Liz’s Book is Truly Inspirational
“Finish Line Feeling” is a truly inspirational book. You can feel Liz’s positive energy and enthusiasm through her novel. She gives an honest view of her past, leaving nothing out. Liz’s narration and sense of humor made it as if she was my best friend simply recounting past experiences while we were on a run together! She made the best out of her countless predicaments and seemed to look back and laugh at it. Reading about her numerous mental, physical, and personal victories, it made it feel as if you too had succeeded with her. That is the effect Liz has on people. After I finished reading this book I wanted to jump up and go for a run. If Liz has gone through so much hardships and is still smiling and running Ironmans, the least I can do is get off the couch and jog!
Overcome evil with good.
By Amy Richards
Liz Ferro writes honestly and openly about her traumatic experiences and how she overcame them. Liz demonstrates courage and an indomitable will to not only overcome the terrible things that happened to her but to use her experiences to help young women facing similar struggles. I am thankful for the example Liz sets to the girls she mentors and for the vision she casts in this book. Many people struggle, some make it by, but Liz goes extra miles in overcoming evil with good through Finish Line Feeling and her organization Girls with Sole!
By Laura Samano
I love this book! A great example of the triumph of the human spirit. It is truly inspirational!
So great, so powerful.
By Crystal Neale
There are somethings so great, so powerful, so meaningful that you just can’t put it in words…..well this book does!!! I recommend this book to anyone. I especially recommend this book for women/girls who have had hardship. What a truly inspiring author. Do yourself a favor….read this book,then buy another one for a friend.
Get Off Your Ass, Out Of Your Boring Routine, And Be A Better Person. “Finish Line Feeling” shows you how.
By Katherine Boyd
Raped. Angry. Pegged as a lost cause. Liz Ferro should have been a sad statistic. Instead, she escaped hell. And in this book Liz explains how you can too.
“No my friend, darkness is not everywhere, for here and there I find faces illuminated from within; paper lanterns among the dark trees.”
I pulled this quote from “Finish Line Feeling,” Liz Ferro’s book.
It’s a powerful truth that makes me weep every time.
Liz went through hell.
Her childhood was twisted when a friendly neighbor invited her into his home for a cookie… and ushered her out with soreness between her legs and sick shame in her soul.
She cloaked that shame for years, in a life filled with anger and screaming and tirades dubbed by her family as “Liz’s Outbursts.”
Years later, she finally trusted someone enough to try and shed that ugly cloak of shame. She told her mother about the incidents.
Instead of feeling a gentle hug from Mom… Liz was slapped with the saddest words a victim can hear, “Don’t tell anyone.”
Between the covers of “Finish Line Feeling” Liz Ferro shares bits of her life that are shocking, raw and humiliating. If it were only that, this would be an interesting read quickly forgot.
But it’s what Liz does with those sad moments that turn this book into a must-read of human triumph.
Instead of letting her anger and loathing drag her down, Liz harnessed it, broke it, and rode it until it bended to her will.
That “will” has helped her graduate college, finish 33 marathons, raise a happy family and start a foundation for girls who have the odds stacked against them.
Looking for something to get you off your ass, out of your safe routine, and inspire you to be a better human being? Read “Finish Line Feeling.”
An authentic, inspirational must-read!
By Becky Perkins
“Finish Line Feeling” is an authentic, witty, and inspirational conversation with a woman who has created beauty and purpose from chaos and pain. This memoir is the most genuine and honest piece of non-fiction I’ve read and has left me feeling energized to do more in my own life. Regardless of one’s background or experiences, everyone will find resonance and acceptance within the pages of Liz’s memoir. We all face obstacles in life, but Liz reminds us that if you are determined, work hard, and never give up on yourself, anything is possible. While anyone could benefit from reading this book, all women who have experienced trauma, abuse, or hardship in their lives should read it. You won’t regret it, and it just might change your life!
Liz Ferro’s memoir is honest, thought provoking, and inspirational
By Anne Connelly
Liz Ferro’s memoir is honest, thought provoking, and disturbing because as a child she was sexually assaulted and abused. Her ability to tell her story made me feel that the human spirit is impossible to break. Liz Ferro’s willingness and openness to share what happened to her in order to help other young woman and girls who have been abused, never stops. The symbolism of running a race and how it feels to finish equates to how she felt when she decided to “finish the race” by talking about and getting help for herself. After reading this book I could not wait to support the Girls with Sole Organization. I have witnessed the powerful message that she shares in this book and in her relentless pursuit to put a stop to sex abuse through empowering young woman and girls. Liz Ferro has created a very powerful public awareness campaign that needs to continue. That Finish Line Feeling along with the Girls with Sole Organization does just that.
Liz is an amazing role model for the girls she works with through Girls With Sole
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.
Review by Celeste M. Tober
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Finish Line Feeling!
Holy shit! Sorry, but yes that’s how I feel! I just read the best book! My heart is still pounding in my chest, my cheeks are wet with streaming tears, my arms and the back of my neck are exhausted from experiencing the constant waves of goosebumps and my stomach is full of butterflies all anxiously awaiting the sunrise, with the anticipation of a glorious run.
Inspiration? That’s a vast understatement! I feel as if I just saw “Rocky” for the first time! And I want to run those steps and scream “Yo Adrian!”
I feel exhausted yet energized all at the same time closing the last page of what is now my favorite book.
“Finish Line Feeling” by Liz Ferro.
I am so happy that I actually decided to put aside a “New York Times Best Seller” I was reading, to read Liz’s book… It was a great choice for sure considering I was having a tough time getting into that one and couldn’t put Liz’s book down!
On the heels of such a great loss as Robin Williams tragic suicide yesterday, just having ended this amazing book of perseverance somehow has even more meaning to me… As my mom would say “There are no coincidences!”
What Liz does is so important instilling a sense of worth to those who would otherwise feel worthless.
Having struggled with numerous suicide attempts as well as bouts of self loathing and to overcome that, and so much more speaks volumes of the triumphant character that Liz achieved. How she is able to fight for her life when it seems as if cement cinder blocks were chained to her ankles, pulling her to the murky depths of the water as she swam is a testament to mind over matter.
I am all about girl power and it turned out coincidentally I have a dear group of women who I have affectionately called my “Soul Sisters” for about the last 4 years. These are girls that I hold near and dear to my heart much like Liz feels about her “Girls With Sole.”
I’m looking forward to sharing this book with my group of soul sisters, it would be a great book group read!
Just reading the foreword made me want to throw on my running shoes and swim suit to jump and dive right into this book!
Liz writes in a way that makes her so relatable… She talked about her Hero as a little girl… I too was never interested in being one of “Charlie’s Angels” what the heck did they need him for anyway? Right? And Tom Bosley couldn’t find his way out of a paper bag with a GPS!
I had my sights on bigger fish, I think I wore out my bionic women Halloween costume through an entire summer and a ahem… The bionic man was pretty easy on the eyes, if ya catch my drift!
I am not a girl who has a ton of time to read (soccer mom’s are always kicking it) but I plowed through Liz’s book in a few days and found myself looking for every opportunity to read it. Liz had me laughing out loud with her witty commentary, (for the record I strongly dislike the word cul de sac… You guys will understand after you read the book)
Wincing at her reality and sobbing at her heartbreak. Her book is full of excitement, adventure and soul searching with accounts of what it is like to face abuse and your fears even if it means the fear of yourself. And even a few pants pooping shenanigans just for good measure!
You are the only one who can fix your broken parts. People can help you if you can be real with yourself but life is Mano e Mano, just you and yourself. Liz shows us how sports and fitness helped save her life and how they can save another life, she instills that in her amazing girls program “Girls With Sole.”
She is a champion at life and a champion for all she blesses with her inspiration and drive to make herself better and in turn everyone around her!
She illuminates from her effervescent personality and to watch her excitement for what she does is contagious! There was a point when I met her that she was talking to her girls and she was so elated for them to try paddle boarding that she was up on her tippy-toes as if she was full of helium and might just take flight.
If there is one book you read that you will change you and you will close the last page with a list of friends in mind, this is it… Trust me they will all thank you!
I hope you will join me in support of one of our very own Cleveland soul sisters…
Read her story, volunteer, donate or whatever you can do to offer a hand or a heart to this life changing group that helps abused and less fortunate girls. Without people like you, they don’t stand a fighting chance to cross the finish line with their arms high over head, full of positive vibes as they experience their “Finish Line Feeling!”
By Pam R
Liz Ferro is a strong, inspiring, and positive force, indeed. But, her most valuable and appealing quality is her authenticity. Liz’s willingness to put her story on these pages, with such transparency and clarity, will be a gift to generations to come. Liz’s story, and all that it encompasses, has something for everyone…regardless of your own personal details, this book will inspire, encourage, and challenge you to grow, in powerfully positive ways. And best of all, this story, like our own, is a journey, with many “finish lines.”
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!
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!
A must read!
By Thomas Sivo
WOW! I am not much of a reader but this one hooked me to the end. Liz is an inspiration for all of us. To be able to write these experiences (good and bad) down on paper and put it all out there is an incredibly brave and noble contribution to our communities she is helping. I applaud you Liz! This is a must read for everyone. You are doing yourself an injustice by not reading this one. ROCK ON Liz!!!
Honest and genuine… a great combination! A GREAT read!
By Eric Harrington
Finish Line Feeling is an inspirational story for anyone dealing with physical and emotional abuse.
Although I was a bit nervous to read through the sensitive topics, Liz handled the story with great finesse.
It is imperative to listen to kids and support them through good times and especially through tough times. Liz story touches your heart because she needed that support and didn’t get it. By some blessing she found the strength and courage to move forward. Exercise and running were a key part of building that strength and the sense of accomplishment from the “Finish Line Feeling”.
Liz’s nonprofit Girls With Sole is providing emotional and physical support to young people facing the same challenges. The book is a great read and more importantly is the positive impact GWS is having on young people’s lives everyday!
Please support her work, buy the book and visit GWS website www.girlswithsole.org!
Finish Line Feeling!
By Richard A Bement
There are certain “vices” that can take us out of reality whether it is a brief moment, or even days at a time. Families go on summer vacations to visit Disney World, Myrtle Beach, or even short little day trips to get ice cream while having a brief escape from their daily lives. Others alleviate stresses by reading and living vicariously from story to story, or watch movies and pretend for two hours that they are inside that setting- away from their routine.
For Liz, there was no escape after suffering years of abuse as a little girl at the hands of a neighbor who she thought of as a grandfather.
Not until she started swimming did Liz find her own “escape” with realization that “you quickly learn as a survivor of trauma and as an athlete that nothing is impossible.” She is exactly that: a survivor from being a confused, self loathing, frail little girl “I felt a horrible smoldering hatred for myself that lurked in the shadowy darkness of my soul” to someone who created the nationally recognized Girls With Sole.
Being a runner myself, I love the fact that Liz recognizes the importance of it: “running is a time during which your soul is both purged and rejuvenated.” The comedy-tragedy that defines us as human beings is clearly detailed on every page. Her storytelling has me in stitches laughing, just as it has me in tears.
Life is a marathon. Liz teaches readers that “lacing up for a lifetime of achievement” can give you an escape. The Finish Line Feeling is a true testament of what we can achieve as human beings and the importance of self worth.
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 Amber Elizabeth Orley
This is a wonderful book for young ladies. I am inspired by Liz Ferro! This is a must read for anyone who has struggled in their life to rise above and be the best they can be.
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”.
By Megan A Harrington
“Finish Line Feeling,” was the kind of book that I did not want to put down. Liz shares a very personal and intimate portrait of her life and the struggles she overcame. She showed how faith and hope, along with dedication to athletics can help a person gain strength and happiness. In addition to overcoming her own obstacles and internal challenges, she writes about how helping others, helped her. Liz Ferro definitely pays it forward with her dedication to “Girls With Sole.” I think her story is so in important as it demonstrates the need for people to support and encourage each other in this challenging world we live in.
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.
A must read, a story of triumph and hope
By J. Palumbo
A friend told me that I should read this book after he met Liz at a Girls With Sole event. I ordered it and ended up reading it in one day. Let me just tell you, Liz Ferro is the real deal. Liz shares her story with an unapologetic truth. She doesn’t sugarcoat things, she speaks with a real and honest heart. She shares about sexual abuse that she endured, being a foster child, troubled relationships,, eating disorders and so much more. I was so captivated by Liz’s strength. She didn’t and doesn’t let what happened to her, define her. It didn’t come easy, she fought, she didn’t give up. Liz’s story is a story of perseverance, a story of hope, it’s a story of light overcoming the darkness, and it’s a story of not giving up. You will laugh, you will shed tears, and you will be motivated as you read this book.
Liz started Girls With Sole. It’s a non profit organization that helps young girls that are at risk or have been abused healthy ways to keep going. She shares her heart and herself with these girls. I encourage you all to read this book, go to a girls with sole event, you will meet a woman that truly cares. By purchasing hts book, you will be helping to support a Girls With Sole. You will be helping making a difference in a young girls life who needs hope, encouragement, self esteem, you will continue to help them have a role model in their corner. This will definitely be a book that I share with my daughter when she gets older.
Thank you Liz for sharing from your heart, thank you for showing many that you can rise above your circumstances. You are truly an inspiring woman!
“Finish Line Feeling” has it all: tragedy, humor …
By Natalie J Migoni
“Finish Line Feeling” has it all: tragedy, humor, and above all else, the resiliency of the human spirit. Liz tells her story in such a way that you can’t help but feel as though you are experiencing it right along side her. This book not only details the story of a life; it also details a story of survival. If you are looking for a page turner look no further.
I’ve never ceased to be amazed
By EJ Gorman
I’ve never ceased to be amazed by how the substance of this work so perfectly captures all the best characteristics of the indomitable human spirit. A must read for all!
Deeply touching and truly inspiring!
I was lucky enough to meet Liz before I read her book, but her book got me to understand her mission and heart for Girls for Sole on a much deeper level!!! The book allows an insight into Liz’s most vulnerable moments, some of her worst experiences of her life and some of her worst and best decisions. She opens herself up to the world not holding anything back and you get drawn into her world, her experiences and you cannot help but to laugh and cry with her and want to hug her and never let her go, but ultimately to cheer for her the whole way, and finish feeling an enormous respect for who she is as a person and what she does for Girls with Sole, her amazing organization. Be ready to be drawn in and hold on to your seat for an amazing, touching, uplifting, and truly empowering journey!!!