This book was a delightful read.
As a person who has also joined the kayaking community based on injury and disability I could certainly relate to the struggles. In life we often have to pick ourselves up over and over again. Many of us stop pushing ourselves as far as we can go and fall out of love with the outdoors and sports because of our new limitations. This book reminds us that our limitations are often self imposed!
I read this book when I was having a really tough time in my life. Afterwards I felt ready to deal with the world again - full speed ahead. The humility and ability of the Fatman to laugh at himself, and embrace his strengths provides a great role for us all - no matter what shape we are in!
Can't wait to read more of Sean's adventures. NO WAIT, I want to participate in some adventures with this guy.Hmmm, how to review your mates first foray into literary fame?
I have known Sean for 3 years only because we're neighbours and it is his fault that I started Kayaking. I'll admit I was a little cautious about Sean 'writing a book' due to not knowing anyone famous or worthy enough of public record (except my Dad). I then read the book. Yes, he had recounted stories of his injuries but seriously, who really 'understands' the horror that encases people who suffer in the way Sean and his family suffered during this period?
The first few pages had me seriously questioning how he is still alive! In a cruel sense, he has no right to be. His injuries are truly unimaginable and his later experiences in Bali are something you never wish on your worst enemy. Yet, through this insanity, he found the strength of mind to reflect and share this journey he was forced to confront.
Who is Fat Paddler? Well Sean is a devoted Father and Husband who does everything he does is for his family. The book, through his own words, teaches us what is important in life and offers many insights on how adversity can challenge and liberate under the most challenging circumstances. Aside from a denial of English heritage and liable against a great English football club (pg 153), Sean illustrates how a mind without signs of recovery can be exactly the opposite.
From a humble search for recovery is born a world of fun, exploration, challenge and charity that has captured the imagination of himself, his family, friends & proud stalwarts of Team Fat Paddler. I have just finished reading "The Fat Paddler" and am feeling inspired to tackle life's challenges head on!
An annoyingly inspirational read!
Whether you are into paddling or not, you will relate to The Fat Paddler's story. As a Mum I understand how it feels to know that you would do anything for the sake of your family. And Sean's commitment to turning his life around, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles is truly inspirational, heartfelt and honest.
It's a great read that will leave you feeling inspired and ready to challenge yourself.I’ve known Sean for more than 20 years and know he’s capable of many things, but writing a book was not one of them. In fact given my background in journalism I thought that there maybe something I could do first, but he’s taken that opportunity from me as well… he will, however, turn 40 well before me, so that’s a start
The book itself chronicles Sean’s journey from fit to fat to fit and back to fat again, and the circumstances and reasons that led to those ends. Primarily, Sean found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time repeatedly. He’s the kind of bloke you definitely want to be standing next to in a lightening storm because he’ll absolutely get hit before you will, and not just because he happens to be a bigger target.
Back in Adelaide he was knocked off a Vespa and had a raft of devastating injuries to the point where doctors were concerned if he’d walk again. Not only did he walk again, but he played competitive rugby, a lifelong passion and something he’d dragged me into very willingly.
Because of rugby, he was in Bali for the bombings. This impacted him enormously and he struggled to reconcile for a long time why he had lived whilst others he’d played on the rugby field only hours before did not. On his return, he hit the club scene and all it entailed, ended a bad relationship and lost his job. It was about that time he met his future wife and things really started to change for him: He married, started progressing the career ladder and continued with his rugby as a way of exercise and mental release. Then the night that changed his life hit, literally:
Sean was the “airbag” in a vintage Morgan car that was t-boned in an intersection. So badly was he injured, when his wife, who’d only recently discovered she was pregnant, called to tell me the situation some 12 hours later (I was living in Adelaide at the time), she had just been told by doctors they weren’t sure he’d last another 12 hours. I was on the next flight.
When I arrived, there lay in front of me not the bloke I’d known for many years but an unconscious, broken human being, on a respirator and with drainage tubes seemingly coming from everywhere. It's detailed graphically in the book. But the book is focused on celebrating life, not looking at the causes for why sometimes it is so hard. Sean has recovered to become the Fat Paddler people know today. He's still fat, but he's strangely paddle fit...