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Unstoppable: From Underdog to Undefeated: How I Became a Champion (edition 2012)

by Anthony Robles, Austin Murphy

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34None327,022 (4.08)5
Member:katie.schueths
Title:Unstoppable: From Underdog to Undefeated: How I Became a Champion
Authors:Anthony Robles
Other authors:Austin Murphy
Info:Gotham (2012), Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Reviewed, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Unstoppable: From Underdog to Undefeated: How I Became a Champion by Anthony Robles

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I love read books about others who have overcome some optical in their way. Anthony is just that person. He has really shown that no matter where you come from or what stands in your way you can do all things. And he has. I give his mother a high five in not giving up on her son or herself through this time, but to stand behind him. Really an uplifting book. ( )
  Hillgirl | Dec 21, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In the interest of full disclosure here is my background on this sport. I am not a wrestler, I am a wrestler's mom. My son wrestled for six years, middle school through high school. While he lettered in the sport and qualified for State twice he was never a standout. Certainly he was no Anthony Robles. I wanted to be clear as to my perspective in regards to this book. So here goes:

Collegiate wrestling suffers from a distinct lack of positive PR. And to be absolutely clear, this type wrestling has nothing to do with pro wrestling except for sharing a term (just wanted to clear up any confusion).

In comparison to other sports, wrestling is all but invisible when it comes to media coverage and financial resources. There are multiple reasons for this but one of the main factors is Title IX legislation. This was an effort to try to gain parity for 'girl' sports in regards to 'boy' sports as far as resource allocation is concerned in public schools. One of the side effects of this mandate is that 'boy' sports programs were dropped, mainly on the college level. And wrestling was the sport that often took the hit (Roble had to personally deal with this issue). While wrestling hasn't disappeared from the college scene the fact is that it has become close to impossible to use wrestling as a scholarship vehicle has taken a heavy toll on the sport. This is unfortunate as wrestling has a great deal to offer an athlete. Wrestling is, hands down, the most physically demanding sport out there. And while you are part of a team the effort is 100% individual - you cannot hide behind teammates. But the main beauty of the sport is that it gives a chance to kids that might otherwise not be able to play sports. Are you small and lightweight? We've got a spot just for you. Are you big and heavy? Hello and welcome. Uncoordinated? We can fix that. Have a disability? It depends but being deaf, blind or missing limbs will not prevent you from wrestling. Case in point - Anthony Robles.

It would be difficult for things to be more bleak for young Robles - born to an unwed mother and missing a leg from birth. And things did not improve as Anthony grew older and dealt with a there-and-gone-again stepfather, an unstable home life and poverty more often then not. But through the pure grit and determination of Anthony and his mother, Judy, Anthony managed to do what many able bodied wrestlers never achieve - stand on the podium at the 2011 National Wrestling Championship as the 125 lb champ.

This is the story of UNSTOPPABLE and as an education on wrestling this book deserves a 5 star rating. It tells the story of the highs, the lows and exactly what it takes to be a wrestler, expecially the challenges of one who is missing a leg (I found it amusing - and understood completely - when and why other less skilled wrestlers complained that the lack of a leg was an advantage). Anthony tells his story in his own words with much use of the wrestling lingo that other wrestlers will surely appreciate. It is a book that wrestlers would benefit from reading as well as those considering wrestling as a sport. Parents would also benefit from reading this book in order to get an idea of what this sport entails especially if they are not yet familiar with it.

That said, I do have some serious reservations about the book. One reservation is that Anthony details the use of techniques to make weight that are, at best, unhealthy and, at worst, illegal. The state in which my son wrestled had strict policies against this sort of thing but generally the attitude was 'see no evil, speak no evil' and people pretended it wasn't happening. I don't feel that Anthony was a good role model in this regard. The other reservation I have is with the attitude of some wrestlers of 'breaking their opponent so they never want to wrestle again' which Anthony brings up in the book. While he never mentions that he shares this attitude, I had the uncomfortable feeling that his account was somewhat whitewashed to hide this. This comes from the fact that the wrestlers/programs he admired DID have this attitude (plus the fact that he is an admirer of MMA - which strikes me as a street brawl with an audience). My opinion is that wrestling is hard enough without having 'blood sport' attached to it. So while I found the book to be generally inspiring these reservations prevent me from giving my whole hearted approval.

Bottome line: good book, great for the wrestling enthusiast, 3 1/2 stars, recommended but with reservations. ( )
  buchowl | Jan 28, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This kid has guts. Unstoppable is a great story of a kid that just wouldn't quit in the face of everything going on in his life. While my advance copy had some editing flaws and the writing does reflect Anthony's youth - I couldn't put it down. I plan on sharing my copy with our local school's library, as I think it's a great inspiration for teenagers to see that you can do ANYTHING once you set your mind to it... regardless of obstacles. Can't wait to see where Anthony's journey takes him next. ( )
  sister_t | Jan 10, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I must say that the title of this book was chosen properly!. Anthony Robles is unstoppable in character, determination, and spirit. I kept thinking that this book has to be made into a movie because the descriptions of wrestling matches and maneuvers were a little hard to visualize. However, the most significant element to his story is that at times I had to remind myself that he has one leg. The book doesn't harp on his disability to the point of exhaustion. What it accomplishes is to display Anthony as a regular guy with an extraordinary wrestling and athletic ability that just so happens to have one leg.

I enjoyed the fact that he was able to meet and bond with some Marine amputees. That must have been quite a wonderful event to see so many like himself excelling and living there lives.

One issue in the story that was so baffling to me was how so many saw his disability as an unfair advantage to the other athletes because they weren't used to matches with someone missing a limb. Also, the fact that his one leg made his upper body freakishly stronger than most, was another factor that people pinpointed. How absurd are these statements. The man is living his entire life at a distinct disadvantage and has learned to overcome this problem.

I think it is quite fitting that he is a motivational speaker; he is a hero to all with or without disabilities. What makes this story so great is that he seems to be emotionally grounded even with all the fanfare and his well-deserved celebrity. His mom is definitely the pulse behind this incredible man's journey, and the book described perfectly how family is so important in shaping one's life.

I recommend this book for all book lovers, not just sports-minded individuals. When you are having a bad day or facing a difficult obstacle, just think of Mr. Robles, if he can do it, you can do it. ( )
  Virasana123 | Nov 27, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Unstoppable by Anthony Robles is an inspiring autobiography. I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy read and I was left inspired and amazed. Anthony won the 2011 NCAA National Wrestling Championship and he won it with a lot of determination, grit and with a disability that he did not allow to stop him. His disability was that he had one leg. After reading this story I found myself reflection back on it and thinking how can I make an excuse for anything. I give this book my 5 star rating because it was inspiring. I won this book from the Library Thing. This book is good for any sports fan and in my opinion should be made into a movie. ( )
  themiraclesnook | Nov 26, 2012 |
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"The powerful and inspiring story of an all-American wrestler who defied the odds. Anthony Robles is a three-time all-American wrestler, the 2011 NCAA National Wrestling Champion, and a Nike-sponsored athlete. He was also born without his right leg. Doctors could not explain to his mother, Judy, what led to the birth defect, but at the age of five, the one-legged toddler scaled a six-foot pole unassisted. From that moment on, Judy knew without a doubt that her son would be unstoppable. When Anthony first began wrestling in high school, he was the smallest kid on the team and finished the year in last place. Yet Anthony's family and coaches supported his decision to continue, and he completed his junior and senior years with a 96-0 record to become a two-time Arizona State champion. In college, Anthony had to prove all over again that he could excel. Despite hardships on and off the mat--including the temptation to quit school and get a job to help his family when they lost their home to foreclosure--Anthony focused his determination and became a champion once again. Since winning the national championship in March 2011, Anthony has become a nationally recognized role model to kids and adults alike. But Unstoppable is not just an exciting sports memoir or an inspirational tale of living with a disability. It is also the story of one man whose spirit and unyielding resolve remind us all that we have the power to conquer adversity--in whatever form"--… (more)

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