Rich Dixon wonders what counts as a miracle.


A chilly day in March, 1999. 12 years post-injury, 12 years before Lake Itasca.

I placed my hands on the cranks and pushed.

I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I wasn’t prepared for the result of my initial shove on the hand grips.


I braced against the backrest, strained with all the power in my stick-arms, and the stupid bike didn’t budge a single inch.

Handcycling was impossible!

Before I could give up, one of my friends gave me a shove and off I rolled. I coasted, appreciating the slight downhill slope. I cranked a few times, checked out steering and brakes, felt the breeze on my face, savored the unfamiliar sense of independent motion.

Handcycling…was really cool!

At the end of the block, a harsh cycling reality: down in one direction means up in the other. Since I couldn’t crank downhill without help, getting back to my friends at the top of the mountain was clearly impossible. I should’ve just waited for my buddies walking down the block to save me.

But when the bike rolled, something changed. For the very first time since the accident – I didn’t quit.

So I placed my hands on the cranks once again. I braced, pushed, and a miracle occurred.

I rolled forward!

Do you think “miracle” is an overstatement?

A few minutes ago, I literally COULD NOT move the bike downhill. Now I cranked, slowly, unsteadily, back up the hill past cheering friends to my starting point.

Impossible. Then possible.

In my mind, that’s miraculous.

So, what changed? I believe God used the handcycle to open the door to hope.

Next time we’ll talk more about hope.

For now, I’ll just note the shift from hopeless to hope, and from impossible to possible.

Hope changes what’s possible.

To be continued…

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