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HOW FAR CAN YOU GO BY JOHN MACLEAN

PUBLISHED BY SIMON & SCHUSTER
REVIEW BY JANE MOORE

Not being a sports nut, I had never heard of John Maclean but I’m sure lots of people have. After being hit by a truck while riding his bike in preparation for a triathlon, the semi-professional rugby player was left a paraplegic in his early 20s.

After the initial devastation, he persisted with life and even more so with his sport-mad ways. Swimming the English Channel; being the first wheelchair athlete to complete an Ironman event (after three gruelling attempts); and becoming a Paralympian has been just some of his achievements. He even found it within him to even help others by starting a charity to assist kids in wheelchairs.

So when life throws him another curveball, in the form of a therapist called Ken Crew, Maclean took it in his stride. Crew’s radical therapy was to help John walk again. And this is the real focus of the book – the 25 year journey leading to his miraculous ability to not only support himself standing but actually walk and ride a normal bike again. Note: I do think it’s worth looking at his website to see the footage of him walking that he refers to throughout the book.

He writes with much emotion about the events in his life, especially in the detail of his slow acceptance of the wheelchair. This is definitely not the type of book I would normally pick for myself, but I found it surprisingly interesting. It is an incredibly easy read, the story compelling and if you’re looking for some serious inspiration then I highly recommend it. I flew through it.

Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.