Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Book 23: Eleven Seconds

Eleven Seconds: A Story of Tragedy, Courage, and Triump by Travis Roy with E.M. Swift lives up to the name. It’s about how the tragic events completely changed the life of a promising hockey player.

So I chose this book not for the autobiographer per say. I actually thought he might have been related to Patrick Roy. Which that would have been cool. I have to admit that there are parts of hockey history I’m painfully unaware of since I wasn’t suppose to like hockey. I’m a figure skater first and it wasn’t a popular sport in my house. But in college, I got into hockey especially Flyers hockey. So I was using this book to find out about hockey history. Plus I love E.M. Swift. Swift helped to write two of my favorite memoirs of all time (My Sergei by Ekaterina Gordeeva and Only With Passion by Katerina Witt).

Travis Roy was a hockey player from Maine. He was able to secure a full scholarship to the hockey powerhouse Boston University. If he played well, he had a good chance to make it to the NHL. But he only got to play eleven seconds. Then he took a very unfortunate hit which shattered his vertebrae. From that moment on, he became a quadriplegic and everything changed in that instant.

It’s an amazing story. He speaks honestly and it gives you a really good picture at how hard life is now. There are things you just forget about and he helps to show how hard things can be. But he’s not bitter. You still get to see his humor but you can see the lost too. It’s real and complete. I like that.

One of the things that struck me was how much hope he had in the research and reminded me how much hope existed for fixing spinal cord injuries in late 90s. This is when Christopher Reeves raised so much money and awareness about spinal cord injuries. You really thought it could happen. But 13 years later, we really haven’t made the strides you would think. That hope seems to have flatlined a bit which is a shame. I feel like we should be further along with the research and changes.

But I enjoy this book. It’s not a hard read. It’s easy and straight forward. It’s a look into a life that is difficult yet he hasn’t given up into the sadness that could take over.

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