Paralyzed Veterans team among competitors in the USA Cycling Pr - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Paralyzed Veterans team among competitors in the USA Cycling Professional Championship

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - He says the sport helped him make goals for himself to live life to the best of his abilities.
"I think people who have been in an accident realize that life is short.  In 2002 I had a parachute accident and it left me paralyzed from the waist down."

Michael Paul says that moment changed his life forever, "from there I questioned what my abilities would be because I relied so heavily on my physical abilities."

Paul went to rehab for several months as he worked to gain back lost strength.  He says it was shortly after that he discovered a passion for hand cycling, giving him purpose once again.

"I try and get out and ride every day.  At least 4 or 5 days a week."
"Some days I will do hill climbs and try to do a steady 3 or 4 mile climb just to work on that arena and other times i'll ride on flat and just focus on speed."

Paul says it's something that keeps him motivated and pushes him to be better at every race, "it opened up new opportunities for me to compete nationally and travel all over the country and I'm thankful for that."

He says he will only think positively about his situation, knowing he's living life to the fullest, "you have to seize the moment and really embrace what your abilities are and use those abilities to your best."

Paul finished with a time of 36 minutes and 16 seconds.

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