This is a book review written last year by Ty Jones - owner and coach at Crossfit Initiative here in Reno, NV
So I just finished reading "SOAR INTO HEALTH" by our very own Dr. Carolyn Dolan DPT, Cert MDT. And while it's very fresh in my mind, I thought I'd share my thoughts and how it inspired me. But first, let me say a couple things. Soupha and I feel very blessed to have such a great group of people in the CFI community. We have several health care providers from several different educational backgrounds and disciplines. And every one of them is the type of conscientious professional that I would want treating me when I need it. I deeply appreciate that Carolyn took the time to compose this book and share from her heart, tempered with a high level of classical education. She draws from her personal life throughout the book. And even if you haven't met her, you will feel like she's an old friend by the time you finish reading it. You'll also probably imagine her husband, Dr. Chris Dolan, as a wise old sage with a long beard that periodically pops in to give very insightful advice (perhaps wearing a robe like Gandalf). Ironically, Chris' super power is the ability to rapidly grow very long and bushy beards.... Coincidence?
Rather than try to reiterate the 4 KISS principles that Carolyn makes a case for in the book, and fail to do the material justice, I thought I'd talk about how she approaches the writing of this book and why I enjoyed it so much.
It's Real Life
Like I said, she draws from her own life a lot. This creates a personal connection and you realize that she isn't just offering advice. She's successfully living it. And just like real life, she regularly concedes her failures in her journey to health. She voluntarily puts herself into a glass house and so the reader doesn't feel shamed. And although Carolyn has a PhD, she writes with humility and in language that anyone and everyone can understand and relate to.
It's About Truth
I am a big believer in absolute truth. I believe that there is an absolute truth regardless of what we choose to believe. Carolyn makes a great case that our culture, health care (sick care) system, and worldview on health is pretty dysfunctional. And if something remains dysfunctional long enough, it becomes accepted as "normal". What's more, she points out that absolutely nothing in her book is new information (other than her personal experiences). And that the truth has been known for a very long time. But we have moved away from it. Regardless of what society deems "normal", we are not a healthy people. And the truth is that health is very much in reach. And most of us simply don't know what we're missing.
A coaching principle I really try to stick to is the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle. The more complex the subject, the more important this principle is. Personally, this is a struggle for me because I'm a huge nerd, and the details are often what fascinate me. But using simple core concepts as your home base, and always referring back to them when in doubt, is the best way to stay on track. Throughout the book, Carolyn is a stickler for this concept. Sure, she could completely nerd out on cortisol levels or systemic inflammation, but she doesn't. That's a different book for a different audience. But all of that information is present in this book, invisibly guiding the actual writing of the text. Because she wrote the book this way, it is not just an academic read. Rather, it's a book that you can use right now to dramatically improve your quality of life and extend the expected life spans of you and your children. As a side note, Carolyn can't actually say things like that in the book. But I'm a rebel and I'm saying it for her ;-)
I've stifled my boredom through a lot of books, especially in school. This book was actually fun to read. I looked forward to sitting down and reading it each time I got a chance. I repeatedly chuckled to myself as Carolyn used the term FUBAR and struggled to write comfortably using the queen-mother of dirty words to get a point across early in the book. It was clear that she was very uncomfortable with the language, but felt strongly that it was the best strategy to get her point across. I think you'll find that a bit funny too. Throughout the book, I found her anecdotes entertaining. Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, but always captivating.
I'll admit, I started reading the book because Carolyn is a friend. She took the time to write the book, I felt like I should take the time to read it. But it grabbed me and pulled me in right off the bat. It's a very good book. It has made it on my list of books all human beings should be required to read. I'll list the others below :-)
It's not very long. And you can finish it in just a few sessions. It's very insightful, it's from the heart, and it could change your life!
Modern Books Every Human Should Be Required To Read
Mistakes were made but not by me
The power of habit
Soar Into Health
Holistic Health Coach