Falling into Now: Memories of Sport, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Education by Claire SmithFalling into Now: Memories of Sport, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Education by Claire Smith

Falling into Now: Memories of Sport, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Education

byClaire Smith

Paperback | October 19, 2017

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In this marvelous little book, the historical theme involves the world of equestrian competition at the highest level. The author’s early life was dedicated to horses and competitive events. Through her skill and commitment, she became an internationally recognized rider, and a member of Canada’s National Team. She was selected to compete at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. The sophisticated competitor not only loves her horses, who are such a critical element in the sport, but combines equestrian skill with courage in competitive performance.

The author, in outlining the history developed in the book, demonstrates that the sport requires commitment, courage and is dangerous – an enormous and powerful animal guided by a skilled rider. The most challenging and dangerous is the three-day event combining dressage, cross-country and show jumping.

The story has a dedicated, experienced and thoroughly committed athlete confronting her worst fears. In a cross-country event in England in 1997, her horse summersaulted over an early jump, unseating its rider, the author, and resulting in horrendous injury which permanently changed her life.

The book is about her medical trials arising out of a very serious brain injury, compounded later with a physical disability associated with brain damage which was crippling and arose many months after the fall which left her not only with cognitive limitations, but at the same time, disabling physical effects.

The underlying theme in the book concerns a painful recovery phase and is about the emotional turmoil associated with acceptance that she will never ride again. The emotional elements are complicated and depressing, challenging the spiritual and intellectual inventory of talents in this remarkable woman. A point is skillfully made that there could hardly be anything more depressing (and soul destroying) than adjusting to the fact, over months and years, that one will never compete again in the sport in which one had reached the highest levels. The account of this subject by the author would ring true for any skilled athlete who had to permanently abandon their life’s pursuit due to injury.

As the book develops, after many months of medical treatment and therapy, the author begins to accommodate and absorb the reality of the consequences of her critical injury. She is the admirable hero of the story but it is clear from her narrative that the course of her life would have been permanently and negatively affected were it not for the empathetic support provided by her devoted mother and father, who as one might expect, dedicated their lives to overcoming the plight of their beloved daughter. Apart from the reality of life changing injury, this is a truly inspirational account of parental love unrestrained.

To come to grips, as it were, with the rest of her life, the author switches course from her equestrian life to academia. Her subject of study, not surprisingly, is the phenomenon of serious head injury and the psychological and sociological effects on the individual. She earned a Master’s Degree and eventually converts her shattered life experience with the grant of a Ph.D. Not surprisingly, her thesis deals with the psychological and emotional management of this most devastating event in her life.

As she points out, academia alone was not nearly enough to enable her to accommodate her emotional state to her real life situation. What follows is a dedicated effort to rely on her powerful spiritual resources to put her early life behind her and migrate to emotional normalcy.

The cruelty besetting the author is exacerbated by the on-set of Dystonia, an affliction attributed to neurological sequelae from her head injury. She must now cope not only with her psychological burden, and, if that were not enough, a physically disabling condition which confines her in many of her activities to a wheelchair.

Extraordinarily, her life is re-ordered and she is able to put her demons behind her. Now a charming, intelligent and accepting young woman with a coterie of good friends and admirers in her life.

Writing this extraordinary account of her travails has undoubtedly added to her inventory of initiatives which have stabilized her life. It is an inspiring read.

Title:Falling into Now: Memories of Sport, Traumatic Brain Injury, and EducationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:260 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.55 inPublished:October 19, 2017Publisher:IuniverseLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1532026404

ISBN - 13:9781532026409

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Emotional Rollercoaster!! Such a unique writing style! I never tired of the way the book flowed with pieces of the past and "NOW" carrying me through the details as this gripping story unfolded. I thoroughly appreciated the shift into the sections that were told from the point of view of the parents, always there with the support she needed. The author, as an active participant, offers insight into the struggles, achievements, and disappointments that face athletes during preparation and competition. More importantly, she gives the reader a rare glimpse into the life of a person living with Traumatic Brain Injury. She effectively shares her struggles and determination that involves the reader fully and emotionally. Once I started reading this compelling story I found it difficult to put down. I will definitely be sharing it with friends and family. Congratulations, Claire! Continue on...!!
Date published: 2018-11-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Determination I first read Claire Smith’s memoir, Falling into Now in manuscript form and immediately felt it must be published. Not many of us have had to grapple with the single focused life of a professional athlete near the peak of success only to be quite literally thrown into an uncertain future of life after a head injury. Claire’s fatal fall from her horse in the UK eventually turned her to life in a wheelchair. And now she writes, it is where others see her only as an invalid and not the whole person that she is, one who just ‘happens’ to be sitting in a wheel chair. This book gives us the whole person and then some. Claire does not spare us details and now that I have had a chance to read her story in its entirety I am even more impressed with both the quality of the writing and the raw honesty of its writer. Claire’s ability to weave the text from the past to the present gives us a sense of immediacy throughout the book. Her memory for detail is remarkable as she takes us through her life as a horse crazy young girl on to horse obsessed adolescence and early adulthood. Just as we get ourselves immersed in her growing prowess as a horsewoman she abruptly brings us to a moment in the present (Now) as she struggles with her willingness to accept her present reality. The effect gives us a glimpse into how it has been for Claire – a moment of remembering how her life used to be and then an abrupt drop into the reality of the present. My favourite parts of this book (if I even have some over others) are the chapters devoted to her parents as she writes about her mother’s vigil sitting by her bed in the hospital in England willing Claire to wake up and show she could move her legs. And how, after she returned to her family farm still very much suffering the effects of her brain injury, her father slept on the floor outside her bedroom door to prevent her getting up in the early hours and falling down the stairs. And this was during the 1998 ice storm when power was out over the countryside and people had to make do with improvised heat. The book itself is a story of will power and determination and an unwillingness to give up – at first a dogged determination to go back to being the horsewomen she used to be and then, once it finally became apparent that this was not going to happen, an equal determination to move on into something else but with the same attitude of wanting to compete, be the best and succeed beyond expectations. And she did. It certainly takes dedication. Claire’s frank rendition of her single-minded determination to succeed as an Olympic athlete gives us a glimpse into the somewhat obsessive world of anyone who wants to be ‘the best’ at any sport. It is not new to know that this dedication takes discipline, sacrifice and hard work - but to hear this in Claire’s clear first person voice lets us in to the mindset of an athlete – that is one who really wants to win. And Claire is open about this, she fully acknowledges that she finally came to understand that it was not the long practice, the gruelling early morning winter rides and the work around horses that counted but it was the public recognition of being good that really mattered and that this need to be seen to ‘be good’ s eclipsed the enjoyment of the experience along the way. At long last, she writes she has learned to live in the moment - to enjoy the journey as much as the dreamed about arrival at the destination.
Date published: 2018-08-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lived experience exemplified I had the pleasure of reading Claire’s story from cover to cover. In the past, I have been able to see numerous patients who have sustained the effects of brain injury. It is truly informative and helpful to have the perspective of the patient presented in an insightful and entertaining manner. Claire clearly captures how one moment can change one’s life and send it in a different direction. Just as in her life where she aims to continue to improve and fight to the best in sport, she uses the same strategies to overcome her impairment and disability. Going on to complete her academics including a PhD positioned her well to write this engaging novel that brain injured persons, family members and healthcare providers alike can relate to. Only more recently in healthcare has there been an emphasis on understanding the patient perspective. This chronology of Claire’s life and experiences to date provides great perspective on how a patient approaches the challenges of disability. A very good read.
Date published: 2018-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A story for everyone This autobiographical memoir is of interest to every one, on both personal and professional levels. Claire Smith tells us about very personal and emotional events without lamenting or glorifying or judging, laying out her life for us to observe, letting the reader develop insights into many issues that affect all of us. Family, friends and partners all play important roles, mostly positive and supportive, but not always wanted or appreciated at the time. The writing is engaging and draws us along -as we read we cannot help but start to reflect on our own lives. The author’s early love of horses led to a competitive riding career that is brought to an abrupt end by a fall from her horse. She deals with the long period of lost memory after her fall and traumatic brain injury in a particularly effective and touching manner by using the recollections and words of her family and friends. We then share the optimism as she returns gradually to her horses and riding, only to be severely tempered by limitations that soon become obvious, and then devastated by the unexpected appearance of dystonia. Dystonia is a condition that is poorly understood and hard to treat, so it was slow to be diagnosed, and there was little support or understanding from the medical profession in the early phases. The author had to navigate herself through a not-always-receptive system until she found the health care professionals and treatments that enable her to manage and live with this chronic disabling condition. Not to be deterred, Claire once again reoriented her career and life goals, this time to education and academia - more fascinating reading as she shares the joys and frustrations of the academic world. At the end we cannot help but have a feeling of great admiration, and thank the author for sharing so much with us. Once again, everyone will be touched by this story, and will find that it helps us to gain some insight into our own life experience.
Date published: 2018-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely INCREDIBLE, AWE-INSPIRING, AMAZING!!!!!! What an INCREDIBLE honour to read this book!!!! One of my coworkers/friends Carolyn lent me this book to read as I too come from the world of equestrian jumping and love of horses etc. What an incredibly courageous, resilient and inspirational woman Claire Smith is. Though I was never anywhere near the ranks of being professional I could easily relate to her obsession, love and laser-focus of her whole world being horses. I laughed, I reminisced and I especially wept when I read her book…..i was full of awe and impressed beyond belief at the traumatic ordeal she endured and then to follow up with an MA and a PHD!?! .......AMAZING doesn’t begin to describe the words in her book and the feelings they invoke. Thank you Claire Smith for sharing your wonderful story.
Date published: 2018-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping Story of Fall and Redemption “Strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over” . Kendall Sinosky, University of Southern California, Junior Crew. Indeed, getting up and pivoting is a crucial skill for many, whether athletes or otherwise professionally occupied. In “Falling Into Now” Dr. Claire Smith explains how she recovered from a serious head injury resulting from a 1997 fall. In so doing, and in particular, publishing her first book, she shows the strength referenced by Ms. Sinosky. As she explains in her first book, after growing up in steeped in horseback riding, she found herself a member of the Canadian Olympic equestrian team after college. However, a serious injury during a bad fall found her at age 34 sidelined and facing the challenge of reexamining her skill set. Dr. Smith pursued her recovery with vigor. Physiotherapy “soon became my favourite time of the day.” And she loved her weekly appointments with her neuro physiotherapist. However, Dr Smith admits that she did not yet understand that she “was a changed person”. She admits she was “clueless of the harsh reality that life could be no longer be the same for me”, and that she “remained oblivious to that reality for the next year or so”. Dr. Smith bonded with her psychological counsellor at the head-injury clinic. Dr. Glennis, who “understood that unless I tried to continue my life with horses, I would forever resent being told by others that I shouldn’t ride.” However, Dr Smith also recognized that “I had to compose a new life so that I could escape from the ghost of head injury that was forever trailing me”. Dr Smith’s road to recovery contained speedbumps and lots of potential detours. Two years after the accident, Dr. Smith began her Master’s Degree in the effects of serious head injuries. On completing her MS, she delighted her friends and family by commencing a PhD in the same subject area. During this time, Dr Smith began to experience difficulties in walking. However, soon after, she entered into a long term relationship, which gave her ”up and down” life a clear positive upturn. A few years later, Dr Smith was diagnosed with “Dystonia”, a disorder which originates in the brain and affects the muscle movement of affected limbs; in her case, her right leg. Dr Smith’s head injury likely triggered it. Dystonia did not respond to acupuncture and Dr Smith had to adjust to the fact it was part of her life. After successfully defending her Ph d. Afterwards, she found herself still emotionally processing the head injury that had happened over a decade earlier. As Dr. Smith notes, “the path of recovery from serious injury is suggested by the path of life”, so while Dystonia made it progressively more difficult for her to walk, she began to adjust to life with a golf cart and wheelchair nearby, and a brace on her right leg as needed. Most importantly, she learned to accept gratification from so many different sources and she feel she has “become and richer and more interesting human being”. Dr. Smith has done a fine job describing the process of falling down, getting up, and then “falling” into her current life. Most riveting are the chapters she wrote from her parents’ point of view, describing their reactions in first hand narrative. Dr. Smith’s disclosed her authorship of these sections in the introduction; without such disclosure this reviewer would not have known Dr. Smith’s parents wrote these passages. “Falling Into Now” is a comprehensive analysis of the physical, and particularly, emotional challenges an athlete diverted by a serious injury must face, and a good read not those for those athletes but also for those around them.
Date published: 2018-06-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspirational As someone who works in health care and is an avid fan of three day eventing, I thoroughly appreciated Falling Into Now. Claire Smith did an excellent job of describing the mind set of a champion that allowed her to both reach the top of the equestrian world, overcome a devastating traumatic brain injury, and achieve the top levels of academia. Her honest description of the mental challenges, the doubts, and the victories both before and after the fall gives the reader insight into the strength and tenacity that individuals need to overcome critical set backs. More than any other aspect of Falling Into Now, the author’s honesty about her journey, its peaks and valleys, and her ability to ultimately find her path made the book truly inspirational. On top of being a compelling story, the book is a great read that kept me engaged from start to finish. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2018-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Read! ​Fr​om the moment I began reading Claire's book, I couldn't put it down. Her narrative style is very compelling. As someone who grew up with horses, I was very interested in the details about the daily life of a high level equestrian. Claire's story of hardship and renewal is inspiring. I have read many memoirs, and this one will not disappoint.
Date published: 2018-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow. What a remarkable life's journey Claire has been on, and what a remarkable way to tell it! Her seamless writing, and her honest, personal and compelling approach to telling her story made it hard to put the book down. The commitment, struggle, perseverance, resilience, love and support that have been integral to Claire's journey resonated on every page in a way that truly helped me to feel and understand her world. An insightful and special memoir.
Date published: 2018-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly Recommend Like many friendships Claire and I went in different directions after high school. Many times through friends I would hear about Claire and what she was up to. This book brought me back in touch with Claire in a very personal and intimate way - through her memoir. It was tough to read about her fall and recovery in such a detailed way; however it was inspiring to see how she rose to each challenge and conquered it. The Dystonia diagnosis and struggles resonated a lot with me; because she so aptly described how it feels to go through major loss and struggles in life. Very well written, easy to relate to and an enjoyable read. I highly recommend this book. Congratulations Claire. Well done.
Date published: 2018-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! An emotional rollercoaster, but what a ride. I know what it is like to have a passion for something, and the thought that it might be taken away is frightening. Claire's courage, and stubborness, along with the support of family and friends is amazing. Why not get a Masters, and a Ph.D? Wow. This book reads very easily, and I read it in two sittings. There was laughter, and tears, and time very well spent.
Date published: 2018-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommended This is a brave and intelligent book. Totally absorbing to read, it's insightful about the impact of loss, the courage it takes to accept change, and the need to find a real identity. It will be of interest to anyone dealing with these issues, but also more specifically to those learning about the challenges of disability.
Date published: 2018-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! A glimpse into the elite equestrian world and a perfect psychological study of triumph in the face of adversity. Claire's memoir reads like a novel. Her fresh descriptive choices took me along on the journey feeling every step of pain and progress as if I was living it myself. Highly recommend it!
Date published: 2018-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring and Introspective! An amazing story written with creativity and thoughtfulness. It is relatable to anyone who has gone through a major change of any type in their life and had to reflect on how that impacted their identity and shaped who they wanted to be going forward. Also a very interesting perspective for anyone who is or has been involved in high level competition to consider the "what ifs". I was fascinated with the reflection that Claire was able to describe about her past and everything she has overcome.
Date published: 2018-03-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I would recommend to anyone I have known the author Claire since we first met in public school and I am proud to say she has remained a loyal and trusted friend. The Claire before the fall in September, 1997 and TBI diagnosis was a more private person, I never really knew or understood her equestrian world so was very much looking forward to reading her memoir. Her story sends a powerful message how through the love and support of family and friends anyone can shift their life’s perspectives. Claire opens her heart and soul as she chronicles her journey with interesting and entertaining anecdotes, informative and insightful writing. This aptly titled book, Falling into now, would resonate with anyone who has suffered adversity in their lives by demonstrating through determination, strength, will and courage to change one’s identity to move forward and become a content and happy person “now”. Thank you for sharing your story.
Date published: 2018-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Page Turner If ever you want to know what it takes to become an elite athlete you must read this book. Claire's courage, goal setting, focus, determination, motivation and willingness to sacrifice are what made her an Olympic Athlete. It is also what enabled her to deal with her Traumatic Brain Injury and Dystonia in a way most of us could only dream of doing. If ever there was an example of 'when-life-hands-you-lemons-you-make-lemonade' this memoir is it. I found this book hard to put down. Claire is a remarkable, inspiring woman. A very worthwhile read.
Date published: 2018-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Motivating and inspiring! Bought this book on a recommendation of a friend. Recently recovering from a minor trauma and this book was very relevant. Helped put a lot of things in perspective. Motivated and inspired me to fight harder and never give up. The author's experience was incredible but this book can be applied to most struggles in life. Easy to understand, serious but humorous, and well-written! Will make you feel better. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2018-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous read I didn't know much about the Olympic horse racing industry. This book was a delightful read. It was so interesting to see how much Claire's family was involved in her recover. Never knew that it takes such dedication and drive to be in an Olympic sport and that once that goal is taken away, the same dedication and drive is required to carry on with life itself. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in sport.
Date published: 2018-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fully engaging... This is a powerful and engaging chronicle of recovery and rehabilitation. As someone living with ALS, I found the author's deeply personal insights sometimes mirroring lessons learned in my own journey, and other times providing helpful perspectives not yet fully understood. Above all, I'm left feeling even more determined to live in the present with hope and gratitude, and to enjoy the journey.
Date published: 2018-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Moving True Story of Accomplishment, Loss, Recovery and Resilience Claire's story of learning to navigate life after a catastrophic brain injury at the height of her Olympic Level Equestrian Career speaks to every person whom has faced a sudden and unexpected challenge of any type. Written from not only the author's perspective, but also of her parent's, whom had their own loss to deal with when their highly driven and intelligent daughter is reduced to learning how to eat and walk again, the levels of relatability cover a broad range and are at times, intense. A true story of resilience, persistence and adaptability, 'Falling Into Now' is a must read!
Date published: 2018-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent biography! I could not put this book down. The author takes you on a ride beginning with her young passion for horses, sport and success then opens up about an incredible life changing injury. Smith bravely shares her personal journey that leaves the reader with a new understanding of compassion and admiration.
Date published: 2018-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Falling into Now by Claire Smith This is a wonderful book that will inspire and encourage anyone who is facing unexpected challenges. Claire was totally focused on achieving excellence in equestrian competition including the Atlanta Olympics. Then, suddenly, she falls off her horse into unconsciousness in a UK competition just as her career was taking off. When she emerges from hospital and rehab she pushes herself to pick up where she left off. Like many of us,she cannot bring herself put aside her longstanding goals. She tries again and again to pick up where she left off. . Finally, she accepts reality and reinvents herself earning first a masters and then a phd. As if that is not enough, she starts to have problems walking. The diagnosis is Dystonia. Forced to use a wheelchair and a brace on her affected leg, she moves on into a superb writing career, participates in community activities, and builds an active life in new ways. . Any of us who wants to give up in the face of not one but a series of severe setbacks should feel encouraged by this book There seems to be no end to Claire's courage and positive attitude. I encourage everyone to read this book and keep it accessible for those days when we run out of motivation. Forging ahead in new directions should be something we all try to do. Follow Claire into our own versions of NOW.
Date published: 2018-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Captivating Read! "Falling into Now" is an inspirational memoir about Claire's traumatic brain injury as a result of a dreadful accident. This story tells of one woman's incredible loss, turmoil, challenges, courage, acceptance and unrelenting determination. I could not put this book down. Within these pages, Claire's parents also share their emotional and heartfelt journey. The books title is brilliant. Claire is a remarkable woman and an inspiration to us all.
Date published: 2018-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspirational! I love this book! A must-read for anyone struggling with challenges - of any kind - and an incredibly motivating and inspiring story. Claire Smith personifies resilience, perseverance and grit.
Date published: 2018-01-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Engaging How do those of us who have been blessed with health, who have never been forced to confront a life changing illness or event, begin to understand the perspective of those who have? Many of us read about them. Claire’s book takes us on a journey of recovery that is revealing and inspiring. It is not a work of fiction, carefully crafted to manipulate our emotions. It is an honest conversation complete with asides, distractions and retellings. It is the story of a real person. Many times while reading it I felt as though Claire were sitting beside me telling me her story. I recommend that you spend some time with this honest and courageous woman, but be prepared to be moved.
Date published: 2018-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well done This book was very well written and easy to read. It described a livelong passion in just enough detail to really understand the devastation that the fall caused in the authors life. The journey to find her new purpose was inspirational to all of us who read this story
Date published: 2017-12-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Reflection for All of Us Claire Smith's account of her journey back from traumatic brain injury as a result of a sport-related injury could be seen as just that -- a case study in recovery. Thanks to some introspection and a gift for reflection, this book is a reminder for all of us that we can evolve and grow into something that we don't expect. It's a wonderful read that reminds us all that the ability to re-adjust one's thoughts and feelings is a helpful skill no matter what we're experiencing life.
Date published: 2017-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW! Claire's book captures so eloquently the challenges faced when life shifts unexpectedly. As a person living with Parkinson's I could easily relate to those moments when you have to choose the path to follow - either self pity or courageous determination. Claire take us down her paths and we get to see how she selected those paths that led her to where she is today. Truly inspiring.
Date published: 2017-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Claire Smith has written a case study of her eventful life both prior to and after an equestrian accident at a horse show. It will have special appeal to anyone who has had a life-threatening accident and has had to adjust their life to what happened. In similar circumstances each person has to select their own path based on the prevailing opportunities and how the person responds to them. Aside from the medical treatment Claire discovered a series of opportunities that lead her to study and attain a Masters and Doctorate degree, become an author, and then devote her time to assisting others who have experienced similar setbacks. Aside from medical treatment, the support of family and friends as well as teachers and fellow students were vital ingredients to mapping out a route to recovery. At times the road taken may lead to a dead end, but what Claire shows is that the person has to persevere and be prepared to change course when confronting a brick wall, or when medical including physical changes occur. Claire had the close support of her parents and family, and by setting her sights on pursuing then available opportunities was able to plan and achieve a series of goals that has given her a rewarding, although restricted, lifestyle. The book is a mix of autobiography and case study. Carefully written and edited, it is a remarkable account of what can happen and how success can be achieved from a wholly unexpected turn of events. I was especially struck by way in which both horses and dogs can provide therapy in such circumstances. Some of the chapters are written by her mother and father, which adds to the authenticity of the tale.
Date published: 2017-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly inspiring! I met Claire at Ottawa U when she first began her Master's. I had always known she was a very special person, but now having read her book, wow! I knew very little of life prior to Ottawa U. Now I feel I know Claire so much better, and she is even more special that I ever knew. The book is inspirational, an absolutely wonderful read. Claire is inspirational and a truly wonderful person. I have purchased another copy to give to the daughter of my dear friend who passed away last December. She is going through some very difficult times and also has horses and competes in the same events as Claire but not at such an elite level. I am certain this book will help her through this difficult time and Claire's memoir will inspire her to push through.
Date published: 2017-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Page Turner I've just finished reading this book and must admit I had a hard time putting it down. After the author has a life altering accident at the European Three Day Event Championships she takes the reader on a journey of her resulting struggle with loss, recovery, and the search for a new identity. I think both riders and non riders alike will be captivated by this inspiring memoir.
Date published: 2017-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from EXCELLENT! Falling Into Now is a memoire that will pull at your heart. Such a touching and inspirational story of someone who speaks honestly of life after loss. I could not put the book down while I followed along on her journey of discovery, self acceptance and the love and devotion a family has for one another.
Date published: 2017-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read I could not put this book down! It is so much more than a story about horses, although I loved that part...it is the story of a young woman's courage. Following a traumatic brain injury Claire Smith was faced with a lengthy recovery and if that was not enough, she had to reevaluate her life and make some major decisions. It is a compelling story told extremely well. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2017-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't Put It Down The author's pursuit of excellence before and after her devestating accident is inspirational. The book is a seamless read about the courage it takes to "pivot" from her ideal world to a new unknown life. Told with truth, grief, grace and hope.
Date published: 2017-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book is for everyone. This book is not just about horses. It's relatable to all as it winds through the experiences of belonging and not belonging, loss and change, fear and triumph. It teaches that we don't have to be defined or limited by some of our life experiences. We can all strive to reach such self awareness, understanding and inner peace.
Date published: 2017-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing The cover of the book intrigued me. When I picked it up and read the inside flap, I knew that I had to read the whole memoir. I was not disappointed. The author has composed an uplifting read. I marveled at her resilience and courage in the face of emotional devastation and tremendous challenges. I'm planning to give it to everyone in my family at Christmas!
Date published: 2017-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW!!! This is a story of determination and persistence, despite facing incredible odds. An inspiring tale told with grace and optimism.
Date published: 2017-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Story of Inspiration Falling into Now is such a compelling read! Claire's courage, fortitude and single-minded focus in the face of such devastating and life-changing challenges is evident on every page. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a story of inspiration told with intelligence and honesty.
Date published: 2017-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So much more than a horse story! I was initially attracted to this book because of my love of horses. But I quickly discovered it’s about so much more. The author’s heartfelt and revealing story drew me in immediately. In fact, there was a mystery element from the very beginning. As an elite athlete, the author’s sporting life came to a crashing and life-threatening end in 1997. It's a compelling story told from her own point of view as well as from her parents' perspectives. Ultimately it's an uplifting story about a woman’s determined journey in creating a new and fulfilling life for herself.
Date published: 2017-11-02