Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Book Review: "Pedal Forward" by Trey Hall

On October 6th, I received a nice email from my friend, Ann. After the usual catching-up that happens in an email when you haven't talked with someone for several weeks, Ann shared with me that her husband, Trey Hall, has written and published a book "Pedal Forward." I was so excited to hear this news, I literally squealed with joy!!! I replied with a way-too-long email of excitement (Is anyone surprised by my statement?!), and asked her if I could review the book on my blog. She graciously said yes. Yay for me! :) I get to review a book of someone I actually know! Yes, this is a first for me and I'm truly thrilled for the opportunity. :)

*Note to my friends: You should all write books so I can review them, too! Ha ha.

As I waited for my new book to arrive (I totally bought the hardcover version because I love hardcover books!), I reflected on how I met the Halls and how they've positively impacted my life.

I met Ann because I was the Young Women President of our previous ward in Texas, and Ann was our Stake Young Women President. I remember the first time Ann called me on the phone with official Young Women business. As we talked, she mentioned how they had moved from Colorado just a couple of years earlier. I pounced on that information because I dearly love Colorado! I was so excited to know someone living in Texas who loved Colorado as much as I did! Although, I was jealous that she had many more Colorado years under her belt than moi. :)

As we interacted over the next year and a half, it became evident (at least to me!) that Ann and I were put into each other's lives for a reason. It wasn't anything huge or dramatic, but we had many great conversations over that time. If it weren't for our church callings, I highly doubt we ever would have met. You see, my house was on the very far left border of my ward and our stake. Ann's house was on the very top right border of her ward and our stake! If I remember right, our Texas stake encompassed portions of four cities. Think about it for one second: if Greg and I would have rented a house one street to the west, or if Ann and Trey would have bought a house on the other side of their street, we never would have met! It really is quite amazing that we ended up getting to know each other at all. :)

Comon! You have to admit that's a crazy-lucky-interesting connection! At any rate, I'm sincerely grateful I was given the opportunity to spend so much time with Ann during our Young Women activities. I also truly appreciate that she so willingly shared so much of her wonderful personality and many of her life stories with me. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Ann has positively affected countless numbers of young women and women in our church, and she continues to do so!

I met Ann's husband, Trey, when he shared his incredible bicycle accident story with my previous ward's Young Men and Young Women group. It was an utterly fascinating and queasy-stomach-inducing presentation that totally stuck with me! Even though there were times that night when I felt like I just might pass out from listening to the bloody details (Seriously, at one point, my ears felt hot, my heart and head started pounding, and my forehead started feeling moist!), I was completely intrigued by the multiple medical miracles that occurred. It was remarkable to think that Trey was a living, walking, thriving miracle of a man.

By the by, I'm continually mesmerized by the human body and how it all works—to the point that I read medical books for fun! Speaking of the miracle that the human body is, please take a minute to watch this inspiring video based on of one of my favorite General Conference talks, "Thanks Be To God," by Elder Russell M. Nelson. We are so blessed to have our precious bodies!!!


A little while after he spoke to us, I asked my previous bishop if we could ask Trey to email us a list of of his main points he wanted the Youth to take with them throughout their lives. I wanted to take those points and create a handout for our ward's Young Women, Young Men and their parents. Yes, I felt Trey's message was that important. My bishop gave the go ahead, so I emailed Ann my request.

Oh, and FYI, I had just started to get to know Ann when her husband spoke to us. At this point in our future friendship I was a little star-struck! :) She kindly replied that she shared the email with Trey, but he was traveling for business for the next five days and she would let him get back to me. He never did get back to me with those bullet points, but now we all have his book to read instead—yay for that happy news! :) I think he was super busy with his business responsibilities (that you can read about in his book) and simply forgot to get back to us. Seriously, I would take his book over one of my home-created handouts any day!

Now onto my book review!

"Pedal Forward" isn't very long, and it's well written. I began reading it yesterday around 4:45 p.m. and finished it at 12:17 a.m. this morning, but there were many interruptions during those seven and a half hours. I was really getting into it when I had to stop reading to bake a cake for my youngest child's class project. I was bummed that I had to quit reading and realized I needed to find a bookmark. I decided to use one of the photos my mom printed off for me of our family vacation at the beautiful Zermatt Resort up in Midway, Utah, July, 2013. Oh, we had such a grand time!!! I settled on a picture of me on my pink Lulu Schwinn cruiser bike, because my mom loves that picture. (Schwinn has updated Lulu's design since Greg gave me mine.)

Then I burst out laughing! It was hilarious that I wasn't even thinking about the title of the book! I was truly just looking for a bookmark...and I just happened to settle on my bike picture. A bike bookmark for a bike book! It was meant to be! :) Okay, so maybe I found it funnier than all of you, but it was awesomely fun to me in the moment.

This was the start of our extended family's bike ride through Midway, Utah...before the sunburn!

After I baked the cake, I had to go to my new ward's Young Women Presidency meeting. Two productive hours later, I eagerly jumped under my bed's covers and began reading "Pedal Forward" again. I couldn't put it down! Trey has such great wisdom to share with our world. He's also funny. I found myself chuckling quite a few times during my read!

I counted 47 parts of the book where I underlined portions of sentences, full sentences or a couple of paragraphs. I really want to highlight and discuss each one of my underlined sections here, but I can't do that because I don't want to deprive you of discovering each delightful word for yourself...I'm no spoiler! ;) I fully intend to make Greg and our oldest child read it, for I know they will both love it as much as I do! I want our younger two children to read it, too, when they're a little bit older. We'll have our own family book club!

Okay, I'm caving a smidgen because I want to share this one section that made me laugh and grimace at the same time! Also, I feel okay sharing it because it doesn't give away any of Trey's wisdom.
"Standing was a new experience for me, and new experiences in the rehab hospital usually hurt. This hurt really bad. I leaned forward to rest my face on the shoulder of the therapist. After overcoming some dizziness, we all, in sync, moved one step—my first step. It hurt. It hurt really bad. The pain drove my face farther into my handler's shoulder. With the second step, I took one bite out of her shoulder. She screamed. I screamed. 
"My first post-accident walk ended after two steps and a bite to the therapist's shoulder. Things got much better after that."
I feel awful saying that I laughed, but I did! I think it's important to find the humor in hard situations.

"Pedal Forward" is such a great read. It's short, sweet, direct, and inspiring. It's all good. It would make a fabulous book club selection for any group—business, church, women, men, and teens. I think anyone and everyone should read this book and refer back to Trey's wisdom often. :)

P.S. I always felt strongly Trey Hall should write a book...I love it when I'm right! :)

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