Flowing with the Go

A Jiu-Jitsu Journey of the Soul

Non-Fiction - Self Help
148 Pages
Reviewed on 01/20/2013
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Author Biography

I went to Washington State University to play volleyball and graduated with a degree in biology.

My husband and I have three children: Carly, Eason and Carson. Each grew up participating in both sports and music.

Suddenly in April of 2007, Carly passed away. I was devastated as any mother would be. The rest of my life became about surviving the grief.

I realized that if I was going to move forward, I needed an outlet for the suffocating turmoil of emotions that losing a child causes.

I stumbled across Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and found that the tenants of this martial art form and healing are the same.

"Flowing with the Go" wasn’t originally meant to be a published book. My writing put my honest feelings in front of me. It gave me a way to admit to myself that my life would never be the same, but that every time I chose to stay in it I could honor my daughter.

Along the way it felt as if every page I wrote let some of the hurt out. I felt lighter and happier. My writing left many tears upon my keyboard, but at times it made me smile and many times it made me laugh.

With the encouragement of my family, colleagues and closet friends, I made the decision to share my story with others.

There are many audiences for this book: parents, grieving people, Jiu-Jitsu fans, coaches, and team members. I hope that each reader can find what I have found: inspiration, honesty, support, and strength.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Eduardo Aduna for Readers' Favorite

Elena Stowell's "Flowing with the Go" is a heartrending and inspiring read about one woman's journey towards overcoming her grief by immersing herself in martial arts. This wonderful gem of a book chronicles the author's struggle to move on after her daughter's sudden death. She finds solace not just from her loving friends and family, but also from her coaches and gym mates as she dedicates herself to Jiu-Jitsu.

The book takes the reader through a variety of emotions. I felt Elena Stowell's pain, her devastation after Carly's death. I also felt her triumphs, her celebrations after each small victory and her dedication to Jiu-Jitsu. It is rare for me to get so immersed in a book that I would tear up after reading one passage and then laugh out loud at another a few paragraphs later. Elena's writing is magnificent and her story is one that can inspire anyone who has ever had a devastating loss in their life, and is looking for a way to move on. The interspersed quotes, coming from popular culture, and classical and eclectic sources were a magnificent touch. The book is full of meaningful aphorisms that are capable of nudging every reader towards overcoming their own travails. "It's OK to cry. just not on the mat," and "Celebrate small victories," are just some of the wise words the reader can take away from this book. Elena Stowell is a very talented writer and she is surrounded by fun, loving people, and a great source for inspiring quotes and circumstances. For some reason I can't stop reading the section of the book containing Chuck's memorable lines. Elena's descriptions of life at the gym were fun, spot on and all the more interesting since it is from a woman's point of view. She manages to turn anecdotes into vivid renderings, and to depict each person in her life with such loving flair. Great books are usually poignant, once-in-a-lifetime stories told by a talented writer. "Flowing with the Go" fits the bill.