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A Father's Courage, a Son's Love, and Life's Steepest Climb

by Davis Phinney with Austin Murphy

Pub Date: June 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-547-31593-5
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Renowned bicycle racer and founder of the Davis Phinney Foundation gives the gift of life.

A diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease would hit anyone like a ton of bricks, but for Phinney, who was known on the professional-cycling circuit for his speedy sprint finishes, the impending loss of his fit, 40-year-old body seemed especially unfair. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Phinney coupled his talent for endurance with the “never give up” philosophy he learned from his father’s courageous battle with cancer, and that resilient style emanates throughout this memoir. A sprinkling of mild expletives, humor and some parenthetical asides make the author’s voice immediate and real, as he describes how he went from being the first American to win a road stage in the 1986 Tour de France to a broadcaster at the height of his career who was unable to hold a microphone. More than 1 million Americans live with Parkinson’s—a disease with no known cure—but symptoms can be managed through diet, exercise and treatment options, such as medication or deep brain stimulation, an operation which Phinney underwent. Now 51, the author celebrates each day with his wife and children, and his son’s rising career in the bicycling world is yet another triumph.

An inspirational story for anyone, especially those living with Parkinson’s.