Suzy Favor Hamilton opens up in new memoir, ‘Fast Girl’

Suzy Favor Hamilton’s “runner’s high” became replaced with a much more destructive rush in late 2011, when the three-time Olympian began working as a high-priced Vegas escort. Her memoir Fast Girl is out Monday, and its upcoming release has the former track champion talking to People about what led her down that path: a then-undiagnosed bipolar disorder. “My bipolar was driven toward sex,” the 47-year-old explains. “It could have been driven towards drugs and alcohol, or gambling.” Her first experience with an escort was on the occasion of her 20th anniversary; she suggested that she and her husband, Mark, spice things up by traveling from Wisconsin to Vegas and having a threesome. In an excerpt of her memoir published in Sports Illustrated, Favor Hamilton recounts their night with Pearl.

She writes, “Pearl had flipped a switch inside me, awakening a certainty that I could please clients even more than she’d pleased me.” She says that over a six-month period she convinced Mark to let her become an escort named “Kelly,” telling him, “It would be just one or two times with their top clients.” In Fast Girl, she recounts leaving “one of the fanciest hotel suites in Las Vegas” having just made $1,200. “This is way better than winning a race, I thought. This is better than competing in the Olympics.” She says that once the rush of pushing sexual boundaries started to fade, she began telling some clients her true identity. In December 2012, the Smoking Gun exposed her double life. A month later, her bipolar disorder was diagnosed. “I still crave that high,” she tells People. “I can’t say I’ll never act out in that way again.” But “now I have a new purpose,” she writes. “I want to share my story. I want to have the courage to keep fighting.”



Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness

The former middle distance Olympic runner and high-end escort speaks out for the first time about her battle with mental illness, and how mania controlled and compelled her in competition, but also in life. This is a heartbreakingly honest yet hopeful memoir reminiscent of Manic, Electroboy, and An Unquiet Mind.

During the 1990s, three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton was the darling of American track and field. An outstanding runner, a major sports apparel spokesperson, and a happily married wife, she was the model for an active, healthy, and wholesome life. But her perfect facade masked a dark truth: manic depression and bipolar disorder that drove her obsession to perform and win. For years after leaving the track, Suzy wrestled with her condition, as well as the loss of a close friend, conflicted feelings about motherhood and her marriage, and lingering shame about her athletic career. After a misdiagnosis and a recommendation for medication that only exacerbated her mania and made her hypersexual, Suzy embarked on a new path, and assumed a new identity. Fueled by a newfound confidence, a feeling of strength and independence and a desire she couldn’t tamp down, she became a high-priced escort in Las Vegas, working as “Kelly.”

But Suzy could not keep her double life a secret forever. When it was eventually exposed, it sent her into a reckless suicidal period where the only option seemed out. Finally, with the help of her devoted husband, Suzy finally got the proper medical help she needed. In this startling frank memoir, she recounts the journey to outrun her demons, revealing how a woman used to physically controlling her body learned to come to terms with her unstable mind. It is the story of a how a supreme competitor scored her most important victory of all—reclaiming her life from the ravages of an untreated mental illness. Today, thanks to diagnosis, therapy, Kelly has stepped into the shadows, but Suzy is building a better life, one day at a time. Sharing her story, Suzy is determined to raise awareness, provide understanding, and offer inspiration to others coping with their own challenges.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s