Fast Girl Book Summary - Fast Girl Book explained in key points

Fast Girl summary

Suzy Favor Hamilton

Brief summary

Fast Girl is a powerful memoir by Suzy Favor Hamilton, a former Olympic runner who shares her struggle with bipolar disorder and her double life as a high-end escort. It's a raw and honest account of her mental health journey and the stigma surrounding it.

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    Fast Girl
    Summary of key ideas

    Struggles and Triumphs of a Fast Girl

    In Fast Girl, Suzy Favor Hamilton, a three-time Olympian, shares her journey from being a celebrated middle-distance runner to a high-end escort. She begins by recounting her early years, growing up in a supportive family and discovering her passion for running. Suzy's talent and hard work led her to become a successful athlete, representing the United States in multiple Olympic Games.

    Despite her athletic achievements, Suzy struggled with anxiety and depression throughout her career. She describes the immense pressure she felt to perform, the fear of failure, and the toll it took on her mental health. Suzy's undiagnosed bipolar disorder exacerbated these challenges, leading to manic episodes that she initially mistook for bursts of energy and motivation.

    Unraveling and Escaping Reality

    As Suzy's running career came to an end, she found herself grappling with an identity crisis. She felt lost without the structure and purpose that running had provided. At the same time, her undiagnosed bipolar disorder intensified, leading her to make impulsive decisions. In an attempt to escape her reality, Suzy began living a double life as an escort in Las Vegas, adopting the persona of "Kelly".

    Initially, Suzy found a sense of freedom and control in her new persona. She enjoyed the financial independence and the thrill of living on the edge. However, she was also plagued by guilt and shame, as she struggled to reconcile her public image as a respected athlete with her secret life as a high-end escort.

    Reckoning with the Truth

    As Suzy's double life continued, she became increasingly reckless, taking more risks and engaging in dangerous behavior. Her secret was eventually exposed, leading to a public scandal and the unraveling of her carefully constructed facade. The revelation forced Suzy to confront the consequences of her actions and the impact of her undiagnosed mental illness.

    Following the exposure, Suzy hit rock bottom. She contemplated suicide and was hospitalized. It was during this dark period that she received a proper diagnosis of bipolar disorder. This diagnosis was a turning point, as it provided an explanation for her erratic behavior and offered a path towards healing and recovery.

    Reclaiming Control and Advocacy

    With the support of her family and the right treatment, Suzy began the journey towards reclaiming her life. She learned to manage her bipolar disorder, embracing a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. Suzy also made amends for her past actions, publicly acknowledging her struggles and advocating for mental health awareness.

    In the latter part of Fast Girl, Suzy reflects on her experiences and the lessons she's learned. She emphasizes the importance of seeking help for mental health issues and breaking the stigma surrounding these conditions. Suzy also shares her renewed sense of purpose, using her platform to raise awareness and support others facing similar challenges.


    In conclusion, Fast Girl is a candid and courageous account of Suzy Favor Hamilton's journey through the highs and lows of her life. From the pinnacle of athletic success to the depths of mental illness and public scrutiny, Suzy's story is a testament to resilience and the power of seeking help. By sharing her story, Suzy aims to inspire others to confront their own struggles and seek the support they need.

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    What is Fast Girl about?

    Fast Girl is a memoir by Suzy Favor Hamilton that delves into her life as an Olympic athlete and her secret double life as a high-end escort. It explores the pressures of elite sports, the stigma surrounding mental illness, and the journey towards self-acceptance and redemption. A compelling and honest account of one woman's struggle to find her true identity.

    Fast Girl Review

    Fast Girl (2015) is a gripping memoir by Suzy Favor Hamilton that sheds light on her life as an Olympic athlete and her secret career as a high-end escort. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • Through Suzy's raw and honest storytelling, readers gain a unique perspective on the pressures and struggles faced by elite athletes.
    • The book offers a fascinating exploration of identity and mental health, delving into Suzy's battle with bipolar disorder and the impact it had on her life.
    • With shocking revelations and surprising twists, the book keeps readers hooked from start to finish, ensuring that boredom is never a concern.

    Who should read Fast Girl?

    • Anyone interested in the intersection of mental health and athletics
    • People looking for a raw and honest account of overcoming adversity
    • Readers who enjoy memoirs with a compelling and relatable narrative

    About the Author

    Suzy Favor Hamilton is a former middle-distance runner and a three-time Olympian. She has represented the United States in numerous international competitions and has achieved great success in her athletic career. In her memoir, Fast Girl, Hamilton opens up about her struggles with mental illness and her experience working as a high-end escort. Through her book, she aims to break the stigma surrounding mental health and inspire others to seek help.

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    Fast Girl FAQs 

    What is the main message of Fast Girl?

    The main message of Fast Girl is a story of resilience and finding strength in the face of adversity.

    How long does it take to read Fast Girl?

    The reading time for Fast Girl varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in 15 minutes.

    Is Fast Girl a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Fast Girl is a captivating read that offers a unique perspective on mental health and the pursuit of one's dreams.

    Who is the author of Fast Girl?

    Suzy Favor Hamilton is the author of Fast Girl.

    What to read after Fast Girl?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Fast Girl, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Savor by Thich Nhat Hanh and Lilian Cheung
    • Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman
    • Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price
    • Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss
    • Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink
    • The Twenty-four Hour Mind by Rosalind D. Cartwright