Bravey [Alexi Pappas, 2021]

I found a review of this book on a blog that I read and, as someone who likes to run, who likes memoirs and who is also curious about mental health and things humans struggle with, I thought it would be a good read.

Alexi Pappas is a young women with some important experiences to share: training to be an Olympian, growing up without a mother and facing clinical depression and serious mental health issues during a trying period of her life. In the book, she writes openly about all of these struggles and the lessons she learnt from them.

I believe that in sharing her difficulties and speaking openly about all of these issues encourages young women to not be afraid of having conversations about their struggles, while facing some of the challenges that come with being a teenager or young adult.

The thing is, as someone who is not at that stage of life anymore and who has very different dreams and aspirations than those of a young athlete, I did not quite relate to the inspirational messages that are inherent to the stories. I found that they lacked some depth, especially the one about achieving dreams and suggesting that most people don’t work hard enough to achieve their dreams. This, for me was the low point of the book.

What I did appreciate was how she spoke in detail of her downward spiral into depression and of her effort to get better. I found interest in her approach to pain as a sensation and not a threat. I also enjoyed how she spoke about recovery from fatigue, injury and depression as hard work, which I thought was a very healthy approach.

Despite finding myself thinking, more often than not, that this book would be more suited to a teenage girl, I enjoyed reading it and would definitely recommend it to a young girl.

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