Riley Quinn was determined to live life on her own terms. Born in the 1950’s, she came of age at a time when higher education and career choices for women were limited. Societal norms still encouraged women to be mothers and homemakers or join the labor pool in “support roles” for men and society. Without independent careers or hobbies, many women in the suburbs defined their successes based on the successes of their spouse or children. In 1971, there were still many functions and clubs where women were excluded.
Quinn had no intentions of following tradition, and went on after college to finish law school. She entered the workforce with guns blazing, demanding to be paid the same as her male counterparts. In this brave and witty memoir, she recounts the struggles of raising a family while practicing law full-time at prestigious firms. As life got more chaotic and challenging, she discovered Paddle, a sport that became a constant joy in her life and the one thing she wouldn’t forego, no matter what obstacles and crises she faced at home or work.
Reflecting on her choices over the years, Quinn shares the wisdom gleaned from managing the demands of marriage, raising five children, and running several successful businesses. “Having it all” is possible, but maybe not all at once. We must look inward, understand our strengths and play to them, and use our gifts and talents in order to evolve. We all suffer tragedies in life, and at times we all fall down. The key is having the grit to pick ourselves up and resolve to forge ahead.
Paddle This is a “must read” for women navigating the waters of work-life balance. The author tells a deeply honest and compelling story about an extraordinarily successful attorney born in the 1950s who “works hard and plays hard.” Reading about Riley’s personal and professional challenges and triumphs is highly entertaining, but more importantly, the reader gleans important takeaways. As Riley’s career evolves, she increasingly recognizes the importance of women helping other women to advance gender equity in the workplace and offers strategies for making this happen. She affirms the notion that women have collective power when they work together and advocate both for themselves and others. Riley discovers through her health challenges that taking care of one’s mind and body through diet, exercise, giving an accepting love, and engaging in activities that ignite joy and passion (in Riley’s case Paddle tennis) greatly increases life satisfaction and happiness. While everyone’s life journey is different, every reader will find some aspect of this book that speaks to them in a deeply personal way.
Quinn takes us on a thrilling journey through athletics and life - there is something for everyone in this relatable collection of experiences. Whether inspired, humored, or called to action, through this book we see how the positive power of sport can change lives.
Paddle This is unfiltered, pure, real, and empowering. Quinn’s courage is inspirational as she tells her stories with an unapologetic nature that humanizes her experiences and makes them relatable in one way or another. We all have our own version of paddle tennis in our lives and her personal and professional journeys which are tactfully woven throughout the book, pull at your heartstrings as well as make you smile, cheer, and laugh.