Uplifting biography by Ingrid Kern earns positive review from Kirkus Reviews
The semi-monthly book review magazine reviewed the Senior Olympian’s book.
“A guide for aspiring senior athletes and an inspirational shout-out to victims of abuse,”
This is what Kirkus Reviews said of Ingrid Kern’s memoir Triumph: Taming the Monster Within (Dog Ear; 2016).
Such is the honor for the author who had it hard in life.
Triumph tells how Kern, a model, senior Olympian, published author, award-winning poet, and real estate agent,
overcame what she calls “the Monster within,” which is the fear that she was not good enough,
she would not succeed, thus she might as well not try. The lack of self-esteem and belief in herself was caused by a highly abusive, alcoholic father who not only belittled her but also physically abused her.
As she grew up, she constantly wrestled with “the Monster within.”
Though Triumph shares the memorable yet heartbreaking details of the author’s childhood and family life, the book details at length her life fast forward 2004, when she was living in Los Angeles and learned about the Senior Olympics from a casual acquaintance. Despite the demands on her time as a real estate agent, apartment manager, part-time interior design consultant, and author, she returned to training. The author also kept a journal, which details made it into the book.
“So much of the very ably written text is devoted to the minuscule details of her training program that readers not involved in athletics will likely become restless,” said Kirkus Reviews. “But her story of overcoming layers of damage caused by her father’s violent attacks is compelling.”
Be inspired by Ingrid Kern’s story.
Quote: Ingrid Kern’s victory over her personal obstacles
proves a rewarding and fulfilling adulthood comes possible even after a painful childhood.
Subtitle: Taming the Monster Within
Author: Ingrid Kern
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Genre: Self Help
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Awarded to books of excellent Merit
Triumph: Taming the Monster Within is the story of hopes dashed in childhood replaced by hopes fulfilled in later years,
written by an intelligent, determined woman with a give-back philosophy.
Kern suffered in her youth from a highly abusive, alcoholic father who belittled her, often struck and physically tormented and sexually abused her. Her mother loved her and tried to protect her, but was mute and powerless to keep her husband from his hateful treatment. One of Kern’s most distressing memories was of being chosen by her school to participate in the Olympic tryouts of 1960, in the 100 meters, the long jump and the shot put. But the opportunity required permission of both parents. Kern’s father refused outright, with no reason given and no argument possible. The girl was crushed.
As she grew up she battled constant negative messages in her mind:
she wasn’t good enough, she wouldn’t succeed, she might as well not try.
But years later, Kern learned of the Senior Olympics and by 2008 she was ready to train for a new start in life,
a way to conquer the “monster within” that had so long haunted her, and prove that she could compete, even as a senior citizen.
Keeping a journal at the advice of her trainer, she shares her thoughts during a process that reveals not only her remarkable performances in various competitions, but also her experience of inner healing through meditation. In that discipline,
with the help of Master Inji Young, she began to visualize her inner demons and banish them. She realized that her mother, though limited by her own fears, managed to raise her well, and that her father’s ghost no longer had power over her.
Kern has had an enviably rich life of self-discovery, writing and business success. Her journal shows her in intimate moments, confessing her worst fears and concerns while also cataloging her hard-won positive beliefs. She has sustained an enjoyable sense of humor. As an older athlete she subjected herself to rigorous trainings recorded in her daily diaries,
and forced herself to keep trying even when in pain.
A torn hamstring at the National Games, which she finished in 7th place, forced her to leave the track in 2011,
but her life has been fulfilling since that time.
Prior to writing this memoir, she composed What’s Your Monster’s Name?
comprising interviews with others who have been challenged as she has.
Part of the proceeds of the well-titled Triumph will go to a charity, Second Story,
offering safe havens and treatment services for at-risk, abused and homeless youth.
Kern is an inspiring example of a rewarding adulthood after a childhood spent battling fear, depression and abuse.
Her book offers hope to others grappling with similar obstacles. Kern tells a raw story of her life and her redemption
from the suffering that seemed inevitable, yet what courage and what growth she displays in her writing.
I am reminded that we come in who we are, and we play the cards we are dealt, however, there is a way out of a seeming hell, when we apply the spiritual truth, that we are Divine beings.
It is a wonderful tool, to help the reader in their own discovery of healing, and Ingrid Kern shows us the way.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book for anyone who could use assistance on the path to living a fulfilling life,
especially when it seems it may not be possible.
Thank you, Ingrid!