Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Fat Paddler

Sean Smith and I share a couple of similarities. We both kayak, we both overcame injuries to continue kayaking, and we're both, er, not so thin. But there are some differences as well; the injuries Sean suffered were far more serious than mine, and he's written a great book about his experiences.
In The Fat Paddler, Sean recounts the two life-threatening car accidents that curtailed his physical activity and lead him into a spiral of depression. Unable to continue playing rugby after his second accident, he hurt too much, ate too much, drank too much and smoked too much until he rediscovered kayaking. And it quite probably saved his life.
Sean tells his story is a breezy and engaging manner, not shying away from the dark moments in his life, but not dwelling on them either, and presents the story of his recovery through kayaking in an entertaining style. He takes us through his accidents and his long recoveries, his being witness to a terrorist bombing, the lingering after-effects of his injuries, and the decline in his health and his spirit, but he also takes us through the to the other side as he re-engages with his family, his life and himself.
And there's some yummy recipes in the back of the book.
There's no grand adventure here, no deep ocean crossing or a circumnavigation first, just a bloke who re-awakens his soul and rediscovers his zest for life through the sport that he loves.


  1. That's the kind of book I prefer to read, frankly! Strength isn't just what takes some people across oceans in one-of-a-kind journeys, it's what takes some people along the same beach over and over with new fun being discovered.

  2. Thanks for the kind words John, glad you enjoyed the book.

    Cheers - FP

  3. You're welcome, Sean. When's the sequel coming out? :)

  4. Haha! Thinking about that very topic right now as a matter of fact. ;)