On running and life (not in that order)

BCMS teacher and cross-country coach releases memoir

Jack Rightmyer didn't know he was writing a book when he started working on a graduation present for his daughter almost a decade ago.

But that's what has come to pass. The Bethlehem Central Middle School English teacher and cross-country coach recently released his second book, It's Not About Winning, a memoir of sorts that incorporates elements of autobiographical writings he made for both his children. He spent about five months writing about his memories with his daughter, Erin, before she graduated from high school and about the same amount of time writing for his son, Paul, when he was about to leave college.

"After that, not really thinking I could find a publisher ... I thought, you know what, I'm going to put it together," Rightmyer said.

The result is a deeply personal book the author wasn't sure would find a publishing house. Vermont-based Vitesse Press was the first and only press Rightmyer contacted, though. The small publisher generally deals in fitness and sport "how-to" books and practical titles, so this was a different sort of project and even a bit of a risk, said publisher Dick Mansfield.

"At this point, I'm very pleased that we went ahead. Its a very exciting project for us," he said. "It's unique enough that it's not something that folks are just going to go online and get. ... The more personal approach and the good writing and the interesting reading aspect of it makes it something that I think is much more suited to classic book publishing."

"It's Not About Winning" is Rightmyer's second book, his first being a teacher's guide to inserting humor into the classroom (with a writing book he's working on, he will have authored a trifecta on his favorite subjects). He said he found writing about his own experiences gratifying and genuine, which is something he tries to advise to his students, as well.

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