When Joanna Rowsell Shand, then fourteen, decided to take on a challenge set when British Cycling visited her school, she didn't realise the decision would change her life. In fact, she mainly wanted to escape a double maths lesson. As it turned out, Jo's power output was off the chart - the highest ever recorded for a girl her age - and she was quickly talent-spotted for the youth development squad. But the journey to her eventual status as a setter of multiple world records and a double Olympic champion was by no means plain sailing. With no cycling experience, Jo started well behind her peers, who had been prepped for life on a bike since their infancy.
In addition, Jo was - and remains - a very shy girl, not least because of her condition, alopecia, which took her hair at just ten years old. This is the story of how she battled her self-doubt, as well as the judgement, and even ridicule, of people around her, to become one of the most successful and respected athletes of her era. All of which she did without compromising any of the essential good-heartedness and optimism that characterise her.
If you have ever been tempted to believe 'nice girls finish last', let this book disabuse you of that myth. If you have ever felt that anxiety, doubt or lack of confidence have held you back, Jo's story will motivate you to realise you are so much more than the labels people find for you.
Candid, poignant and written with characteristic honesty and self-deprecating wit, this is a story of grit, determination and triumph over adversity that will leave you feeling encouraged and inspired.