Monday, September 21, 2009

Inspiring Read....

This weekend I finished reading the book "Full Circle" by John Maclean". Here is a brief description of John's background and achievements (as described on his website,

During fitness training, while cycling near his hometown, John was hit by an 8 tonne truck when he was just 22 years old. The impact resulted in John suffering multiple breaks to his pelvis and back, a fractured sternum, punctured lungs, a broken arm, and left John a paraplegic. It took astonishing courage and determination, but somehow this near-fatal accident was the making of him. Despite the grief of what he had lost, the excruciating physical pain and the challenges of daily life in a wheelchair, John decided he would become bigger and stronger than ever. He set about proving himself in the toughest events the world had to offer.

In 1995 John made history by becoming the first wheelchair athlete to finish the world's toughest multi-discipline sporting event – the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon, drawing on all his inner strength to continue to the finish line after falling outside cut-off times in the early stages.

The following year John narrowly missed the cut off time again, this time due to a flat tyre.

In 1997 he not only finished within the cut-off times, he beat a third of the field and became the first ever wheelchair category winner. In 2002 John became the first non-American inducted into the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon Hall of Fame.

Many more extreme sporting challenges followed, including becoming the first wheelchair athlete to swim the English Channel, complete the gruelling Molokai Ocean challenge (World Championships for open water paddling), racing in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and winning a silver medal at the Beijing Paralympics.

The charitable foundation he established in 1998 – the John Maclean Foundation - is a national scale organization providing support and assistance to Australian wheelchair users under the age of 18, and has now raised more than $2,000,000. The foundation's mission is to inspire, motivate and enable physically challenged kids to chase their dreams and live life to the fullest.

"In business and in life, we all face obstacles and crossroads. While my 20-year story seems like an extreme account of setbacks and facing up to them, the message is not about those obstacles, or how they got there, more about learning to see challenges, or adversity if you like, and welcoming it as a fuel to feed off . Any of the great people I have met have harnessed adversity and turned it into an energy that allows them to achieve so much more. All of us can do that, we simply have to make that choice."

There are so many quotes and comments made by John that I found so inspiring. I've made a note of them so that next time I need some motivation (or to snap out of focusing on anything negative), I can read them. Here are some:

"I surround myself with positive people who enrich my life and who make me want to be a better person".

"Some goals you achieve, others you don't. In the end, it doesn't matter. The key is to keep on setting them".

"Sometimes you don't get it right the first time. But keep going, keep chasing your dreams because the journey is as important as the destination".

"If you don't see it and believe it, you won't achieve it".

"I believe there are four keys to a successful life - belief in yourself, commitment to your family, responsibility in business or work, and giving back to your community".

Some wise, wise words........

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