As a third-generation member of a ski-racing family, Mike Janyk fulfills a childhood dream by becoming a world class ski-racer on the biggest stage. He travels to glamourous locales, wins accolades, and enjoys the spotlight and camaraderie that comes with belonging to a national team at the World Cup and the Olympic Games. In this beautifully explored memoir, Janyk chronicles the inner life of an elite athlete from being encouraged in sports by parents hoping to find an outlet for his “excessive energy,” to his rise as a young athlete with big dreams and the will to work for them. He takes us through the emotional whirlwind of victories, defeats, and the eventual need for personal reinvention that come with a life in sport.
A deep dive into the psychology of a champion athlete, Go To the Start is painted in many colors as a fascinating, sometimes tormented, but frequently hilarious coming-of-age set in a milieu that most of us would never dream we could enter. In lively, evocative prose, Janyk brings readers into the enchantment of standing in the starting gate on a snowy night, to the self-talk and mind-over-matter thinking that overcome an athlete’s anxieties and fears, to the thrill of standing on the winners’ podium. It’s a journey of self-discovery that takes him from great emotional heights and to deeply troubled depths, until he comes to find a new way of being in the world. An intimate look into the emotional journey of a world-class athlete, Go to the Start offers a unique perspective and delivers it with deep insight, honesty, and appealing wit.