Jeff Benjamin’s Spring Book Reviews
Second In A Series
Bend Don’t Break – A Memoir Of Endurance
By Frank O’Mara 
Approaching age 50, Frank O’Mara seemed to have everything going for him.
The Arkansas Razorback champion distance running legend had competed against the best in the world in the Olympic Games and was twice the World Indoor Champion at 3000 meters.

After leaving the world-class scene, O’Mara, alongside his wife Patty and three children, became a very successful
businessman who was known for his positive leadership and philanthropy.

Yet, on a fateful day in January of 2009, while going out for a run, the 48-year-old O’Mara suffered his first bout with what would be diagnosed as Parkinson’s disease.

“While a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not a death sentence,” writes O’Mara in his book “Bend Don’t Break,” it is a life sentence with no chance of parole.”

“As I would find out, Parkinson’s is determined to make each day of that sentence a little worse.”

O’Mara’s book is NOT just a track book. Sure, there are numerous stories and anecdotes of his illustrious World-Class career, but the emphasis of his story is his fight against Parkinson’s. O’Mara credits the various medical people who have aided him in his uphill battle.

Frank O’Mara and Jeff Benjamin, 1996 Olympics, from Jeff Benjamin archives

Not surprisingly, his comrades from the running competitive era have never left him and have even encouraged and emboldened O’Mara to keep on living life to the fullest. Names like 6-time Millrose Games Wanamaker Mile Champion Marcus O’Sullivan and Irish National Legend Sonia O’Sullivan (no relation) have remained like strong anchors to O’Mara.

But the most solid anchor has always remained his wife, Patty.

Through this looking glass, O’Mara gives readers a tough assessment of the challenges he faces on a daily basis, coupled with his overall will, optimism, and determination to live life to the fullest.

It is through qualities like this that the reader, whether a runner or not, can gather motivation and encouragement for themselves, which is Frank O’Mara’s greatest gift he can give to others.

To Purchase “Bend Don’t Break,” check out –

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