Dottir – Review

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press & Netgalley for the chance to read this book early!


I love when two of my main interests merge, in this case, reading and fitness in one package. I’ve been a fan of CrossFit and the Dottirs for years, starting with my discovery of the sport and Annie Thorisdottir in 2010. Since then I’ve been excited to see girls from Iceland taking over the fitness world – showing women beauty comes in many forms. They are shattering the box society wants to force women into by becoming elite athletes, slinging weights, and completing tasks the average person cannot imagine. My love for the sport started with Annie, but I’ve come to admire each of the girls from Iceland and continue to watch CrossFit specifically to see them compete each summer. I even have my own motivation wall in my garage gym with posters of Katrin, Annie, and Sara! When I discovered Katrin’s book, I couldn’t wait to dive in and learn more about her lifestyle from her own words!


DOTTIR is two-time consecutive CrossFit Games Champion Katrin Davidsdottir’s inspiring and poignant memoir. As one of only two women in history to have won the title of “Fittest Woman on Earth” twice, Davidsdottir knows all about the importance of mental and physical strength. She won the title in 2015, backing it up with a second win in 2016, after starting CrossFit in just 2011.

A gymnast as a youth, Davidsdottir wanted to try new challenges and found a love of CrossFit. But it hasn’t been a smooth rise to the top. In 2014, just one year before taking home the gold, she didn’t qualify for the Games. She used that loss as motivation and fuel for training harder and smarter for the 2015 Games. She pushed herself and refocused her mental game. Her hard work and perseverance paid off with her return to the Games and subsequent victories in 2015 and 2016.

In DOTTIR, Davidsdottir shares her journey with readers. She details her focus on training, goal setting, nutrition, and mental toughness.

There were many facets of this book I enjoyed reading about, from the landscape and characteristics of Iceland to the mental ups and downs of pushing one’s body past its limits every day. I couldn’t imagine being more inspired by a Dottir than I have been in the past, but Katrin accomplished it by letting her humanity shine through the pages of her memoir. Though her work ethic cannot be compared to the average person, it was refreshing to see she’s just a regular girl with an unmatched desire to put in work and time to pursue her passion. Her feats of strength and capacity for work are inspiring, but her character outshines all of it. In this book, she almost focused on her flaws, failures, and weaknesses more than her greatness. I was impressed by her humility in writing about her life.

I stayed up late reading Katrin’s story and was even brought to tears when she reflected on her grandmother’s life and unfortunate passing. The bond they shared and the strength she continues to draw from her Amma was beautiful to behold. I loved her grandmother’s words of wisdom and the advice she gave Katrin throughout her life. I felt honored to be able to experience those touching moments through this book.

It was interesting to see the number of people that come into pushing one person to become “The Fittest on Earth”. It’s truly a team effort that propels each athlete to the top, but the dedication and mental toughness of Katrin is the cherry on top. My favorite thing about this book was Katrin’s show of mentality playing the biggest factor in the preparation and execution of the Games. Even though she has experienced a highly respectable success, she still sometimes struggles with feeling down or burnt out. If the head isn’t in it, the body will not follow. To see that even one of my most admired athletes experiences these moments too is somehow comforting to know. I found a lot of motivation in these pages and even more respect for the demand these high-level athletes place upon themselves.

The ending felt slightly rushed and I would have liked to see a few ideas expanded upon, but I highly enjoyed this look into a topic and person I’m incredibly interested in and motivated by. I could have read double the amount about Katrin’s life and hope that the other Dottirs will follow suit in writing about their experiences. These women are changing the world. If you’re a fitness fanatic, this book should be on your list.

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase on Amazon.


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