THE ATHLETIC PEASE BROTHERS TAKE ON A NEW CHALLENGE AS AUTHORS
STORY: H.M. Cauley
What sort of challenge makes a worthy followup to competing in an Ironman championship? For brothers Brent and Kyle Pease, the next hill to conquer was writing their first book.
A few months ago, the two ticked “author” off their bucket lists with the publication of Beyond the Finish, which opens with Kyle’s birth in 1985, follows his battle with cerebral palsy and culminates with both brothers finishing an Ironman contest together in Hawaii. Their work brings attention to the battles fought daily by a family with a disabled member and the extraordinary triumphs that come with determination and hard work.
“We always wanted to share our story with others, but it was a long, three-year process,” says Kyle, 34, who lives near Piedmont Hospital, where he works as a greeter.
Each brother takes turns relating personal fears and aspirations in alternating chapters, with additional material added from their parents and Brent’s wife, Erica. “It’s got everybody in the family’s perspective,” says Brent, 36. “It’s not just about one race and how Kyle rose to the challenge, but about what the entire family, our friends and supporters have helped us do.”
What they’ve done is backed the brothers in their various athletic competitions that have Brent pushing Kyle in a sleek racing chair.
“Brent does the physical work, and I’m there as a coach,” says Kyle. “For me, it’s more of a mental challenge than anything else. But it doesn’t work without Brent or without me.”
It works so well that a few months ago the two became the first brother duo to compete in and finish the Ironman World Championship, crossing the finish line at 14 hours and 29 minutes. They’d been working toward that milestone by competing in more than 100 races together since 2011.
“I remember when Brent started getting into fitness and doing triathlons,” says Kyle. “He invited the entire family to come watch, and I really got into it.”
After finishing their first race eight years ago, the two founded the Kyle Pease Foundation to help other disabled athletes participate to the fullest extent.
“We own and maintain more than 40 race chairs as well as bikes, boats and other equipment that allows people like Kyle to compete,” says Brent, who directs the nonprofit. “We pay for everything regardless of need, and that includes race fees and training. We pair athletes with volunteers and take them to races. The idea is to give them the fully inclusive experience.”
Beyond the Finish not only tells their remarkable tale, it also contributes to the cause as well, with 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the book going back to their foundation. “We want to get it in the hands of people who have never heard our story,” says Brent. “This is a great way to do that with people who may not be geographically near us and know about us.”
And while learning about the foundation, they’ll also be inspired, hopes Kyle. “We want to help others realize they can do whatever they put their minds to.”
BEYOND THE FINISH and information about the Kyle Pease Foundation are available at kylepeasefoundation.org.
Atlanta-based writer and editor contributing to a number of local and state-wide publications. Instructor in Georgia State’s Communication department and Emory’s Continuing Education division.