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Reviewed by Dr. Jordan Alexander for Readers' Favorite
I personally grew about three inches reading My Feats in These Shoes, and no, it wasn’t because I put on high heels. Ronda Beaman’s “A Solely Original Memoir” was a smash hit for me. I laughed at her incredibly clever analogies to shoes. I’ve not met a woman that doesn’t love shoes, and I’m sure readers will relate to her stories. Beaman asks us to think about Cinderella’s glass slipper and Dorothy heading to Oz to find answers: “Shoes are the quickest way for women to achieve instant metamorphosis” (Blahnik). Beaman didn’t grow up in the easiest of scenarios, but that never stopped her - even when her father told her as a child she had the ugliest feet he’d ever seen. “Something of my own being has gone into my shoes,” she says. “I was never the clear winner in anything. But I always stepped up, in, or out.” Rising above, Beaman takes us on her dreamy journey from dancer to movie star, cheerleader to aerobics instructor. She provides real-life backdrops with lessons learned along the way to her now highly successful career as an author, speaker, parent, and award-winning educator.
“Step into yourself” and get a copy of My Feats in These Shoes so you too can look fabulous achieving your own feats. Cheerleader sneakers, tap shoes, or going barefoot for love, you’ll be inspired walking with Beaman in her eventful and exciting life so far. She will walk many miles more and continue to use her own “footprints to illuminate another life.” Each chapter of her memoir includes a Put Yourself in my Shoes reflection, in a cute shoebox theme. The gems of wisdom are memorable: “Life is like a diaper. When it begins to stink, it’s time for a change.” She is smart and funny, even when covering poignant content. Discussing cigarettes and her mother’s last days: “It’s a Lucky Strike…If that doesn’t make me an oxymoron.” It's deadly she tells us, not to believe in your promise, possibility, or potential. Beaman avoids letting what’s practical define her life with stories that push us to resist the safer “subtle dress, the plain shoes.”
Her signature shoes now are her Red Converse. The ones she wore at TEDx and during The Cat in the Hat commencement speech, when students gave her a standing ovation (the faculty, not so much). But who cares, Beaman's choices in shoes and life will keep her ageless and age-proof. She practices what she preaches, acting her shoe size, not her age, reminding us “those golden seeds of your youth are still inside.” Believe in yourself is the takeaway from her successful life. “A creative life is all about working from that sweet spot where your gifts and the world intersect, where what you do has fascination and relevance.” Treat yourself to My Feats in These Shoes, an inspiring 5-star read that's sure to leave you inches taller, more confident, and on the lookout for a new pair of shoes for your next adventure. Bravo, Beaman!