Paul Martin tells his story…so far
By Kristen McFarland
ISSUE #16, June/July 2002 – Boulder’s Paul Martin is a competitive triathlete. He generally places in the top thirty percent of his age group at races. Add to this statistic the fact that he is a below-the-knee (BK) amputee and it becomes extraordinary.
Paul’s resume of athletic endeavors is extensive. He has been on the U.S. Paralympic Cycling Team and was a bronze medalist at the Disabled Cycling World Championships and two time winner of the road race at Nationals. He was a member of the U.S. Disabled Alpine Ski Team and the U.S. Amputee Hockey Team. He is the national BK record holder in the half-marathon and the 5K. He has completed several Ironmans, including Hawaii three times. The list goes on and on.
For many years now he has been a professional speaker for groups of school children. Apparently friends and family had been urging him for quite some time to write a book about his experiences, and about a year ago he took up this latest challenge in a life that has been full of them. The result is entertaining, heart warming, and inspiring. He has a wonderful ability to get you to alternately laugh and cry with him.
There are qualities about his writing which reveal that he is a novice. Yet his plain, conversational style is quite endearing. He is a regular guy telling his story. And when he does dig deep into his psyche and discusses his feeling surrounding an issue, the reader really knows it is from the heart.
He tells his tale from the beginning. Even before he lost his leg he had an eventful life. He has no qualms about letting his skeletons out of the closet. And as he recounts his stories from being a steel welder high above the ground to weathering a storm in a small torn-up sailboat, there is an odd sort of tension that builds, because you keep waiting for the “accident.” There were many instances in which it could easily have happened.
Once it does, his self-deprecating humor surrounding his misadventures adjusting to his new circumstance will have you laughing out loud.
In the end he provides moving insights into what fateful events can do to our life paths and how opportunity can sometimes be disguised as adversity.
One Man’s Leg is due to be out in October and is published by GreyCore Press.