Free Weirwolf by David Weir

Book: Weirwolf by David Weir Read Free Book Online
Authors: David Weir
was always my choice.
    My parents must have known something was going on – I used to creep back into the house after a big night out, go upstairs, have a shower and then go straight back out again so they didn’t spot me. But when you are a parent you only see what you want to see. And I was very secretive. I never did anything in front of people they knew, anyone who might have allowed them to get an idea. My dad was already upset that I had turned my back on sport. He had invested so much time and money supporting me and now I was just wasting it all. He must have been heartbroken.
    As for my brothers, Alan knew and he didn’t like it one little bit. At one point he really lost it with me. But what could he do? He could only tell me. He couldn’t hold my hand for twenty-four hours a day. He would say, ‘You know this won’t last.’ ‘It’s just a phase,’ he would say.
    I was a smart arse back then, though: ‘Well, if it’s just a phase, then I’ll be OK, won’t I? Look, Alan, I just don’t want to go back to racing. I am done with it.’
    â€˜Then you’re wasting your life, aren’t you?’
    It just washed over me.
    It was now two years on from Atlanta and I should have been fine-tuning my preparations to represent GreatBritain at the 1998 World Championships on home soil in Birmingham. Instead I was spending most of my time in nightclubs like the Colosseum in Vauxhall or the Camden Palace.
    It was a very, very bad time. And after having started so cautiously, now I wasn’t sure if I could stop. The next day I would feel like shit. You would ask yourself why you were doing it all just for a night out. My answer? Go out the following weekend and do it all over again.
    So what changed? How did I turn my life around?
    It just stopped being fun. After almost three years of hammering my brain with drugs, I was starting to get paranoid. I’ll never forget the moment I saw one bloke in Camden really freaking out. He had taken too much of something and was panicking. He thought people were trying to get him. That scared me. Why wasn’t that happening to me?
    A little while after that I was watching TV with a mate after a heavy night out. I was too wired to go to bed and needed something to help me get to sleep. Suddenly he started fitting. I can remember it so vividly. He was so scared he was shaking. I held him and told him he would be fine and that whatever it was he was experiencing would pass. Eventually it did pass. But it had really sobered me up. We both knew it had been quite serious. And for me, that was way too close to home. I had to stop.
    At that point I got a lucky break. I met Kaylie.
    For the last few years I hadn’t been interested in girls orgetting involved in a relationship. I was having too much fun to get tied down. But Kaylie came along at exactly the right moment. I was attracted to her. She was a bit younger than me and my friends but she was quite streetwise. She knew what my mates and I were into. She liked a drink herself but she wasn’t into taking drugs or anything like that. I don’t know why but Kaylie wanted to help me get out of the mess I had made for myself. She knew I needed saving and she asked me the question the drugs had been blocking out for so long: ‘Dave, what exactly do you want to do in your life?’
    I had no answer. I wanted to work but I had lost all my confidence in the system. What employer was going to give me a chance? Who would look past the wheelchair? I wasn’t clever enough to study and, besides, I had tried that and couldn’t stand it. I needed money but my benefits gave me more than I would probably earn. What was the point? Wheelchair racing was the only thing I was any good at, I told her.
    â€˜So why don’t you go back to it?’ she said.

    It sounded so simple. But I knew I had upset a lot of people. I had just vanished off the scene. I had missed

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