After several failed swim lessons, young Carolyn Wood finally conquers her fears and dives into unknown waters in Tough Girl. By 1958 she has set a goal to make the 1960 Olympic team and, along with teammates and competitors, begins the arduous road to Rome. Losses, pain, fear, and fatigue accompany the rambunctious athlete as she finds her way through athletic training, school, and social-gender expectations.
Beautifully written, Tough Girl artfully weaves Wood's life story around the tale of her long walk on the Camino de Santiago, an effort to tap into her tough-girl resilience so she can understand and accept the end of a decades-long marriage. The ups and downs of this story will thrill and inspire readers as the ultimate lesson becomes clear: we get through life one stroke, one step, one page at a time.