HOW FAR CAN YOU GO?

North & South - - Review - JIM ROBIN­SON

JOHN MA­CLEAN WITH MARK TABB (SI­MON & SCHUS­TER, $35)

“Look how far you’ve come,” John Ma­clean’s fa­ther said, a cou­ple of years af­ter the young Aus­tralian had been hit by a truck and left an “in­com­plete para­plegic” (mean­ing his spinal cord was not com­pletely sev­ered). “Now, how far can you go?” As Ma­clean re­calls, “Some­thing about my fa­ther’s words res­onated deep in­side me.” His an­swer: be­com­ing the first wheel­chair ath­lete to fin­ish Iron­man Hawaii, the first wheel­chair ath­lete to swim the English Chan­nel, and a medal­list at both the Row­ing World Cham­pi­onships and the Par­a­lympic Games. Then, af­ter 25 years in a wheel­chair, Ma­clean em­braced a rad­i­cal ther­apy pro­gramme that saw him walk again and fin­ish a triathlon as a con­ven­tional ath­lete. This book res­onates with de­ter­mi­na­tion. You can’t help but think – what’s next, John?

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