Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
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.
Olympic team. And then that June, the unthinkable happened: my longtime idol and Coach Brown’s former athlete, Mary Decker Slaney, was suspended by the International Amateur Athletic Federation on suspicion of using performance-enhancing drugs. Even though her suspension was later lifted, the scandal cast a shadow over her reputation as a runner. I couldn’t believe she might have taken drugs. I knew they were everywhere in the sport, and I’d long struggled to keep a positive attitude about being
studying?” I asked. “I’m out of school now, and I do some modeling in L.A., so I split my time between there and Vegas.” Now that was hot. This was so much more exciting than boring old Madison. When I handed him his drink, he took a sip, and then, setting it down on the coffee table, he leaned over and kissed me. It was exciting, but in a different way than it had been with Pearl. Kissing a man other than my husband was a little strange, but the strangeness was a part of the thrill, too. And
sideways down the hill on my butt. The moguls became my safety nets, because each one held me for the time I needed to catch my breath and gather the courage to slide down a little farther toward the welcome flat ground below. I didn’t have the same daring personality as Dan, either. As much as I thought I wanted to be like him, and shared his love of art, I didn’t chase the rush of dangerous activities the way he did. The older he got, the more erratic his behavior became and the more difficult
off from there. Paul’s friend grabbed my arm to lure me closer to him, and we started making out. The next thing I knew, I was stripped completely naked, in bed with Paul’s friend, who was also naked. This time, I was going to be the aggressor, and I made the first move, being sure to exude sexy confidence and high-energy fun. Not that I really had to do much acting. I was having the time of my life. Meanwhile, Bridget and the cowboy settled onto the other bed in the spacious room. When he
think would be good for me?” I asked. He surveyed the displays and picked out a beautiful handbag. I beamed with joy, and I couldn’t contain myself as we stood at the counter. “This is my first expensive purse,” I said to the saleswoman. “This is so nice of him. Oh my god!” She laughed, not in a mean way, but as if she found it refreshing to see someone actually excited to be in possession of something so elite. I was so thrilled that I was lighting up that shop, and I could tell the woman