That “Finish Line Feeling”
By Mark Matthews, author of The Jade Rabbit and Stray
Finish Line Feeling is an incredible memoir by the founder of Girls With Sole, an organization that uses fitness and running to empower young woman, many of who are in residential treatment or other services. The author herself was in the foster-care system at the age of 2, was in 4 different foster homes, moved around until her adoption, and ultimately found strength and empowerment through sports.
The memoir is the story of an amazing athlete, who is very humble about her accomplishments. She has completed at least 4 iron distance triathlons and many marathons. Yes, I said Iron-distance races; a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. The ultimate endurance test.
The book tells her story of trauma, abuse, lingering adoption issues, and resulting roller-coaster relationship drama as an adult. It is told in a very engaging, conversational style. There is a bravery, honesty, and bluntness that highlights the strength of the author.
You can tell the author has an inner-strength as she faces these challenges, and that she just needs a few breaks, but needs to fight to learn to make life-affirming choices. As the author discusses relationship and family distress, and some poor choices along the way, you want to reach out and help her. Through it all, she falls back on training for strength and gains the subsequent insight that comes with choices, mistakes, and lessons learned.
There is also an isolation she faces with lack of affirmation from her family, and my guess in writing this book and founding her organization, she was taking back some power in her life and spreading it to others. This is a story of perseverance which I believe will especially resonate strong with woman runners, and anybody who has been in training to bring the best out of themselves.
At times I wanted more running in the book, but I fully believe that when we are in our training ‘beast mode’, our life is our running and our running is our life, and the two can’t be separated. In “Finish Line Feeling,” this is very true, as the author’s relationships are integrated into her running life.
How to handle, for example, a boyfriend who basically `cheats’ and finishes a triathlon without completing the swim, and then lies about it? (Yes, he’s eventually dumped) But later on, the author meets her eventual husband during a running of the Cleveland Marathon, which just goes to show that truth is stranger than fiction.
With all the trials and tribulations the author goes through, she finds that “The running drugs are capable of bringing feelings of clarity, control, power and pain relief and they are completely natural, healthy, and legal. Running alone in the woods gave me a chance to take care of mental housecleaning and it was an organic way for me to feel strong and purposeful. ”
It isn’t therapy that brings her back to strength. She felt that she could have seen a `thousand therapists,” but running and competing gave her something this didn’t, since “You quickly learn as a survivor of trauma and as an athlete that nothing is impossible and if you believe it you can achieve it. If you have ever completed a race (of any distance or type), and put your heart and soul into training and achieving your goal , then you know the feeling of electrifying empowering excitement at the finish line.”
As she says, that “That finish line feeling is something we just can’t bottle”
The message of the story is solid, and is reflected in the novel as well as the mission of the organization Girls With Sole. From dire circumstances come great achievements.
Inspirational story of a true hero!
Finish Line Feeling is an inspirational story of one woman’s choice to take a horrific childhood event and turn into an uplifting chance to make a difference in our girls of the future. Liz’s story encourages me that we can all make a difference in this world.
A Must Read!
By Megan Flanigan
Liz’s traumatic experiences are awful; but, her perseverance and resiliency is phenomenal. Her attitude in life is angelic. And to top it all off she is able to articulate her story in a way that is personable and page-turning! Liz’s story illustrates not only the need for exposing young girls to healthy alternatives but it also explains the importance of crossing the finish line. Reaching a goal provides an empowering feeling, physical activity is a tremendous stress relief, self-esteem builder, and it’s healthy; crossing the finish line ensures the confidence needed to move past one’s traumatic past and to help cope with the affects that any type of abuse leaves behind. Crossing the finish line provides the tools necessary to achieve the impossible. Liz’s story is heart breaking but she is “running” proof that girls can not only survive but they can thrive. You will be moved to tears, laughter, and you will be motivated and inspired to move! Liz’s organization, Girls with sole, is a necessary solution to a growing problem.
This book is amazing and a great read! I found myself laughing and crying throughout the book! What a blessing Liz is to all of the young girls she has worked with! Her story captures you with every turn! After reading the book I started running with my first half marathon this fall and have a new understanding of the finish line feeling!
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From the Heart
By M. M. Loesch
Liz Ferro, Founder of Girls With Sole and author of Finish Line Feeling writes from the heart. It’s no wonder her son was able to design the logo for Girls With Sole, in the middle of his design, is a heart!
I am not going to give away too much of the book because it’s a must read! Liz talks about the suitcase she held “close to her heart” when she was moving from foster home to foster home. The contents of that suitcase made her feel safe. She learned at such a young age to be so strong. Then years later she is a victim of sexual abuse. Something that was not talked about. EVER. She learned to keep a journal to get the things weighing on her “heart” on paper. Again, she managed to perservere, and learned to be even stronger, to be a stronger athlete, a better swimmer, an excellent runner, an iron(woman) and now fonder of Girls With Sole and author of Finish Line Feeling.
I would guess that this is just the beginning of what is in her heart. She has written about her life, and she now creates a positive environment for girls who have experienced any type of abuse to become better, stronger, to perservere and to fill their hearts with joy. She wants the girls to experience the “Finish Line,” and to fill their hearts with their very own “Finish Line Feeling.”
Way to go Liz Ferro on your memoir, and sharing with us not only your story, but opening up your heart and sole!
The Power of a Runner’s High
By Maria F Santoferraro
Liz Ferro, the author of Finish Line Feeling has skillfully used the power of the runner’s high to carry her throughout her life, and let me tell you, she has had a pretty tough life. Passed around in foster care and finally adopted at age 2, she was the victim of childhood sexual abuse from a neighbor, suffered from bulimia and low self-esteem issues, and endured abusive romantic relationships. She chronicles her life in the book Finish Line Feeling, where she tells the compelling story of how she overcame these obstacles to found the nationally recognized running organization Girls With Sole.
I just recently finished reading Finish Line Feeling, and I have to admit, some of the story was tough to read. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be the victim of sexual abuse, and at one point, I didn’t know if I could finish reading. But Liz’s brutal honesty and sense of humor throughout the book drew me in, and I ended up reading almost the entire book in one day. It is filled with inspirational quotes and stories about how Liz overcame obstacles to ultimately build a beautiful life and family for herself.
Liz could have stayed negative and bitter about what had happened to her, but instead she let go of her past, got on with her life by participating in sixteen marathons and a few Iron-distance triathlons, and used all of her life experiences to bring goodness into the world with the development of her non-profit organization.
Liz was able to find that mind/body/soul connection at an early age through running and swimming. But, for the most part, at-risk communities and kids in the foster or juvenile justice systems have very little to no access to any types of recreational fitness. Girls With Sole gives them that much-needed connection. It shows them that there is a way out of the darkness and that they can find this light without drugs, alcohol, or self-harm. These girls need someone to introduce them to the mind/body/soul connection, and I can’t think of a better way to help them than through the practice of running and yoga. To quote Liz, “Once they `get it’ they won’t ever let it go. But someone needs to show them the way to get there.”
The primary message of Finish Line Feeling is that we all have the inner strength and tenacity to persevere. Liz ends the book with this thought, “There is a confidence and a positive light that radiates from an athletic person. It is easily recognized by others and attracts them to you like a moth to a porch light on a summer’s night.”
If you are lucky enough to meet Liz or read this book, you will experience this light; it radiates from her smile and her enthusiasm, and I guarantee it will fill you up with joy.
Achieving the Possible!
By Wendy Fitos
Most stories of childhood sexual abuse end where the author learns to except themselves and move on in life. What makes “Finish Line Feeling” and Liz Ferro so interesting is that not only did she grow from her experience, she took it a step further and put together the nationally recognized organization Girls With Sole in 2 years when the recession of 2008 was one of the nation’s biggest concerns.
Ferro’s story begins when she is adopted at the age of 2 by parents who offer her a chance at a “normal” life and she slowly learns how to adapt to the fact that she doesn’t have to keep her suitcase packed to move on to a new home. Her humor as she talks about her struggles keeps you laughing and page turning quickly. At the age of 8 she is sexually abused by a neighbor who uses the usual tactics to bury what is happening to her and is only discovered when her mother finds a journal that she is keeping to keep herself from falling apart. Instead of sympathy, she finds a mother who would rather keep the secret than to disturb the balance of the suburbia which is the beginning of the beginning for Ferro. Her anger and hurt of being betrayed leads her to use athletics as a coping mechanism as she struggles with the normal issues girls face along with the horror of what has happened.
As she deals with her problems through her teen years and adulthood, the one consistency in her life is knowing that her trained body can get her through anything including a move overseas, an abusive fiance, her first Ironman competition and her acceptance that she is allowed to love herself without having to compromise. Written by a voice that only experience can provide, Ferro provides a great story as she continually acknowledges that in order to be a survivor, we have to take responsibility for our actions even when we aren’t responsible for the actions that lead us to anger and pain. Founding Girls With Sole and actively being involved with the girls that the program services is her way to use her talents to share her experiences and to prove that no matter what happens in life, you can rise above.
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