A memoir on activism. A manual for progress. What really happens when we stand on the front lines of change.
by Kathryn Bertine
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Pub Date 01 Feb 2021 | Archive Date 04 Mar 2021
For Bertine, former ESPN columnist and elite cyclist, activism wasn’t even on her radar in 2006. She was a journalist/athlete trying to get to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. When her iconic ESPN assignment ended, advocacy took hold with a firm grip. Why aren’t women allowed at the Tour de France? In 2009, wonder turned to action. As the fight for equal opportunity began, Bertine set three new goals to help leverage change: a) turn professional in bike racing b) get women into the Tour de France c) quiet the demons of worthlessness.
Forming the activism group Le Tour Entier (The Whole Tour) with three notable Olympic/World champions in 2013, Bertine lobbied the Tour de France for women’s inclusion. Nearly 100,000 people around the world signed their petition for equal opportunity, vaulting her Tour de France movement to one of Change.org’s most successful campaigns. The news went viral. A social awakening on equal opportunity was taking place. La Course by Tour de France debuted in July 2014—women were officially included in the Tour de France’s 101-year history. Defying all odds, Bertine stood on the start line at age 39.
By 2016, all three of Bertine’s goals were achieved… but not without consequence. Her decade-long journey through advocacy and activism took her through the gamut of private struggles. Counted out, harassed, bullied, labeled a “no one,” abandoned, suffering depression, brokenness, and on the cusp of suicide, for many years Bertine was unable to answer the internal question of activism, Is the journey worth the struggle? Does what we do truly matter? It wasn’t until a devastating bicycle crash and traumatic brain injury opened her mind—literally and figuratively—to the healing powers of activism, the beauty of inner demons and to finally answer the question: Yes. When it comes to equality, the journey is always worth the struggle.
With unabashed honesty, irreverence, humor, vulnerability, history, and authenticity, Bertine bares her soul and lays it all on the line. Activism isn’t pretty, but truth is beautiful. Bertine’s memoir-turned-manual on activism takes us behind the scenes of what really happens when we stand up and fight for what we believe. And why we must.
"On and off the bicycle, Kathryn Bertine has always chosen the challenging road. Whether it was her tenacious battle for equal road at the Tour de France, or her soul-searching comeback from a traumatic crash, Bertine's career as an athlete and advocate has been marked by courage, determinedness and an unshakeable sense of humor… STAND is an inspiring testament to the power of choosing the challenging road, and it demonstrates how lucky all of sports -- not just cycling -- is to have Kathryn Bertine." -Jason Gay, The Wall Street Journal.
In STAND, Kathryn Bertine delivers more than a memoir…her story will inspire all readers - men and women, athletes or not - with strategies supporting a simple premise: when you want to achieve something, set your goal and go out and make it happen, no matter the obstacles. For anyone who doubts his or her own ability to affect change, STAND dares you to ditch your doubts and get to work. - Kyrsten Sinema, first female U.S. Senator for Arizona & IRONMAN triathlete.
No one takes a stand like Kathryn Bertine… warm, witty and above all wise, as a writer she has the rare talent of infusing activism with humour and it’s her intelligence and humanity that makes STAND such a compelling, honest and kick ass read. - Suze Clemitson, The Guardian (UK).
“Kathryn Bertine is a force of a human, a great athlete and a brilliant, funny author. Men and women alike will find STAND inspires, entertains, and educates." - Phil Gaimon, professional cyclist & author of Draft Animals.
"Great. Another book by a chick. Completely missed the mark. Didn't have any recipes or life-hacks for vacuuming. Just relentless optimism, indefatigable kindness and delusional visions of justice. I want a refund. But if you like this equality bullshit, Bertine's a fucking good writer and STAND is pretty good for a girl." - Doug Stanhope, comedian & author of Digging Up Mother.
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