Flying Change: A Year of Racing and Family and Steeplechasing

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9780982304945: Flying Change: A Year of Racing and Family and Steeplechasing
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           Patrick Smithwick has done it again. His new book Flying Change is every bit the sleek, well-bred and fast Thoroughbred as its predecessor,Racing My Father.
           In Flying Change, Smithwick is no longer racing his father. He is racing himself - while continuing with his duties as a father, a husband, a friend, a teacher and a writer.          This memoir of dueling ambitions is the tale of a man who decides in mid-life to call off all restraints, silence all naysayers, put his mind and body and courage to the test, and do what in his case--he has been away from the world of racing for twenty-five years--is the impossible: within a nine-month period get a horse to ride in the most difficult steeplechase race in the world, and then, ride that horse as if his life depends on it, which, literally, it does.           
         Flying Change is an inspiration for anyone who thought he or she could never compete again.  If you'd like to know what it's like to be a member of the elite racing set, if you'd like to experience firsthand a foxhunt at its most exciting moments, if you'd like to vicariously ride in the Maryland Hunt Cup, then this is your book.             The demands in time and energy required by Smithwick's return to racing pull him away from his family and his ambition to write, creating major conflicts. Yet, the fast-paced narrative shows Smithwick striving to carry on traditions from his upbringing and apply them to the raising of his own three children. These sections are positive, upbeat, father-affirming.  Fatherhood--the tensions, the responsibilities, the possibilities--is a topic sorely missing in the American canon. When tackled in American literature, books dealing with fatherhood are most often ones written by a son or daughter describing his or her mistreatment by father who is often either abusive, violent, alcoholic, inattentive, or worse. Smithwick fights against that formula in Racing My Father, a memoir of growing up as the son of A. P. "Paddy" Smithwick, the legendary steeplechase jockey.    
          In Flying Change, Smithwick goes against the grain again. He writes, as a father of three children, about his relationships with them. He addresses the question of what it means to be a father in 21 Century America. Tragedy on the racetrack in the form of death, paralysis, and suicide lurks in the background. This realistic recreation of the world of Thoroughbred racing gives the book a seriousness, and it also creates suspense.          Flying Change is a must-read for the general audience as well as lovers of the horse and of horse racing. This is not only a racing memoir that catapults the reader through time and space at a breathtaking pace, it is a literary memoir that examines the big questions of how to live one's life.

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About the Author:

Patrick Smithwick has been working with horses all of his life. At a very young age he began working with his father, the legendary steeplechase jockey, A.P. Smithwick, who became a trainer after retiring from riding. Smithwick then worked his way through school and college by exercising Thoroughbreds at major East Coast racetracks and riding steeplechase races at such venues as Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course, and hunt meets such as the Maryland Hunt Club and the Grand National.
Smithwick received a Bachelor or Arts from Johns Hopkins University in 1973 followed by a Master of Arts in creative writing from Hollins College in 1975. After working in the newspaper business for several years, Smithwick began teaching English, philosophy, photography, and journalism at both the high school and collegiate levels. In 1988, he received a master of liberal arts from Johns Hopkins University and in 2000 he received his degree in education for ministry from University of the South. During this time, Smithwick taught as well as held the position of director of publications and public relations at two different schools.
He has now turned his two biggest passions into two business - writing and training. Thoroughbred steeplechase horse and riding. He also gives talks, teaches part-time, and does freelance writing.
In addition to Racing My Father, Smithwick has written The Art of Healing: Union Memorial Hospital and Gilman Voices, 1897-1997. He has also written for many publications including Mid-Atlantic Country, The Maryland Horse, Horsemen's Journal, and The Chronicle of the Horse.
Smithwick resides on the horse farm where he was raised in Monkton, Maryland, with his wife Ansley. They have three children: Paddy, Andrew and Eliza.

Review:

Flying Change by Margaret WorrallPatrick Smithwick writes with intensity and sparkle about horses, about racing, and about his personal experience and that of his family and friends.
Smithwick draws you into his story and keeps you there with vivid description and human insight that you won't soon forget.

I highly recommend the purchase of Patrick Smithwick's new memoir. 
This introspective narrative reminds us of the delicate balance the psychological concepts of Sigmund Freud's Id (Selfish pleasure), Ego (Balanced rational life), and Superego (Guilt driven conscience) we juggle on a regular basis in our lives. Paul Daley, Lowell Sun, Mass.

Every now and then, someone writes a book that I love.  Less-often, someone pens a tome to which I can relate, directly, and cry my way through to the end. "Flying Change:  A Year of Racing and Family and Steeplechasing"  by Patrick Smithwick is one of those books. M.E. Altieri, Saratoga.com

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Book Description Publishing Concepts (Baltimore, MD), United States, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Inspired by the Henry Taylor poem of the same name, Flying Change is the true story of a man changing strides and leaving the comforts and security of middle-age life to reenter the hazardous and highly competitive world of steeplechasing. After a youthful career begun under the tutelage of his father, legendary steeplechase jockey A. P. Paddy Smithwick, he gave up riding to become a newspaper editor, a Chesapeake Bay waterman, a teacher of English and literature, and a father. But the one-time jockey could not leave the sport he so loved. At forty-six, he pushed himself back into shape for competitive racing and set about trying to find a horse to ride in the most challenging of timber races, the Maryland Hunt Cup. From the rolling hills of Maryland horse country, Smithwick issues a movingly written call to those of us trapped in increasingly sedentary, digital lives to get up and go outdoors and let the senses play, to feel a cold rain on your shoulders and sit in front of a warm fire, to smell hay and grass and live in the beauty of spring dawns and brilliant autumn sunsets. Seller Inventory # ANB9780982304945

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Book Description Publishing Concepts (Baltimore, MD), United States, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Inspired by the Henry Taylor poem of the same name, Flying Change is the true story of a man changing strides and leaving the comforts and security of middle-age life to reenter the hazardous and highly competitive world of steeplechasing. After a youthful career begun under the tutelage of his father, legendary steeplechase jockey A. P. Paddy Smithwick, he gave up riding to become a newspaper editor, a Chesapeake Bay waterman, a teacher of English and literature, and a father. But the one-time jockey could not leave the sport he so loved. At forty-six, he pushed himself back into shape for competitive racing and set about trying to find a horse to ride in the most challenging of timber races, the Maryland Hunt Cup. From the rolling hills of Maryland horse country, Smithwick issues a movingly written call to those of us trapped in increasingly sedentary, digital lives to get up and go outdoors and let the senses play, to feel a cold rain on your shoulders and sit in front of a warm fire, to smell hay and grass and live in the beauty of spring dawns and brilliant autumn sunsets. Seller Inventory # ANB9780982304945

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Book Description Publishing Concepts (Baltimore, MD), United States, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Inspired by the Henry Taylor poem of the same name, Flying Change is the true story of a man changing strides and leaving the comforts and security of middle-age life to reenter the hazardous and highly competitive world of steeplechasing. After a youthful career begun under the tutelage of his father, legendary steeplechase jockey A. P. Paddy Smithwick, he gave up riding to become a newspaper editor, a Chesapeake Bay waterman, a teacher of English and literature, and a father. But the one-time jockey could not leave the sport he so loved. At forty-six, he pushed himself back into shape for competitive racing and set about trying to find a horse to ride in the most challenging of timber races, the Maryland Hunt Cup. From the rolling hills of Maryland horse country, Smithwick issues a movingly written call to those of us trapped in increasingly sedentary, digital lives to get up and go outdoors and let the senses play, to feel a cold rain on your shoulders and sit in front of a warm fire, to smell hay and grass and live in the beauty of spring dawns and brilliant autumn sunsets. Seller Inventory # BTE9780982304945

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