The Story Behind the Book

2016will mark the first summer Olympics that I will not be training for another chance at Olympic gold. I am sitting on my couch at home, with my 3-month-old daughter, Zoë, asleep in my arms. The Olympics are coming, and my Facebook news feed is filling up with notices of competitions and updates from all my friends who are still competing. I’m starting to dream about rowing, about competing. I fantasize about making a come back, maybe in a different sport this time, and do the math about my age and the likelihood of that happening.

Sometimes I feel like I will never, ever get over it, and I just want to be free from those thoughts and from my own experiences. Yet God has used this all tremendously in my life, and as I sit on this couch, suddenly His voice cuts through my spinning thoughts, and I hear Him louder than I have in a long time.

“Are you willing to stop striving? You are already everything I want you to be. I created you! I knit you together in your mother’s womb! I didn’t make any mistakes. I CAN’T make any mistakes. I am Yahweh! Do you believe that, Sarah?”

He’s telling me that He’s not finished using me – using this life yet. He is telling me to write it down and to have it ready for the 2016 Olympic Games.

It is May 12th, 2016. This seems like a harsh deadline, considering He just said, “Stop striving…”


So now that you have this e-book in your hands, you can see that I listened to the call. But more importantly, God listened to mine, when I prayed, “If you want me to do this, are you going to make the baby sleep? Are you going to give me the time? Are you going to help me find a way to get this into the hands of athletes?”

And the whole time, He said, “Yes, yes, yes. Stop striving. Just answer the call.”

God totally blessed me as I worked through the process, and I really enjoyed it. Many of the chapters are adapted from articles I wrote for the Women Alive website while I was still competing with the National Team.  Many of the sports introductions come directly from my training journals. Putting everything together really helped me to work through and put into words everything that God has done in my life through sport.  It’s been an amazing process!

thumbnail_image1And yes… most of the writing happened like this:  With Zoe in the Jolly Jumper, or asleep on my lap, or doing her baby push-ups on the floor (she is determined to crawl, but isn’t quite there yet!)  So I have to thank her for her patience.

That being said, she is getting pretty antsy in the Jolly Jumper right now, so it’s time for us to move onto the day’s adventures.

I really hope you enjoy the book, but more importantly, that God really speaks to you through it.  Once you’re done, I would love for you to let me know what you thought through the comments section of the website.

Have a great day, and if you can’t watch it live, be sure to PVR the Opening Ceremonies tonight!


About the author : Sarah Bonikowsky

Sarah Bonikowsky Chaudhery is a 2008 Olympian (women’s eight, 4th) as well as a world cup silver and bronze medalist, Pan Am Games bronze medalist (women’s pair) and a two-time National Champion. She is also passionate about her bikes, and has competed in both mountain biking and as a tandem pilot in paracycling. After retiring from the Canadian National Rowing Team in 2012, Sarah married Joe Chaudhery. They live in a small town north of the GTA, with Zoë (born in 2016) and Zachary (2019). Sarah now practices as a paediatric occupational therapist, helping kids reach their full potential by maximizing their abilities at home and school.

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