Going Pro

Going Pro: A Memoir of Too Many Comebacks, is the story of how I became a professional cyclist and a two-sport medalist at the Paralympic Games.

When Mary Lou Retton vaulted her way onto my breakfast table in 1984, I knew I wanted to win an Olympic gold medal. It never occurred to my eight-year-old brain that a disfigured arm might make that…impossible.


But, eventually, spurred by a comment from a well-intentioned friend, I was forced to confront the reality of my Olympic aspirations. How could a funny-armed swimmer ever compete? It would be years before fate – or rather, insomnia – intervened.

As I naively and systematically gave up pieces of my life (first career, then beer, finally friends) in pursuit of my childhood dreams, I did not imagine that competitive sport – the very thing that had saved my life as a teenager – would come so close to killing me as an adult.

It would take every lesson I’d learned in my twenty-years of athletic competition to defeat the politics, bad luck, and inner demons that stood between me and victory.

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