Saturday, May 11, 2013

The World's Strongest Librarian

"... You're going to the gym with me. I think this will be good for you."
"Because I've been depressed before. I know some things. But listen, can I ask you a question?"
 "Is there anyone you look up to? I'm serious, now. No jokes."
"I don't know," I said. What good would it do to say I looked up to my dad? Or my grandpa? Or the prophet or Pee-Wee Herman for that matter?
"Well," Dad said, "you've got to find someone to follow. Do you know who that is?"
"I wish. But no. It's you. You have zero confidence."
"Yes, I do."
"Yes, you have zero confidence. No, I know that's not what you meant, but, no, you don't, and you know how I know?"
"Because you're in touch with Navajo spirits."
He exhaled hard through his nose. "Do you ever get tired of being so funny? It's a nice smoke screen, but I know you. Confident people do stuff. They get stuff done. They make things, even if it's just making money. You know what you're making?"
"It doesn't matter."
"You're making our couch sag. That's about it. You're making your mom sad because you're not trying. You're making your siblings miserable because you're acting like you're miserable."
"I am. I'm depressed and on a bunch of drugs. I want to take more of them every day just to feel different."
"This isn't depression and that's not their fault. But I don't want to fight. I think what we're about to do is going to give you a way to make some progress."
"There nothing important about lifting weights."
"There's nothing insignificant about progress. Let's just give it a try."

Josh Hanagarne's memoir is a moving story about love and faith, both lost and found, with a lot of Tourette's and weights mixed in. It will be the most memorable book I'll read this year, and not just because I'm an acquaintance and fan of Josh's, but because it's that good. If you love to lift weights, or if you've ever struggled with faith, hope, and love, then this book will speak to you. Enjoy!

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