After conquering the world as a kick boxer, cyclist and a member of the Israeli military, Leah Goldstein is now tackling the world of literature.
Born in Vancouver, raised in Israel and now living in Vernon for the past 12 years training as a cyclist, her memoir, No Limits, hit stores at the beginning of the month.
War stories, horrific bike crashes and championship fights; this book is stuffed with stories about her fearless life and the path she carved becoming the women she is today.
“Everything I do is intense and extreme – beyond extreme. It’s pressure I put on myself and it’s what I need to do to accomplish my goals,” said Goldstein. “I put the same pressure on myself to make this book as real as possible.”
Goldstein, more known for her competitiveness and drive to win, wasn’t the best writer for the job. She needed help and found it at an unlikely source.
Lori Moger is a kinesiologist who used to own Breakaway Fitness. The two met when Goldstein was looking for some part-time work in between bike competitions.
“We taught some yoga classes together and got along really great,” said Goldstein.
Moger was a little hesitant when first approached to write the book. Her previous writing experience included her thesis for her masters and writing a few pieces for some scientific journals.
“It’s totally different than anything I’ve ever done,” said Moger, who has been great friends with Goldstein going on six years. “Her story is stunning. I initially didn’t want to write it because I didn’t think I could do it justice.”
At this point, Goldstein had already burned through two writers and six years of work.
“It was either, I find the right person to do this story or the project wouldn’t happen,” said Goldstein. “I had a feeling she was the right person and once she started; I never doubted it for a second.”
Moger started with few chapters at a time, handing them out to her peers and Goldstein to test the waters on whether this project would sink or swim.
“I still wasn’t sure I was the right fit at this point, but she liked my work and the way it sounded, so we kept going,” said Moger.
The read is intense as an earthquake. Growing up with a muscle discrepancy in her leg and being told she could never play sports, Goldstein became a world-champion kick boxer by the age of 17. Shortly after, she enrolled in the Israeli military and became one of the few female instructors of the elite Commando division. From there, she tackled a 12-year professional cycling career with life-threatening crashes and world record-breaking times.
“She is a really private person, I needed to get all the details out of her to give this book some real colour and life,” said Moger.
The two spent three years collaborating on the book, including a trip to Israel so Moger could learn more about Goldstein’s upbringing.
“This book has a little bit of everything. It’s an intense roller coaster,” said Moger. “It’s scary, sad, heart breaking and powerful. People have told me they have found themselves laughing in disbelief of what Goldstein went through.”
Wings Tap and Grill will be hosting a book launch Thursday. Goldstein and Moger will be on hand signing copies of the book and sharing stories. Linda Edgecombe, who has been named one of the top-60 motivational speakers in the world will emcee the event.
Moger and Goldstein now run No Finish Line Living in Vernon, a company designed to motivate people into a healthy lifestyle through personal training and motivational speaking.
“My pro days are behind me, but I have the knowledge from previous experiences that might be able to help people out with their struggles,” said Goldstein.
With Goldstein’s pro-cycling days behind her, she stays busy by speaking at-risk youth groups and at the end of every nine-week Employ for Youth program with Community Futures, she speaks to the group for a few days.
Goldstein and Moger will also be accepting donations for the kids in the Employ for Youth program during the book launch.
“Who knows what will be next. Maybe if people like this book so much they will make a movie on me,” laughed Goldstein.
When asked who would play her in the film, Moger jokingly said, “How about Sylvester Stallone?”