Shifting Into High Gear charts the course of Kyle Bryant’s transformation as he journeys on a recumbent tricycle across the United States in the throes of Friedreich’s ataxia, a life-shortening and disabling disease. Full of humor and reflection, it’s a heroic journey of a man driven to reframe the language of disease through action and service.
As you travel with Kyle during two cross-country bike rides through the American West, Texas, the Southern States, and finally to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, the grueling rides become a compelling backdrop for a series of lessons and ruminations which embrace an alternative worldview and provide practical solutions to everyday problems. A thrilling adventure story, yes, Shifting Into High Gear is also ultimately about helping readers reinterpret the conditions of their lives and learning how positive thinking, purposeful connection, and deliberate actions can help anyone reach beyond their limits and live a bolder and bigger life no matter what the circumstance.
Deeply passionate and compassionate, Kyle uses his amazing story to teach readers how to replace the handicapping language of “disability” with the agency to build a thriving and hopeful life. He bravely exposes the shadow-side of using disabling language and asks us to commit to a collective goal of understanding disease and its emotional impact and embrace the disabled population as equal individuals. In telling his story, Kyle’s desire is that instead of viewing disease as a deficit, we would see it as another state of being—simply as a life which strikes out on a different path.