In this review of Vera Koo’s second book, the managing editor of Women’s Outdoor News, Michelle Cerino, tells us what life lessons she loves in this edition. She’s even featured in a few of the beautiful color photos, found within the pages of this new book! Continue reading to find out what makes Michelle feel like that she and Vera are “kindred spirits.”

I’ve known Vera Koo for almost ten years now. We met May 2013, when I first competed in the Bianchi Cup in Columbia, Missouri. I said it then, and I repeat it often, “Vera Koo is an amazing woman whom I respect tremendously.” Over the years, she’s shared numerous life lessons with our readers at The WON and on her website,

. Now she has them all compiled in her second book, “Wisdom and Things: Essays from An Unlikely Champion.” 

First, I just love the aesthetics of this book. It’s a nice size, 8.5-inches x 8.5-inches, made from quality paper with full-color photos. It even lays open nicely, which makes it pleasant to read while sitting in my chair or relaxing in bed. As an avid reader, this is something I value in a book. 

Book Review Wisdom and Things

Life Lessons

Each short story within the book is chock-full of snippets of life lessons suitable for women of many ages. The following are some of my favorites which have really hit home for me these past few years:

“I started shooting when I was in my forties. I had navigated plenty of hardships in life while raising a family and helping to run a business.” 

It’s almost like Vera is describing me in this quote. It’s like we are kindred spirits. 

“I hear many people talk about what they want to do “someday.” Too often, though, “someday” never comes. The window of opportunity closed, and people no longer can do what they always said they wanted to do. I do not want to miss my “someday.”

I have many people in my life who are always waiting for the perfect moment to take the next step. Unfortunately, those perfect moments never came. Vera put into words what I have felt for a long time. Seeing it in print, in someone else’s writing, helped solidify my beliefs. 

Michelle Cerino WIsdom and things
Michelle Cerino Wisdom and things

“I always say you should push yourself outside your comfort zone, face your fears and challenge yourself. And, I believe you should practice what you preach.” 

If you’ve already read Vera’s first book, “The Most Unlikely Champion: A Memoir

you know Vera’s life is the epitome of stepping outside one’s comfort zone. Perhaps that’s why I look up to her. When she set’s her mind on something, she doesn’t let anything stop her. 

Most unlikely champion book

“You can make your dreams reality. We can all be so much more than what we think we can be.” 

Imagine if everyone believed they could get want they want out of life, that their dreams can become reality. 

“Sometimes, you might take a chance and stumble. That’s life. Get up, learn from your mistake, and go at it again. Life is a game. Play it to the end and believe that you will be victorious.”

For anyone who has struggled reaching a goal, or just completing a task, this quote resonates. What a beautiful way of saying, “Keep pushing forward.”

Wisdsom and Things Book Cover Outside

I am extremely grateful for Vera’s life lessons. Privately, over the past few years, she’s sent me a few. Perhaps I will include those in my book.

Purchase your copy of “Wisdom and Things: Essays From an Unlikely Champion”(原文出处为线上读书俱乐部 

Vera Koo online.

This review was originally published by 《女性户外运动新闻》.


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