“A lifetime of glory is worth a moment of pain.”
I’m much obliged to Seabiscuit. Yep that’s right, deeply indebted to the undersized prizewinning racehorse of the depression era. I owe the unlikely champion because he led best-selling author Laura Hillenbrand to Louis Zamperini. And Louis is the subject of one of my all-time favorite books: Unbroken. When I say all-time favorite I mean top 20—like run it outta the house if it were about to go up in flames.
For a slim quarter, eight-year-old Hillenbrand bought Come On Seabiscuit at a used book sale. She fell in lasting love with the stallion. No doubt she won across the board when researching the horse’s history because Seabiscuit shared the newspaper headlines with one Louis Zamperini—another unlikely champion. From world-class Olympic runner, to bombardier, to plane crash survivor, to war prisoner, Louis’s story is as unbelievable as it is remarkable.
His story changed me. Zamperini taught me that the human spirit can bend without breaking. If tenacity and hope are yoked together, resiliency is born. Years after reading Hillenbrand’s masterpiece, I find I’m still marveling at the extraordinary life of Louis Zamperini. There is no doubt about it, Unbroken is a “one-in-a-billion story…[complete with] all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoid: it is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring.”