My name is Ulysses Elijah. I was a thief, a drug addict, a drunk and a womanizer. Now I am a nationally ranked wheelchair racer.

I want to share my story with you. As you read my story, I hope and pray that you, your family, friends, and partners will find it a blessing to your hearts and minds.

Let me begin my odyssey with a description of the town of Waynesboro in Burke County, Georgia where I was born and raised. You probably never heard of my town. It’s south of Augusta, near the border with South Carolina. When I was growing up, the town had no busses or cabs, no public transportation. A freight train rumbled and clanked through the center of town several times a day– a train with no passengers. You wanted to go someplace, you walked, drove a car or tractor, rode a bicycle or a horse or a mule. Mostly we walked.

I didn’t know my father as I was growing up. He was never around for us. My mom tried to raise my three brothers and a sister. But she got sick in 1957 and was sent to a hospital where she remained for twenty years. I never knew what her illness was, certainly we children weren’t told anything about that.