Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Book Review : Running For My Life - Warrick Dunn and Don Yaeger
Running For My Life
Warrick Dunn and Don Yaeger
Harper Entertainment - 2008
What I knew about Warrick Dunn was that he once starred at Florida State and played for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons. I really never followed his career and only remember that his running back partner Mike Alstott and Dunn were a dynamic running duo that reminded me of Franco and Rocky back in the 70s when the Steelers were racking up Super Bowls wins.
I also recalled that Warrick signed with Atlanta and the following year the Bucs pounded the Oakland Raiders to win their first Super Bowl. The media covering the game commented about that because Warrick had so much for the Bucs,both on the field and off.
So when I saw this book sitting in my Dollar Tree,I snapped it up..and so glad I did.
Because this was one amazing read about truly one amazing human being who just happens to have played football.
Most sports bios always start with the athlete recapping winning a big game or match and then going back to share how they got there..Warrick starts with a visit to see a man on Death Row and how this man has guided him on a hard journey full of loss,pain and triumph.
The story starts with Warrick's mother,who was a police officer,being ambushed and killed during a robbery attempt. Warrick,then only 17,not only had to overcome that while chasing a education but also look out for his 3 younger brothers and 2 sisters.
Instead of the usual blah,blah,rah,rah of typical bios..Warrick shares his bond with his mother,how much she influenced him to be the best he could be. While the story does mention his days at Florida State and the NFL,its more telling that Warrick started a program called "Home For the Holidays" that he started in his rookie season. Home For the Holidays worked with Habitat for Humanity in finding homes for deserving folks. While Habitat and the family work on getting the home,for many families,they don't have to properly furnish it and that is where Warrick stepped in. Instead of sharing big game highlights,he focuses on the people who have worked hard to overcome their situation and how they came to meet Warrick when they got their new home.
The long journey for Warrick to learn to cope with the loss of his mom is the central theme in this book and its not a easy one to read.You get a real sense of just how hurt Warrick was (and still is) at what happened to his family but instead of letting it destroy him,he (with a help of a good therapist) learns to breath and open his heart to other people.
I loved this book....and so happy I found it. Warrick Dunn is an amazing man and with his love for people and overcoming long odds...you forget that he was a great NFL player as well!
To get a copy of this book,I suggest Amazon but the 4th person who leaves a comment will win my copy free!