Things I Want to Remember Not to Forget
Author and 13 x Paralympic Athlete, Chris Waddell
Park City, UT – Chris Waddell, a 13x Paralympic Athlete and the first paraplegic to nearly unassisted summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, released his first book, Things I Want to Remember Not to Forget. The book is based on Waddell’s 2011 Middlebury College commencement address, that landed him on NPRs list “The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever” and gives us rarely seen insight into Waddell’s struggles.
“I’ve learned so much from the things that have gone right and wrong in my life. I wrote the book to remind myself of my struggles and solutions, so that others can learn from them,” said Waddell. “I hope that readers take away a renewed sense of purpose, action and adventure.”
Things I Want to Remember Not to Forget features lessons learned by Waddell on his journey after a ski accident left him paralyzed from the waist down, to one of a handful of athletes to medal in both Winter and Summer Paralympic Games and to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
We invite you to join us for an Author Event at Dolly’s Bookstore in Park City, Utah:
Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 6:30 PM
The event is free and open to the public.
Book Summary – The Perfect Message for the Graduate
In Things I Want to Remember Not to Forget Chris Waddell achieves honesty rarely seen. From the drawing on the cover, replete with erased first attempts, he lets us see and benefit from his struggle. His 2011 Middlebury College commencement address, provided the genesis of this book that provides great insight and inspiration.
“Commencements are glorious moments when a beginning and an ending occupy the same space. In our non-stop lives, they represent an opportunity to pause, to assess the past and to plan for the future. Amidst the reflection, celebration, and optimism lay the landmarks, if we can recognize them.”
He concludes by saying, “If there is anything to take from a graduation speech, it’s that everyday should be a graduation. Everyday should be an opportunity to stop, just for a moment, and look forwards and backwards. Otherwise, one day spills into the next. One day becomes ten or twenty years.” Between the two thoughts, he makes everyday graduation. He invites us into the start of a ski race, the bright lights of open-mic night at a comedy club, first steps and trying something new like learning to draw. Along the way he introduces us to our best selves-the fun, bright and charismatic ones.
Chris Waddell’s story is different from ours, but it feels familiar-familiar to the lives that we hope to lead. Things I Want to Remember Not to Forget is a fun read. Read it once. Reread it again and again. Give it to your friends. Gift it to a graduate.
ABOUT CHRIS WADDELL
Chris Waddell always thought that the lessons he learned in sports would provide the foundation for later success. As a ski racer at Middlebury College in 1988, he had no idea how profoundly one moment could change and paradoxically enhance that conviction. On December 20th his ski popped off in the middle of a turn. He fell, broke two vertebrae, and damaged the spinal cord. Paralyzed from the waist down, he learned and achieved more than he could have imagined.
He returned to college just two months after the accident, started monoskiing in less than a year and was named to the US Disabled Ski Team a little more than two years later. With 12 Paralympic medals, he became the most decorated male monoskier in history. Also a track athlete, he’s one of a handful to have won World Championships in both the winter and the summer. He competed in four Winter Paralympics, winning 12 medals and three Summer Paralympics, winning a silver medal in the 200 meters in Sydney. In World Championship competition, Waddell won 9 total medals.
Waddell was inducted into the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and the Paralympics Hall of Fame. The Dalai Lama honored him as an “Unsung Hero of Compassion”. People Magazine named him one of the “Fifty Most Beautiful People in the World”. Skiing Magazine placed him amongst the “25 Greatest Skiers in North America”. Middlebury College presented him with a Doctorate in Humane Letters. National Public Radio (NPR) named his 2011 commencement address to Middlebury College as one of “The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever.”
In September of 2009 Waddell became the first nearly unassisted paraplegic to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. The film documenting the climb has won awards throughout the world.
Chris has appeared on Dateline, Oprah and 20/20. He is the founder of the One Revolution Foundation whose mission is to “turn the perception of disability upside down.”