A new, redeptive book from Marion Jones, the former Olympic track and field star out of Thousand Oaks High, comes out today called “On the Right Track: From Olympic Downfall to Finding Forgiveness and the Strength to Overcome and Succeed” ($25, Howard Books, 214 pages, linked here).
It’s got all the ingredients for the network AM faux news shows of the TV world — a fall from grace, forgiveness, empathy, a life lesson. All that can be compressed in a four-minute interview.
Read the book instead. It’ll take a couple hours. Only then can you really figure out what Jones is up to with this new chapter in her life.
“I should be clear about why I’m writing this book,” she says on page 24. “If you picked it up looking for salacious details about doping and drug scandals, I guess you should put it back on the shelf. This is my story, and my story is about my mistakes, how I came to grips with them, the consequencs of my actions and how I made meaning from all of it.
“My story is different from the one you read in magazines, newspaper, tabloids or watch on a sports cable channel. My story is about confronting your mistakes, taking responsiblilty, picking yourself up, moving forward and doing what you were uniquely created by God to do.”
The book, suggested by the publishers to be filed under religion/Christian life, also has this endorsement from Jones’ idol, Jackie Joyner-Kersee: “Marion’s story is a powerful, poginant reminder to us all that being true to yourself provides the power required to achieve sucess, endure profound failure and be successful again.”
The timing of the book comes with another ESPN “30 for 30” documentary on her life story from John Singleton that debuts on Tuesday, Nov. 2, called “Press Pause.” Former Daily News columnist Ron Rapoport, who wrote the book on Jones called “See How She Runs” in 2000 (linked here) is one of several journalists included in the doc to move the story along and add their insights.