Reaching New Heights: The Kelly Clark Story
Yet, success didn't leave her feeling fulfilled. Two years later, at an event in Salt Lake City, Kelly stood at the bottom of the pipe, listening to one snowboarder console another who had just crashed: 'It's alright. God still loves you.' These words led Kelly on a new journey from an Olympian snowboarder into an awesome relationship with Jesus. This story of one of the world's greatest snowboarders will encourage readers young and old to reach for the next level, knowing that God will be with them, win or lose.
Reading this story was like a blast from the past for me, as well, because I spent a season in Mammoth Lakes, California, in 2004, learning to snowboard and working at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. When I was there, I attended Lighthouse Church and experienced firsthand the impact of the people at that church. As I read, I grew nostalgic, remembering the very people in the church who had shared that they had met Kelly and had spoken with her about the Lord, along with her journey towards finding Jesus. I left Mammoth in May 2004, probably right before Kelly moved there! So it was really exciting for me personally to read about her journey towards God from that point onward, and to read more about where the Lord has taken her in her sport. She is such an honest, open person, and a hard worker--truly a role model for women in the sport of snowboarding--a sport that, as I found when I worked at the resort, is known for promoting a culture of promiscuity and intoxication. Kelly's determination to be a light in her community is inspiring.
The writing style of this book is lacking, however--quote after quote riddles certain chapters, where firsthand descriptions would have helped to maintain an easier reading flow. I probably would have preferred to read a firsthand story rather than this style of writing, which works better in shorter articles and stories. I did think the addition of snowboarding history and terms was helpful and very informative, helping the reader to gain a better understanding of what tricks are being described in the book. Overall, I think this is a good read for kids who are highly involved in sports and wish to pursue big dreams to gain a thoughtful and grounded perspective on what truly makes a person special and how the process, not the outcome, is the most important part of working towards a dream.