A Paraplegics Journey
In the book Cycle of Hope, Tricia Downing went from a competitive cyclist to a paraplegic in a matter of minutes. After spending the summer competing in multiple cycling races, Downing is back home enjoying the sunny autumn day riding her favorite route with her friend, Matt. Together, they go for a bike ride sightseeing and appreciating the beauty of the city. As they reminisce about their enjoyable summer, a car appears out of nowhere, and crashes into her. After landing on her back, Downing recalls that something feels terribly wrong; consequently, this woman becomes paralyzed from the waist down. The author uses the strength, courage, and determination learned as a competitive athlete to overcome her disability.
Downing uses the strength from her competitive athlete days to help her learn to live with paralysis on her own terms. From an early age, the author became involved in sports, competing on the swim team, diving and gymnastics; however, in her early twenties cycling became her beloved sport of choice. During a conversation with her physical therapist, Downing quickly found out the hardest part of her injury is…show more content… This inner strength helps her learn to live life as a paraplegic; as well as, the courage to become a wheelchair racer. The author’s competitive spirit and enthusiasm for life continues as her misfortune turns into opportunity, and finally emerges as an Ironman triathlete. Coupled with her perseverance, Downing transitions from an able-bodied cyclist to an athlete with a disability. Equipped with the true meaning of the words challenge and change, the author becomes the first female paraplegic to compete in an Ironman triathlon. In fact, to overcome her disability, Downing uses the strength, courage and determination learned as an