I first was introduced to Apolo Ohno during his run on Season 4 of Dancing With The Stars. He was my favorite to win that season from his first dance! With that introduction, I also learned that he was an Olympic speedskater, son to a single immigrant father, and filled with strength, tenacity, and grit.
Flash forward to 2011 where his book Zero Regrets was being released and he was doing a signing tour. I was lucky enough to attend one of these signings because it was right near where I was attending college at the time. It was so cool but, very hard to get decent pictures because there were so many people!
Now we are in 2022, and Apolo is releasing another book entitled Hard Pivot. This time he is explaining the lessons he has learned since retiring as an Olympic athlete and the steps he took in order to find his next path in life. He talks about the ups and downs in his journey and the motivators he used to continue to find his next step. These motivators are known as the Five Golden Principles: gratitude, giving, grit, gearing up, and go. They are tools that can be used for individuals to focus, figure out who they are, and what exactly the next step will be.
One of the things that is really stressed through out Hard Pivot is that this is not a journey that you will be taking on your own. While trying to forge a path by yourself can be done, doing it by yourself makes it that much more difficult. Having a support system tp guide you provides resources to help you and help you learn more about yourself and your environment around you. It also encourages working together – a skill which during his speed skating days Apolo was not necessarily known for – and he explains how he has learned to use it to his advantage in his post-Olympic life.
There was exercises, examples, and pivot points (recaps) in all of the chapters of Hard Pivot. It is encouraged that you try all of the exercises and find out which ones work best for you and will help you move forward. Not every exercise is going to work for every person. Listening to yourself and finding what you want and what works for you in a crucial part of the process.
It was really easy for me to read Hard Pivot and understand the message behind it. I did think there were times when things felt a little bit repetitive but, I could also see where the author was going with his constant recaps. Some of these suggestions can be seen as simple and/or basic but, I think that is because as a society we think we are beyond that and we are not. Sometimes the simplest action can be the one that changes you entire life course. When you shut out all the noise from others, including on social media, it provides you an opportunity to really see…and perhaps change the course which you are on. In truth, Apolo Ohno always had some of the characteristics he discovered during his journey but, over time he was able to channel them and use them to the best of his ability. And he believes if you use the Five Golden Principles like he did, you will also find your way!
Rating: 3.5 Stars
**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**