BOOK REVIEW - The Legend of Athlon
Review by Joe Nuss
Inspired by the sport of triathlon and the lifetime of fitness and wellness it brings, mother and Ramblin’ Rose Triathlete, Melissa D. Hall, wrote her first book, The Legend of Athlon. She discovered the sport after watching her husband train and compete in his first triathlon while living in Hawaii.
Her book is about a boy named Athlon who is trying to find the courage to complete the race of his dreams in a time when triathlon was not yet a sport. With loving guidance from a tree called Mother Willow, Athlon sets out to fulfill his dream. Along the way, he discovers one of life's greatest lessons - never giving up.
At 32 pages, Hall’s self-published book, is a quick, but satisfying read for pre-teen children. Illustrator Ashley M. Ryan’s artwork is engaging for children of all ages and helps Hall inspire children to be confident in trying what may seem an intimidating and difficult sport.
More important than encouraging children to tackle their first triathlon - Hall has two children who both participate in the sport - is the book’s message to never give up. As such, I found The Legend of Athlon most appropriate as a story to be read to preschoolers, like my son, who is wrestling with the idea personal achievement versus being “the winner”.
As a parent, I do not want to diminish my children’s natural desire to want to win, but it’s been difficult talking to them about why participating in triathlon is important to me, when I never “win”. The Legend of Athlon proved to be a great companion to that conversation as it introduces the concept of sport as a means to fitness and wellness and helps put into perspective why I train and race.
Overall, I found it a great book to read to my children and initiate conversations about how health and fitness fits into the world of sports and winning. I highly recommend it!