From Publishers Weekly
When Long, a New York City firefighter with East Harlem's Ladder Company 43, was crushed by a bus while riding his bike to work one winter's day, he was transformed from a man who ran marathons to a man who might never walk again. Having recently completed the 2005 New York City Marathon, in just over three hours, Long was training for Boston. "Each day I was up and out, sometimes early, sometimes late, but always looking for something new to do. And one more finish line to cross." After the accident, and a prognosis he didn't want to hear (a slim margin for survival; likely paralysis), Long endured 40 operations and spent five months in the hospital, never taking his mind off the finish line at the end of the 2008 NYC Marathon. Completing the marathon after his recovery at 42 years of age was a major accomplishment, and it motivated him to begin speaking publicly, and to create the "I Will" foundation to help people recover from traumatic life-altering illnesses or injuries. Like Long himself, his memoir is full of the heartfelt can-do attitude sure to appeal to the Iron Man in everyone.
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Three days before Christmas in 2005 New York City was embroiled in a bitter transit strike. So firefighter Long decided to ride his bicycle to work. A charter bus, making an illegal turn, collided with him, pulling him under the bus and inflicting injuries that nearly killed him on the spot. He survived, and made a slow and extremely painful recovery (although he’ll never have the same range of motion and physical abilities as he once did). This memoir, cowritten with an editor at Runner’s World, focuses on two key elements: Long’s physical recovery (dozens of surgeries to repair massive internal injuries) and his psychological recovery (as the firefighter, marathon runner, and Ironman competitor came to terms with the knowledge that he’d likely never work or compete again). The book ends on a high note: Long has brought himself back farther than anyone thought he could. But it’s the journey that’s important. The book is open and honest—at times, almost painfully so—and readers will be horrified by Long’s ordeal and inspired by his determination to get back as much of himself as he could. --David Pitt