Fast Girl by Suzy Favor Hamilton

Fast Girl

By Suzy Favor Hamilton

  • Release Date: 2015-09-14
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 269 Ratings
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The former middle distance Olympic runner and high-end escort speaks out for the first time about her battle with mental illness, and how mania controlled and compelled her in competition, but also in life. This is a heartbreakingly honest yet hopeful memoir reminiscent of Manic, Electroboy, and An Unquiet Mind.

During the 1990s, three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton was the darling of American track and field. An outstanding runner, a major sports apparel spokesperson, and a happily married wife, she was the model for an active, healthy, and wholesome life. But her perfect facade masked a dark truth: manic depression and bipolar disorder that drove her obsession to perform and win. For years after leaving the track, Suzy wrestled with her condition, as well as the loss of a close friend, conflicted feelings about motherhood and her marriage, and lingering shame about her athletic career. After a misdiagnosis and a recommendation for medication that only exacerbated her mania and made her hypersexual, Suzy embarked on a new path, and assumed a new identity. Fueled by a newfound confidence, a feeling of strength and independence and a desire she couldn’t tamp down, she became a high-priced escort in Las Vegas, working as “Kelly.”

But Suzy could not keep her double life a secret forever. When it was eventually exposed, it sent her into a reckless suicidal period where the only option seemed out. Finally, with the help of her devoted husband, Suzy finally got the proper medical help she needed. In this startling frank memoir, she recounts the journey to outrun her demons, revealing how a woman used to physically controlling her body learned to come to terms with her unstable mind. It is the story of a how a supreme competitor scored her most important victory of all—reclaiming her life from the ravages of an untreated mental illness. Today, thanks to diagnosis, therapy, Kelly has stepped into the shadows, but Suzy is building a better life, one day at a time. Sharing her story, Suzy is determined to raise awareness, provide understanding, and offer inspiration to others coping with their own challenges.


  • Poignant

    By chrispy_banana
    Many may be drawn to this book for the salacious, scandalous themes. Look deeper: there are lessons to be learned here, for parents to teach their children that they must live and achieve for themselves and not heap pressure upon themselves to please others, for young women tempted by or caught in the grip of eating disorders, and for those tempted to judge others for their behavior, without taking into account the extreme effects that neurochemical imbalances have upon reason and behavior. Finally, at the end, is a story of an unflinching love that will move you to tears. Read this book.
  • Regrets or regret getting busted?

    By Schlintz
    This book lacked depth and self-examination. I found this book to be very odd, not simply because it was talking about an elite runner, wife and mother becoming a prostitute, but because after the fact she neatly wraps up all her behavior under the label, "bipolar disorder". I got the clear impression from the book that if she hadn't gotten outed, she would still be loving her adventures in Vegas. And what about that husband, Mark? I asked my husband if we could have an open marriage and I could be an escort; his answer was distinctly not, 'how about if I buy you a condo in Trump Tower in Vegas'. I got the sense they both loved the easy money. No discussion of the impact on the child, obviously an after-thought for them both. Ultimately this book was written not to explain but to excuse. Next time I will reread "Mans Search for Meaning" by Victor Frankl for real insights into suffering.
  • Boring.

    By angmags
    Boring. Not as exciting as the Prologue.
  • Great book

    By mlogan06
    Very well-written. Loved the story and the knowledge that came with it. Thanks for sharing!
  • Wrong focus

    By FresnoTom
    The problem I have was this book is that Suzy focused too much time on her days as an escort and not enough on her recovery
  • What a story

    By Katlover12
    Really enjoyed really and learning about Suzy's life story. I can relate to her bipolar reading through her book I know my oldest brother had bipolar , a lot of things that her brother did reminded me of my brother. Back in the 60's we never heard of this mental illness and my brother never was diagnose with it nor never got treatment . We all taught he was just crazy . What a strong woman Suzy is . Love the happy ending
  • Incredible story

    By tigertrace
    I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I did not know this was a true story. I realized at the very end of the book. I googled Suzy and couldn't believe this was her story. Excellent read. Couldn't put it down. Learned a lot about bipolar disorder.
  • Inspiring and educational

    By betsybies
    As an elite high school distance runner, I had the opportunity to meet Suzy on several occasions and experience her encouragement and passion for sport and competition first hand. I will never forget the brief interactions I was fortunate enough to have with her. Her mention of mental illness on social media opened me up to accepting the internal battle I also had experienced for years. I credit her advocacy as one of the many steps I had to take before receiving professional help. Thank you, Suzy, for publishing your story and showing the courage and compassion for self that goes along with accepting a bipolar diagnosis.
  • Wow

    By Angel O onadeko
    Quite intriguing