Summary and book reviews of Nothing Is Impossible by Christopher Reeve

Nothing Is Impossible

Reflections On A New Life

by Christopher Reeve

Nothing Is Impossible
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2002, 192 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2004, 224 pages

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Book Summary

Reminds us that life is not to be taken for granted but to be lived fully with zeal, curiosity, and gratitude. That is a powerful message in itself, but it is the messenger who gives it its full resonance.

So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable. If we can conquer outer space, we can conquer inner space, too.

Christopher Reeve has mastered the art of turning the impossible into the inevitable. In Nothing Is Impossible, the author of the bestselling autobiography Still Me shows that we are all capable of overcoming seemingly insurmountable hardships. He interweaves anecdotes from his own life with excerpts from speeches and interviews he's given and with evocative photos taken by his son Matthew.

Reeve teaches us that for able-bodied people, paralysis is a choice—a choice to live with self-doubt and a fear of taking risks—and that it is not an acceptable one. Reeve knows from experience that the work of conquering inner space is hard and that it requires some suffering—after all, nothing worth having is easy to get. He asks challenging questions about why it seems so difficult—if not impossible—for us to work together as a society. He steers the reader gently, offering his reflections and guidance but not the pat answers that often characterize inspirational works.

Published on the eve of both his fiftieth birthday and the seventh anniversary of his spinal cord injury, Christopher Reeve's Nothing Is Impossible reminds us that life is not to be taken for granted but to be lived fully with zeal, curiosity, and gratitude. That is a powerful message in itself, but it is the messenger who gives it its full resonance.

Chapter 1

The First Decision



As the old saying goes, you better know what you want because you might get it and you've got to accept it. Whether you succeed or whether you encounter adversity you always have to believe in your worth as a person. That's what counts.
-- Remarks at a success seminar in Portland, Oregon, February 6, 2001

When I made those comments in 2001, it was no longer difficult for me to say to anyone that you have to believe in your worth as a person. But in the intensive care unit at the University of Virginia on June 1, 1995, I had no such belief. Far from it. On that day I regained consciousness to find myself lying in traction, a heavy metal ball suspended behind my head attached to a metal frame secured by screws in each temple. I learned that as the result of a fall during an equestrian competition I had broken my neck just centimeters below the brain stem, and that my chances of surviving the surgery to reattach my head to my ...

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