Ben Hoffman

While this story is a detailed account of his struggle for athletic excellence and life-changing traumas that dashed that hope, there is far more to Paul’s story than what at first meets the reader’s eye. Flat Out in Pieces challenges us to think about change that seems imposed upon ourselves and the courage it takes to transform from deep woundedness and loss to new victories and life-affirming reasons to go on living.

BEN HOFFMAN PhD is the author of The Violence Vaccine

Posted by tidewater in Reviews

Dave Scott

Paul's epic journey in Flat Out in Pieces encompasses every human emotion of tenacity, perseverance and a relentless will to overcome his emotional and physical condition. After reading the book, there isn't a comparison with athletic feats; that are simply planned, calculated and choreographed. Paul's twisted roadmap to his recovery was defined by his compassionate wife, Christine, and their collective and endless pursuit to figure out what truly was haywire with his mind and body.

My comment may seem potent but it simply puts an exclamation point on Paul and Christine's persistence to never give up.

Reading Paul's story, there is an undying theme of many 'fears'. Fear of the unknown, fear of disappointment and fear of commitment all surface in his struggle to return to normalcy. However, there is one fear that never stopped his journey - the fear of failure. Paul never allowed himself to fail.

Flat Out in Pieces is hard to believe but Paul's conquest was real.

DAVE SCOTT is the six-time IRONMAN World Champion who was the first person to be inducted into the IRONMAN Hall of Fame.

Posted by tidewater in Reviews

Steve King

Although I have known of Paul and Christine for many years and they had lived in our triathlon-mecca community for awhile, I was unaware of the debilitating situation Paul had found himself experiencing.

Through a tragic combination of overtraining and multiple sports-related hits to the head – he was left to wrestle with deep depression and overwhelm regarding the grief and loss of hopes and dreams, as well as all of the medical, chemical and nutritional disturbances and mis-diagnosis.

Paul’s story is one of doggedness and despair but also one of ultimately choosing an attitude of gratitude. It proves that the mind can be a mentor or a tormentor, that sometimes you can ‘win more by losing’, by adapting and adjusting – by focusing on what you can do and not on what you can’t do. That a new and unplanned phase requires new lenses – that when you are in need of lifting up – you can ultimately feel renewed by helping lift others up.

It is the unpredictable nature of our existence and the death of our dreams that can make a person feel the existential vacuum – the loss of the personal palace of possibilities but, ironically, we can choose to vicariously embrace our passions by connecting with, supporting and taking pleasure in others working towards and achieving their own goals.

Paul writes of the concussions and repercussions and clearly demonstrates that “if you are going through hell, you need to keep going” and that “if you are at the end of you rope – you should tie a knot in it and hang on.”

Paul, Christine and the reader will be forever grateful that he has returned to ‘being Paul’ as his story is one that will encourage, inform and inspire.

STEVE KING is a triathlete, author, counsellor, CBC colour commentator and well-known race announcer.

Posted by tidewater in Reviews

Garry Valk

Paul’s story takes us into the life of an athlete forced to reinvent himself and the battles he faced with the medical system, loss of identity and depression. This is becoming an increasingly common story, and one sure to inspire anyone facing adversity in their life.

GARRY VALK is broadcaster and former NHL player

Posted by tidewater in Reviews