Nearly four years after an errant tackle left him paralyzed below the waist, the inspiring comeback story of how former Pittsburgh Steeler Ryan Shazier recovered to walk again.
As an All-American at Ohio State and All-Pro linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ryan Shazier was living his best life while excelling at the game he loves, a game that has given him so much. But then Ryan was forced to redefine success. Suddenly, it was no longer measured by tackles or sacks, but by purpose and faith.
WALKING MIRACLE is the story of this new definition of success, following the arc from December 4, 2017, when Shazier was injured playing the Cincinnati Bengals, to his retirement. For three years, Shazier doggedly pursued a return to professional football. He took small wins as “first downs” on the drive to return to the field: moving his toes, walking, dancing at his wedding, and ultimately running and returning to the team. What Shazier didn’t realize is that along the way, he was preparing himself for another purpose—that of father and husband, philanthropist, and football analyst. The journey was preparing him not for a renewed life as a middle linebacker, but a renewed life after the game.
Here we see Shazier overcome childhood alopecia, which caused a great deal of emotional pain, and scoliosis, which nearly robbed him of his dreams of playing college and professional football. We gain insights into legendary coaches Urban Meyer and Mike Tomlin. And we see him star on the field. Shazier was one of the best defensive players in Steeler history—a history full of great defensive stars.
WALKING MIRACLE—the message on a bracelet given to him by his godmother—is the story of Ryan’s comeback, but it’s also a book of life’s lessons, challenges, and a love letter to the power of positive thinking.
About the Author
Ryan Shazier was a two time All Pro Linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Before that he was an All American at Ohio State. Since retiring from the Steelers, Shazier has joined The Ringer podcast network, hosting a weekly football show and regularly appearing on Bill Simmons's podcast. A documentary about his life is being filmed. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and two sons.
Larry Platt is the co-author of several books, including Stuart Scott's posthumous bestseller.
"I have known Ryan Shazier since his sophomore year in high school and coached him at The Ohio State University. He has always been one of the most relentless athletes I have ever been around. This along with his competitive spirit and talents made him one of the top LBers in college and then in the NFL. He took this same relentless approach and competitiveness to coming back from paralysis. WALKING MIRACLE is a testament to how much hard work, faith, and positive thinking can change a life and inspire others."
—Urban Meyer, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach
"WALKING MIRACLE is one of the most inspiring books I've ever read. Anyone who has dealt with a difficult time in their life or have had to overcome huge obstacles or personal battles will be able to relate. Steeler Nation and football fans across the country who witnessed Ryan’s journey to walk again should support this book. Ryan's story is a true testament to his unbelievable will, desire, and shows who he is as a man."—Snoop Dogg
“Ryan’s remarkable story is one of perseverance, resilience, inner fortitude, and commitment. His journey provides inspiration to us all to face head on the challenges life may bring our way.”—Eugene Smith
"Ryan Shazier is a walking embodiment of the idea that the obstacle is the way. His story will not fail to inspire you."
—Ryan Holiday, #1 New York Times bestselling author of STILLNESS IS THE KEY
“As a teammate and friend, I was used to being blown away by Ryan's commitment and preparation on the football field. But, as WALKING MIRACLE shows, Ryan took those same principles and applied them to his comeback from paralysis. I was there when he took his first steps months after his injury. He is a warrior and the epitome of perseverance. It's a comeback that will inspire you, as Ryan has always inspired me.”—Will Allen, former Giants cornerback
“Ryan is a true inspiration, not just in Pittsburgh but for anyone who reads this book. Ryan overcame so much in his early life, and those challenges prepared him for the biggest fight of his life after suffering a spinal cord injury. Ryan’s positive attitude coupled with his faith, focus, and hard work made him a world-class athlete and now a role model to anyone facing adversity.”—Mark Wahlberg
“In this extraordinary debut, former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Shazier recounts his inspiring path to recovery after being paralyzed from the waist down. Interspersed with thoughtful reflections on what it means to reconfigure one’s life and goals…the result will score with more than just football fans.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)