Walking on the beach and holding hands is a simple dream taken for granted by most. But when elite athlete John Maclean was struck down by a truck while training for a triathlon at the age of 22, this dream became impossible. John survived, but was left paraplegic – catastrophic for a life so full of promise. He insisted that he’d walk again, but it became clear John would need to shift his focus, and take his beloved father’s words to heart: ‘How far can you go?’
With fierce tenacity, determination, and the love of family and friends, John became one of the most accomplished wheelchair athletes in the world, and the first paraplegic to swim the English Channel. He also competed in the Sydney Olympics wheelchair demonstration race and in two Paralympic Games in two different disciplines, winning a silver medal for rowing in Beijing.
But John still longed to walk, hand in hand, on the beach with his wife and their young son. It wasn’t until he discovered a radical therapy that John was able to reach his full potential by retraining his mind and body to unlock new neural responses . . . and stand, walk, and fulfill his dream.
How Far Can You Go? is John Maclean’s amazing story, and his quest to walk again after 25 years in a wheelchair.
About the Authors
John Maclean is a Paralympian and was the first wheelchair athlete to complete the Hawaii Ironman World Champion ship triathlon and swim the English Channel. He is the founder of The John Maclean Foundation, which assists children in wheelchairs and their families. John lives in Australia with his wife, Amanda, and son, Jack.
Mark Tabb has authored and co-authored over twenty books, including Living with Less, the Upside of Downsizing Your Life (B&H), and the 2004 Gold Medallion finalist, Out of the Whirlwind (B&H). He also collaborated with Stephen Baldwin on the New York Times bestseller, The Unusual Suspect,/i> (FaithWords). Mark is currently working with Alec Baldwin on his book, A Promise to Ourselves (St. Martin’s Press).
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Last year, I received this book as a Father's Day gift. I rarely read a paper book; usually only in medical waiting rooms or on a train when taking my computer for doing my work is not convenient. So, I've only just finished it now.
John MacLean was an up-and-coming champion athlete in several sports. Somehow, he excelled at whatever sport he tried. Then, at 22 years of age, he was riding his brand new racing bike when an 8 ton truck hit him. He survived against expectations but was paralysed from the waist down, with minimal function in his legs. An MRI much later showed that, of the 3 million nerves passing through the spinal cord, he had a few thousand left.
He became a wheelchair-bound champion. He swam the English Channel, competed in triathlons and ironman contests, including the toughest in the world, by using his wheelchair instead of running, and working a hand-operated bike on the cycling leg. He won a silver medal at the Paralympics in Beijing.
But all this was second best. What he dreamed of was walking again.
25 years after his accident, he did, thanks to a revolutionary therapy by Ken Ware.
OK, this is the skeleton the story is built on. The real message is the attitude that made all this possible. John wasn't "lucky" in achieving all this, but rather "lucky" in believing that he could burst through any barrier if he tried hard enough. And this attitude is something all of us can copy.
He was often in agony, but he kept going. When he couldn't keep going, he returned and had another go, and went through the pain and kept going anyway.
Read the book and be inspired.
John continues to inspire with his big goals and ability to work them through to reality. As I have read John's other books I was keen to learn more about his rehabilitation and recent achievements. His books are an easy read that take you on an emotional rollercoaster with John as you share his frustration, sadness and joy. This book continues John's journey as he strives for sporting success, heads a foundation, and continues his speaking engagements whilst being a husband and father, and learning to walk again.
Bought this for a rarely read person as a gift and he cannot put it down.
Such an incredible story. So inspiring- everyone should read this, an amazing Australian
Published: 1st August 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.4 x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.43