April Fool’s Day – Bryce Courtenay

As part of Fighting Fit Together we read April Fool’s Day, through April, for our monthly book club book.

Firstly, this was the first book I listened to, opposed to reading. I find it more difficult to recall information without reading and taking notes, but this book worked well to listen to whilst walking, as it was a story. Based on real-life but telling Damon’s story of how he was born with haemophilia and contracted medically induced AIDS.

It was a raw and emotional story, which touched my heart on many occasions and almost bought me to tears numerous times. It has an underlying uplifting tone throughout though, as Damon had such an incredible, indomitable, spirit. His resilience, despite adversity, can only be described as admirable.

I find it hard to believe how badly he was treated by the medical profession. I am sure the situations have improved greatly since (Damon was born in the 1960s and died at the age of 24), but a human should never have been treated like this in the first place.
It really does make me appreciate the life I live, and the health I have, free from such discrimination too.

It was saddening to read about how much Damon would have loved to have been able to partake in sport, but due to his haemophilia, he could not. He would watch his brothers and live through their experiences. It was also interesting to read about the power of self-hypnosis and how it helped him control his pain, and even the amount he bled through an operation. The doctors dismissed this as nothing more than a coincidence, but Damon believed otherwise. I cannot say for certain, but I am inclined to believe the hypnosis helped too! Either way, it was empowering for Damon, who had so much in his life to feel powerless about, he deserved this small blessing.

I enjoyed this book but am glad it was audio, as I think I would have struggled to find the time to read it, as it is over 600 pages. Some of the members gave the feedback that it could have had parts edited out too, but overall, I would recommend reading or listening to April Fools Day!

For May we are reading ‘Mindset’ by Carol Dweck. This book has been recommended by several people, including being referenced by Brene Brown in the Gifts of Imperfection and by Peter Lancett in this episode of Kick-Ass Conversation Podcast.

If you would like to join us, for personal development and goal setting, alongside kickboxing training, you get access to the Sunday evening sessions, as part of your Fighting Fit Together membership!

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