Pushing Through – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 / 5 stars)

“Some souls just aren’t meant to be contained.”

Rex Patrick never thought he was destined for greatness. A drug addict and a paraplegic, the chances of him living past the age of thirty weren’t in his favor. But, eventually he finds his way into accepting the 12-step program, finding faith and guidance in not just God, but in cycling as well. He climbs above adversaries and doubts to become not just an Olympian, not just a champion, but also an inspiration.

In this compelling debut novel by Lori Yerxa, we are taken on a journey through Rex’s life. The compelling narrative wraps us in not just his story, but his emotions, his desires, and his unrelenting wish to compete. He does not let his disability define him, and despite all his struggles to compete, he comes to deny his addiction as well.

But while Rex is an inspiration in what he accomplished, from climbing out of homelessness and into the world stage, his story also heeds a warning. It shows the way addiction claws into someone, and no matter how long they are sober, no matter how hard they try, one misstep will send them back into the abyss. Yerxa does an amazing job planting the reader in Rex’s struggles, and through all his missteps and fortunes, there is a message: never give up…and most importantly, keep coming back.

Unfortunately due how and when this book was written, we are left with some holes in Rex’s story. It is impossible to write a biography accurately, even if the person is heavily involved. Yerxa did a fantastic job in telling us Rex’s story though. I don’t think it will be forgotten.

For anyone out there struggling against addiction, self-doubt, or uncertainty, read Rex Patrick’s story. Perhaps you can accomplish something fantastic just the same.

What’s it about?

When Rex’s father gave him a shot of whiskey to numb a toothache, the young boy had no idea the trajectory of his life became even darker. Years later, hopeless and alone, Rex was faced with the choice to continue and die or change and live.

This raw and gritty page-turner follows the life of Paralympic champion Rex Patrick, who endures unthinkable and horrific tragedies. Deep in his addiction, and nowhere to turn, Rex spends his days homeless, hobbling around on crutches, in a park with no trees. One day a police officer pours out Rex’s “wino” wine and he finally hits rock bottom. Hopeless, Rex tries sobriety one more time.

This captivating story takes you on a journey of adventure, courage, and insight into the power of new beliefs, and what happens when you stop listening.

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