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Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Fat Paddler: A Badger Book Review

Every Man Has A Story....
I remember watching an episode of the now defunct Oprah Winfrey Show where the premise of the installment was that everybody has a story to tell. Some more exciting then others, but interesting none-the-less. Oprah had an illustration board of her audience member's seating chart on display, and she threw a dart at it randomly choosing the person who's "seat" she hit on the board to tell their life story. By chance she struck upon a man who had narrowly escaped a war torn country as a child and later immigrated to the U.S.A. when he was a young man and continued his education, on his own, to become a Doctor. It was an unusual story, one that received many oooo's and aaaahhh's from the audience. Reading the newly released book, The Fat Paddler, reminded me of the hypothesis I witnessed on Oprah's show that day. But this time, Fate threw a dart and the incredible bullseye story is, indeed, Sean Smith's.

I have never met Sean in person but have been following his escapades, on his ever popular blog The Fat Paddler, for sometime now - with one of my favourite adventures consisting of a hefty secret agent man being chased down by an irate security guy for getting too close to the Plastiki during a "Stealth Paddle". So in his own way, Sean, had already been receiving a fair share of oooo's and aaahhh's from his own audience thru his online journal ( detailing his life's expedition as a big but encouraging man with a number of paddles and boats at his disposal.

The Fat Paddler Book by Sean Smith
A larger then life tale of recovery and inspiration!
So when the Fat Paddler (Sean Smith) announced that a book was coming out, I was keen to get my paws on one as soon as I was able. When it finally happened this past week, I excitedly cracked open my copy to find an unexpected and deeply moving tale that was full of honesty, humour and other significant messages. And while I was used to finding myself laughing out loud at Sean's words, I was surprised to find my eyes welling up with tears - on more then one occasion - entranced by his poetical ways, impacted by his ability to evoke such an emotional response from the reader. To be honest, I had a hard time putting the book down once I had it started. By the end of it, I had a new profound respect for Sean and his beautiful wife, Rebecca - and I wanted to read it again.

Having come awfully close to death on more then one occasion in his life, and living thru it to once again become strong in spirit and fat with personal growth, is a huge testament to Sean's spirit and appetite for life. His expressive descriptions of his true to life global experiences put you right inside of Sean's head, and the way he tells it will have you focused on every word. From two brutal vehicle accidents, to the tragic Bali Bombings of 2002, all the way thru to an Alaskan trip of a lifetime - including a wife and two gorgeous daughters that helped inspire him to become the man he is today - his story is uniquely and excitingly courageous and yet modest at the same time.
All in all, Sean's journey to becoming the Fat Paddler, thru much physical and mental adversity, is a story that is sure to inspire the majority of people - not just people who paddle. And while it is definitely laugh out loud funny, with many smiles thru-out, you will most likely come away with your own thoughts stirred and many deeper emotions having been evoked. With Sean's true respect for Love, Family, Nature, Charity, Humour (can't forget Rugby either!), Self Reflection and Life, his tale will be sure to resonate with the masses as, in a number of ways, many of his struggles are our own. Thus, if Oprah was correct and it is indeed true that every person has a story to tell, then Sean's tale is surely of epic proportions... And I'm not just talking about how much he eats or the awesome Fat Paddler's Favourite Recipes section in the back, either!! Tee Hee Hee

Not wanting the book to end, I've already started reading it again.....

To find out how to get your paws on a copy of Sean's book - visit the website: The Fat Paddler Book. To catch up with Sean and his adventures as The Fat Paddler, or to connect with The Fat Paddler online, check out many of the ways to do so below:

Fat Paddler Book Review Written by Fiona Westner-Ramsay

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